THE TOP 7 LESSONS/ SURPRISES/ TAKEAWAYS OF MONTH ONE (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
I've been drafting this post in my head for approximately four weeks now, though I feel no closer to the goal of articulating what it's all been like. Simply put, it's impossible to accurately sum up four days, nevermind four weeks, of a new space, a new career, a whole new world. So instead, here's a top 7.
1. People: The best part of my previous job was always people. Fortunately, this is still the case. While Electric Blanket is on an otherwise industrial street, the area is teeming with creative folk in secret creative spaces. Within a few days it became apparent that this space and this space were meant to be. Some long afternoons and late nights around the table with new and old friends kicked the month off exactly how we had hoped.
2. People: Yes, I meant it twice, because while 75% of the people I meet in the store every day are amazing, 25% leave me in shock. I quickly learned about the vulnerability and exposure associated with materializing your wildest dreams and putting them out in the open, and then having people storm in with haste, violently shift through racks, and then abruptly ask you where you're getting your money from, where you buy your inventory, how much you're paying for rent, to stock their stuff that has no relevance and then insult you because they can. We'll consider this part and parcel now.
3. People vs My Vision: For the first two weeks, almost every person who walked in the door took one step and then asked in exactly these words every time: "WHAT IS THIS?" It seemed so obvious to me, but a lot of people didn't really get it. I looked around, discussed with J & K, did some reflecting. Yes, a large barn table in the center of the room would probably throw people off. I made more signage. People stopped asking the question, and the people who really get it started finding us. It's an exciting and ultimately very fulfilling experiment in expectations and discovery.
4. Press! Within the first month, we found beautiful words about the store in Tweets and photos on Instagram, on Pinterest and Facebook, and then stories on Daily Candy, the blog of design firm Techne Collecitve, and a surprise until I read it, The Daily Secret. This week the phone rang with more interest and yesterday an awesome photographer spent the morning with the store and found every detail I thought no one would notice. So much yay.
5. Events are on people's minds. I wanted a few weeks to settle in and not rush towards the next phase since we got to this point so quickly, but it's getting closer and we're starting to plan. The area seems hungry for some fun. We're working on it.
6. Doing work you love truly doesn't feel like work, and for that we're grateful.
7. The future is bright. I'm so excited for the year ahead. The roller coaster of emotions that found their way into my insides in the first few weeks have slowed, and I'm getting the hang of this thing, which means I can get back to focusing on how to make it even more amazing. We've been adding bits to the physical space (photos below!) and the website (photos, the Coffee Project), changing questions on the board, and creating more every day.
Has it been everything I've ever dreamed of? Honestly, I still feel like I'm dreaming, and the reality of it all hasn't registered yet. We'll see what month two of this new world brings.