Today I witnessed generosity. Today I witnessed genuine friendship. Today I became acutely aware of the lives we touch by our words, our thoughts and our deeds. And I’m so thankful, and so very grateful.
When I opened my business five years ago, I barely had a business plan. I certainly had no financing, no business loan and no real idea about small businesses and what it takes to succeed. But all of that was learned in time. What I never anticipated, never expected, was the reward, far greater than monetary. That of the heart.
At first, a few friends and family trickled in, to see the store. After a few months, and some sighs of relief that I hadn’t caved, a few more friends, friends of friends, and then passers by. Eventually word of mouth became my friend, and my customers grew as did my inventory.
And then one Saturday, a woman walked in, who I hadn’t seen in a while, and I ran to hug her upon opening the door. She was a customer. A woman I’d never known before opening my store, I now greeted with an enthusiastic, “Oh my gosh! It is so good to see you!” and after she left, someone had asked how I knew her…and I realized, it was from the store. She was a customer.
Over the past five years, I have met some truly amazing women; women that I never would have met otherwise. These women became more than shoppers. The more they came in, the more I learned about them, their stories: Cancer survivors, survivors of abuse. Teachers. Avid Mickey Mouse enthusiasts. Lovers of the color purple. Customers who shared my love of all things fashion.
Through my fundraising events, I met a beautiful little boy with a rare disease, kinder and more thoughtful than any I’d known. I met a daughter who fought tirelessly to find a cure for ALZ, a disease to which her mother succumbed.
I’ve met husbands who’ve come in because they acknowledge it’s their wives addiction, and I’m always impressed with their selections.
But more than all this, I’ve felt an overwhelming and heartfelt desire from my customers for my little boutique to not just survive, but thrive. They’ve become friends, offering to run errands when my kids are sick. They’ve called, messaged and texted when my Nana passed and I was preparing to write the Remembrance. All offering encouragement, love and kindness.
I never anticipated this little boutique, this little idea of mine to offer women a place to come, to shop, to walk out feeling better than they arrived, would give something to me far greater.
So to you, the ones who’ve walked through my door – whether you purchased something or not. I want you to know that I appreciate you. I will continue to offer my services, my time, (and yes, my amazing fashions!) for as long as you’ll have me.
Thank you. I know there are countless options for you. But when you walk through my door, my smile is genuine. My goal is to make you feel beautiful. My goal is to give you a pleasant environment where you can take your time, have a cup of coffee or tea, listen to some tunes from my ever-growing playlist. And whether you walk out with one-thing or nothing, I am thankful for the visit.