Bought my first home as a single 21-year-old. It was a foreclosure and needed a ton of work! Being young and on a budget, I did a lot of it myself. I really learned a lot during this process but also my love for ‘designing’ in just a little aspect. Of course, my style and knowledge would continue to evolve over the next few years.
Now engaged, we purchased a 1940’s ranch (another foreclosure) that again, needed a lot of work. We dove in for some renovations, but mostly aesthetic. Although it wasn’t my season for our ‘dream home’ yet, I enjoyed renovating and customizing this little ranch house into our home. Over the next few years, we embraced married life, added more real estate and a wedding barn venue into our portfolio, and became parents!
I attended a home show with my mother-in-law, were on the way home…we were inspired and dreamed up the home store! While talking on the way home – I was a real estate agent at the time – I immediately knew of the most perfect building for what I wanted! The building was 100+ years old, located downtown amongst a whole slew of old buildings (which have my heart). This building was huge! 7,000 square feet…so another venue was born along with the home store. The store was roughly 2,000 sq feet and about 1,000 sq ft workshop where we refinished furniture, plus a room for my son, Beau to hang out and double as an inventory unboxing space, and a little bitty office. At this time, the store staff was me, my mother-in-law, Shannon after she would finish her mail route, and my mom.
We added a couple of local boutiques into what was “Beau’s space” which became The Closet at Market 116. You could now shop for affordable clothing at the home store! We even added a part-time employee.
Over the next few years came lots of slow growth for the store, a new baby Dak, (and some heartache, learning my mom had cancer), and a couple of new employees.
Although an incredibly hard year personally (COVID and loss of my mom in May 2021); covid forced a temporary store closure; which was tough but really was a pivotal point in business that we gained so many shipping customers! We were able to start designing with local customers and shipping customers! At this point, our events were gaining some serious traction. Our Christmas Kickoff came that year (1st Friday in November)…and between having a new angel up there looking down on me, lots of focus on designing, and an amazing year of growth….our line to the event was down the street and wrapped around the corner. We had a line to the registers for 4 straight hours!
It was time! Trying to decide how to come up with a better solution for our events…my husband suggests we buy a new building! My only stipulation was that I STAY DOWNTOWN. As a downtown community, we had been progressing in revitalization…I had to stay where my heart was. The only thing larger was a FOURTEEN THOUSAND+ sq foot building that had been vacant for 38+ years!
In 58 days, we remodeled that 14,000 sq ft+ building, moved an entire store and 6 storage buildings full of inventory, and set up the new store in a weekend, to re-open in our new space on our 5th anniversary!
We’ve shipped to every state in the US and have had visitors from over >>> states! We ship packages out daily and I am loving all the design work that I am getting to do with customers! We have a team of 10 ladies now! It never seems like work, because I love what I do and I enjoy the team I have alongside me. I have no idea how we managed in 3,000 sq ft for so long! Our new space is full to the brim!
My boys Beau, age 7 has been “working” in the store since he was 3. He loves to give coffee samples and has his own “coffee stand”. He does all my events and is a great salesman for his Fireside Coffee.
Dak, age 4 now, of course, wanted his own little venture too, so he runs a candy shop during our store events. Dak also has all of the ladies wrapped around his finger…he’s cute and knows it! He hangs with me often up at the store and loves for us to “give him a job” like delivering inventory from the boxes to the girls up front or scanning barcodes.
I am thankful for everyone who has supported me in this journey- and encouraged me when running a small business has not always been easy. I have a great team around me. I couldn’t do any of it without the support from my husband – he is my biggest encourager, supporter, and reminds me that I can do anything I put my mind to!