Recently a 2012 Facebook memory popped up a post about how I was in town admiring a container shop and how one day I was going to have a retail store of my own, living the dream! Fast forward 6 years and there was the sign going up in High St, my dream had become a reality, fast forward another 14 months and there my dream ended.
You see I thought I wanted this dream that I had worked so hard for but I soon realised it was not what I wanted after all.
Retail is extremely hard, and bluntly I hated it. I went from being a creative project person to a shopkeeper (whom I admire greatly), sitting behind the counter waiting for customers to come in the door and purchase fabulous products but these amazing products were no longer my own, retro furniture and art had somehow become sunglasses, body wash, soaps and birthday cards. I had become a giftware store. I was that cool shop you went to in your lunch hour for a birthday or xmas gift.
My store was lovely, and I loved the idea of it, but I did not enjoy it and thinking that a city still knee deep in a rebuild was going to mean customers and foot traffic would be flowing through the doors was at it’s best naive and making the call to close the retail store was heartbreaking but deep down was a relief at the same time.
Unfortunately, with the store closing came self doubt, thoughts of failure, and the worst one embarrassment especially when I am asked ” how is the shop going” and I gush and over explain trying to justify a decision that I know was the best decision for me, my family and also if I wanted to keep my business and followers. I made the mistake of putting my faith in what I was told, and after I had first hand experience I could see that town was still at least 2 -3 years away and the call I made was the right one.
In hindsight, when I roll back to October 2017 when my skateboard head injury happened and the Doctors said I would be looking at a 2 year recovery, I think to myself how on earth did you manage to function, why did you do it, and seriously Rachael WTF were you thinking, what were you trying to prove?, you never stopped to look after you which ultimately ended in a crash and burn mental and physical ending that you did not see coming.
I guess this is where you could be thinking I am about to give the…. but I would do it all again speech.. but in reality if I knew then what I know now, I would not have signed that lease.
What have I learned you may ask, well shitloads really, and mostly about myself, I learned not everyone is happy about success but those same people are happy when you fall. But most importantly I learned that my product is actually myself, I was always the product and I did not need to hide behind a retail store to show how good I was at design, furniture restoration, or event styling.
What I am good at is project management, and I have a unique ability of being very resourceful teamed with the ability to offer a creative original visual solution whether it be designing a school staffroom, restoring a piece of furniture, styling a wedding, making cushion covers, hiring out tablecloths, making an ice sculpture for a 40th birthday party, organising fundraising events or even my own clothing label.
What do I do exactly well that depends on what you the client need me to do. (Call me!)
So where to from here? Some more self healing confidence rebuilding perhaps, I do have retail stock to clear so a pop up shop very soon. Some work to be done on the website to showcase myself as the product, lots more design style posts on FB and Insta, more blogs and I have two couches stored away with the perfect fabric that need some Cinderella magic!