Owning a retail shop is tough, ask anyone who does it. The countless (and I mean countless) hours of spent time plugging away on the computer, organizing, dusting, arranging, brainstorming - you get the idea. But throw in the hundreds of people coming in and out, and add your undivided attention to each person - it starts to wear on you. Not to mention holding down two very active social media platforms and a 400+ item online shop - and its bound to make any normal person want to run away from home. And any creative bone you had, takes a back burner while the most important things get dealt with first. But most importantly, you miss important family stuff including spending time with them - which has diminished to maybe one day or night a week (if I'm lucky). I thought owning your own business meant you can do whatever you want, right? Wrong. It means you no longer have a human husband, you have a retail husband. It also means that the time you spent with your children is now replaced with customers. Shit, even my cat forgot who I was for a while.
Over the past year and a half in Portsmouth, I've learned a few really good lessons. Don't let mean people bother you, do the best you can with what (energy) you've got and you just can't please everyone. After nearly five years of having a retail shop, I've decided that I will no longer keep a retail storefront up and operating. I've decided to do what I've wanted to do since the moment I started this business - and create a beautiful studio and showroom, where I will be able to get work done but also let my creativity really blossom into something that Ive been dreaming about for years now. I really want to focus on my online business and photography, where my passion has really been since day one. I've neglected it for far too long!
And yes, there are about 63 other legit reasons why Im moving the shop from retail to showroom - from the demographic of Portsmouth changing, to the parking problem that has been swept under the rug for far too many years, to the simple fact that vintage clothing is just not fully understood by a majority of people in this region. But this isnt a sad time. Please, don't be sad! This is nothing but pure happiness for me, I could hardly contain myself these past few weeks while all of this was in the works. The thought of being able to travel, spend time with my friends and family during normal hours and on *gasp* a WEEKEND! - This makes me elated.
So, I'm sure you have a bunch of questions, so I've answered a few that I thought you may have:
1 - Will you be closed to the public?
- Yes and no. The studio/showroom will be in the West End of Portsmouth, I will be open for appointments only and a few small evening gatherings once a month or so. Want to come shop? Call me, shoot me an email - Ill be there!
2 - Was business bad in Portsmouth?
- No, not at all. It was amazing and fun sometimes. I love my landlord and neighbors. But it sure wasn't what I expected. Downtown Portsmouth has changed over the last year, big time. Young people just don't live or shop there anymore. And a lot of people don't even want to go to Portsmouth at all - parking is THE biggest issue this town has - which will most likely be the cause of its demise. Also, you know its time to bounce when they start building (and selling) $1M condos, retail spaces that are going for $12K/mo and a Whole Foods is built - because you know an Urban Oufitters is right around the corner. The small town vibe with independent business owners is fading away. <rant done>
3 - Can I still sell you my vintage clothing?
- Yep! I will always make buying appointments and house call appointments.
4 - Will you be having parties?
- yes yes and yes! The new space is lovely and spacious and very cool. Its an old warehouse with lots of industrial elements and great floors. I can't wait to throw a cocktail party!
5 - Are you happy?
- I cant tell you how happy I am. A few tears of joy were shed the minutes after signing the lease to the new studio/showroom. I now have my life back.
6 - When are you closing the retail space?
- I dont have an exact date right now, but I will be fully out of the space the last week of March.
7 - Will you be having a moving sale?
- maybe! ;)
I want to thank each and every one of my customers for making this little spin on retail a good one. Most of my regular customers have known about this for months and they have been very supportive. Thank you to the fellow shop owners downtown that have been great neighbors - and to my landlords who have been the best a girl could ask for!
ONTO BIGGER AND BRIGHTER THINGS!