The Big Cost of Being Small

Last month, my dreams came true. I found my forever home for my boutique. A gorgeous 1860 square foot, high ceiling, all window-front with brick exterior storefront. I loved it. And being slightly impulsive, excitable and overly enthusiastic, I signed my 5-year lease with glee. And then I got the bill.

Well, not “bill” per se, more like “bills” – there was the Certificate of Occupancy fee, the Sign Permit fee, the new signage, because certainly, the prior four signs wouldn’t fit the new location. And hey, what’s another $600 anyway? Oh, and then the new fixtures; tables, ottomans, love seats and over-sized chairs.  There’s the cost of slat-wall, added inventory to fill the space, UHaul rental. Am I forgetting anything? Well, besides the electric, gas & phone, what else is there?

Oh, first, last and security. Yah, that stings. But no…that’s not it. There’s something else. Oh yes, the oil bill.

It couldn’t be that bad, right? I mean, I’m only open Wednesday through Saturday. It can’t be too much, right? I mean, right?

Well, today, after opening the bill, I nearly threw up. Nearly. I had a sudden feeling of buyers remorse. “What have I done?” I can’t afford this. This is 1/2 my rent! Is this even possible? I felt panic starting to set in. I felt a cold sweat coming on. What am I gonna do? Is this how much it’s gonna be every month? Holy hell, that’s a lot of money!

I immediately called my mom, as if she would somehow make it all go away like she did when I was a kid. I called my husband – like what was he going to do about it? I needed validation. I needed someone to tell me it must have been a mistake.

But alas, it was no mistake. It is indeed the cost of doing business. I wanted a big space. I wanted hardwood floors and windows, and high ceilings. I wanted it all…and I got it all, and the bills that go with it.

So now that the initial shock has worn off, I will do what I do best. I will look at the positive, be a “glass half-full” kind of gal. I will not let this setback stop me from thoroughly enjoying this beautiful space that I’ve created for my customers.

I will work harder. I will offer more events. I will save every penny.

And I will wear a sweater.




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