In truth, I never left - but it was a wonderful feeling to put that OPEN flag out this week and welcome shoppers back inside the store. How've you been? This has been a TIME. A super strange, incredibly stressful time; and we're really not out of the woods yet, are we? Catching up with some of you this week has been happy, but wow - you've had a hard few months too.
I wanted to update you on how the shop fared during this shutdown, since so many of you were kind enough to read and reach out following my earlier rant. Folks, as a business owner this was tough. I'll give you the highlights, and we did comparatively well (thanks entirely to this community).
Goodness, I'm terrible about keeping this blog current. It's been a minute, and because I'm so lax in blogging - I'll assume this is lightly read and safe to have a rant.
I don't do rants - in public, and especially not in my business.
This...Is.. A really strange, and scary and surreal time. We're afraid to touch the mail. We're afraid to grocery shop. Our kids are homeschooling. Our businesses are shuttered. Restaurants are delivering cocktails in buckets (this is actually a silver lining.) There are latex gloves strewn in parking lots and we don't even look twice. It's so freaking weird and overwhelming.
You never really know what your neighbors are up to, do you? I've known the Parker family for most of my life and until I read an article in the Bordentown Current last year I had no idea they were doing some incredibly impactful work in their spare time.
Bordentown resident, Jim Parker is a documentary film maker and while visiting Uganda, he was moved by the beauty of the country and the warm welcome he was given by the residents who were living in truly extreme poverty. HIV/AIDS has created a generation of orphans in Uganda, and many households are run by children. These children won't realize the hopes they have for their future without outside help. Too often, monies donated to charity don't make it to those who need it so desperately - the Parker Mother & Child Foundation was started as a way to fill the gap between regulated government assistance and the actual needs of the...
If the shop is open, there's a pretty good chance I'm working in it. In between stocking, ordering, marketing, and cleaning - I get to talk to my super cool neighbors and customers. There are a couple of questions I get asked a lot:
1. Is this candy / chocolate bar / truffle good? Answer - yes. I've tried them all.
2. What is that awesome smell? Answer - It isn't me...I wish! The soaps and bath bombs in here blend together in the best way possible and I agree, it is lovely.
3. Where is the pilates studio? Answer - it is down the hall, and thank goodness for it, because see my answer to question 1.
4. Why is (fill in the blank) so expensive?
When I started this project in April last year, I wasn't sure what to expect. I want to do some serious good with this business, and I know we'll get there - but to have something to actually give after just 8 months is pretty encouraging!
The goal was to have something, anything, to donate to the local and international charities I chose for 2015: The Friends of the Ecological Schoolyard Fund for Clara Barton Elementary School and UNICEF. 10% of our profit was promised, BUT since most businesses aren't profitable their first year (this one included...apologies to my long suffering husband) I switched that to...
This year is wrapping up, and I'm guessing most of you are taking a minute to think about what worked, what didn't and what you want to make of 2016. Samesies over here! By the way, standing in line at Trader Joes during lunchtime is great way to get in a moment of reflection. It's also a great way to impulse buy jelly beans but we're talking about reflection here.
Change. 2015 was a year of change for me - and I'm happy to report - some growth and a little progress! Part of this wrap up I'm doing is diving into an excel spreadsheet my math whiz of a baby sister created for me and tallying up what I get to donate at the end of the month! The shop sells lots of products that do good work (fair trade cooperatives, underemployed women, musicians in New Orleans) but I also committed to donating 10% of my profits to the Ecological Playground at Clara Barton School and Unicef in 2015. With your support in shopping for good and those beautiful PLAY bracelets we have actual some...