Normal. What in the world does that word mean? You know like normal routine, daily expectations or just feeling like you know what to expect. Sometimes it is just when we begin to feel like we know what is coming or feel like we are the ones making those decisions that there is a sudden shake up. Well, for us, actually that has been kind of a chronic thing. Over the past couple of years it has come in the form of both happy and hard. Starting with the crazy flooding in our basement two years ago.
Well, not quite two weeks ago we experienced another life altering event. This time, thankfully, it is very happy. Three generations of us are opening a gift shop. But we had no hint that this was coming...at all. It just happened one evening when one of my candle customers messaged me that due to family needs she was going to have to close up her shop in Strasburg. Soon we found ourselves on the phone and I heard myself tell her that I would consider opening a shop of my own.
I got off the phone fully expecting a rational reasoned response from Warren telling me that it was crazy to even think about it. Instead he didn't say anything. I went on and on about how it would be sweet if this could be a family business. I pictured both of my girls in it with me. Chelsea and Emily. I envisioned them as their families grew having flexibility and a support system built in. And so as I expressed all of this to Warren he grew excited too and said we should go for it. That was so cool!
So, I sent a message to Chelsea and Emily and received responses of interest and willingness to meet to talk about it. My heart swelled with amazement. How could this be? That both were not just saying no to this possibility.
We set a day and place...Thursday morning at The Daily Grind. The girls heard me out. They both had great input and the skills we needed to make this thing work. Then while Chelsea went to a doctor's appointment to check on the wee one Emily and I went to see the shop. That was when the dream took firm hold in me and it would have taken major surgery to remove it. At that point, already, I told my friend, Sharon, that I was 75-80 percent sure I wanted to do this.
As the girls prayed and thought about it they each came to a decision that was right for them. Chelsea jumped in with both feet, while Emily chose not to become a partner...but will be helping us as we need it. Especially since she came up with the fabulous idea of air plants and terrariums and we became attached to the idea. It became a key component of the shop so I'm very thankful that she is still willing to advise and help when we need it there. The girl is a plant whisperer!
|Part of our first shipment of air plants. |
Financially it was going to be a LOT harder without a third partner but Chelsea and I were still willing to accept the risk and pursue it. Then Mom mentioned that she would be interested in becoming our third partner. Woo-hoo! That was a huge relief to me because I was well aware that it was going to be a huge challenge to make things work at the shop in the months immediately following Baby Pham's arrival. It will be busy tourist season and heading into Christmas shopping. However, I could no more stop this process than I could cut off my arm at this point. I was emotionally and financially committed. God provided!
And so after a flurry of activity and paperwork we signed the lease on Thursday afternoon
and received the keys on Friday.
This is us after running all over the county shopping for the shop.
It has been so very windy and so we are quite windblown but we are so happy.
To think that there are FOUR generations represented in this picture
is mind boggling. Especially because I don't think I'm old enough for that yet. :-)
Our strengths and gifts really complement each other.
Chelsea is our visual merchandiser, I'm the big picture/promotions person and
mom is filling in the gaps between Chelsea and I.
She will be making beautiful things and has much experience and wisdom
to share! She offered to be a "silent partner".
I think she has already proven to be more than that.
We have goods coming from several of our favorite artisans.
One of whom is my brother.
He was NOT amused at our first shop name....
Rosemary and Lace.
However, none of us could remember Rosemary so to expand expectations
of those who would simply judge our shop by its name Chelsea
came up with Pebbles & Lace.
We love that name!
And just look at the conk mushroom art that is on it's way to us....
These will be one of a kind pieces made by my brother, Allan. He puts pressure on the
mushroom living parchment. This releases various amounts of "ink" or bruising that create the
shades of color you see here.
The conk is then dried which stops the color change process.
While these are delicate they are also color stable.
Initially we will only have this one,
and then more after conk harvesting season returns.
This piece is approximately 15 inches wide.
Definitely one of the largest you are likely to find.
Yesterday we took a road trip to Maryland to retrieve "a bunch" of vintage printed feed sacks.
We were overwhelmed by the selection that my friend offered up for consignment.
These are a few of many designs we brought back with us!
Chelsea has been choosing jewelry and scarves.
I've been making an exclusive candle design line just for the shop.
I love the tie in with our logo.
I hope you'll "like" our page
on Facebook and plan to visit when you can.
We look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks
at 11 East Main Street, Strasburg.
So, come, visit us...have some amazing food,
It will be a great day!
visit Tiffany at Blue Dandelion,
Come visit us and then get some coffee at Java Junction
and then finish with some lunch and ice cream at the Creamery.
The options are endless.
I haven't even visited Hodge Podge across
the street but plan to do that soon.
In the meanwhile we will remain busy gathering in the goodies.
Can't wait to share as they get here!
Already one of our favorites is a Japanese China setting for 12
that Chelsea and I found as we shopped a local
It is soooo pretty!!
Good grief I need to get going and get ready for church.
I started this blog post yesterday and then my computer
lost connectivity so I had to let it go.
Thankfully it hadn't lost all I had written to that point.
Have a wonderful day!