The evening of December 31st I opened a fortune cookie.
What is strangely coincidental was 1 hour prior to opening that cookie the Mr. and I officially sold our vintage shop The Old Flamingo.
You may have noticed that this blog has been pretty quiet for the past year. Turns out, running your own business takes you off the map.
Let me recap: May of 2016 my husband and I turned our hobby of flipping furniture in a full fledged business by purchasing The Old Flamingo vintage shop. The Flamingo was an existing shop that opened 2011 and was started by different owners who retired in 2016. We took it over and attempted to put our stamp on it. Picking was like treasure hunting for home decor gold for me. There was a thrill in the hunt. I liked to think of it as rescuing pieces that needed a new life in someone else’s home. Staging those pieces was like “playing house” for other people. Putting vignette’s together…it was all play. An hour felt like a minute and I loved it.
What I thought was going to be my career…well it just wasn’t.
(For now at least).
65% of owning the shop was pure fun. The other 35% nearly did me in.
Owning your own business it tough.
Not just tough, it’s dang hard.
I knew it would be a challenge but I could never achieve balance and became spread thin. You don’t realize how life changing owning a business is until you do it. Things in my life started to suffer…my family, my health, my spirituality, my psyche, my relationships, my sleep, my world. Trying to juggle store ownership with a husband who still had a full time other job, raising a family, managing a household, trying to take care of myself, trying to attend to the needs of everyone else, etc. always left me 10 steps behind. I felt like I was constantly trying to play catch up. Being open 7 days a week took a toll. Even when I wasn’t at the shop it took up mental space in my brain that never turned off.
You don’t own the business. The business owns you.
After 1 yr, 9 mo+ we just couldn’t continue on at that pace and knew we needed to let go.
Do I have regret?
I’ve decided that not all ventures end with you being soul mates. In the end I learned valuable lessons. Lessons I could have only learned from taking the leap.
Yes, I’m a hot mess coming out of it but I’m also a different person. Stronger. More focused on where my path lies.
If we didn’t do the business I would’ve have always wondered. I’m really good at would-a, could-a, should-a. But the lessons…you just can’t put a price tag on those. No doubt, I feel a twinge of anxiety looking back on the past almost 2 years and there will always be mixed emotions, mistakes, lessons, joy, friendships, creative exploration but in the end…
So, what’s next?
For now I need to do some yoga. Mediate. Take myself to an afternoon movie. Eat a salad. Clean my house. Pray. Re-group. Re-center. Plan my next move.
A step back is needed right now but I know myself.
My need to create is just as strong as my need for air. I want to get back to beautifying my world. I want to be a present mother. I want to cook healthy meals for my family. I want my home to be organized. I want to make my bed in the morning. I want to create beautiful and unique spaces. I want to be proactive and not reactive. I want a successful and financially rewarding career to work in unison with our lives not against it.
I took a detour. Made a huge leap. Got an education. Learned some lessons. Made some friends.
Got in touch with what I don’t want so I can hopefully be more in touch with what I do want.
“When one door closes, another one opens…”
Here we go.
The great news is that The Old Flamingo still lives on. New owners took over (one also named Michelle) who will make it even better. So continue to support small business. Enjoy the gem of Millcreek. Thank you to all who supported my husband and I while we were there. It was a fun and wild ride.