Sweet Alexia, my new little niece. She was always our dream--we just didn't know her yet.
This blog is not only about my shop, The Blissful Home--what's new, what's inspiring us, where we're headed--but it's also about my journey as a shop owner. As many of you know, it's been about fifteen months since I left a very fulfilling career as a high school English teacher (a career I worked and prepared very earnestly for, then practiced for four years) and threw myself headlong into the dream of a lifetime: creating my own business. At the age of twenty-seven (when I opened my first shop), I didn't know what I didn't know (as Dr. Phil says), but I did know that something was propelling me forward into creating and defining my own life's work on my own timetable and on my own terms. The seed of my entrepreneurial dream grew into a brick-and-mortar boutique filled with casual and remarkable French and European-inspired furnishings and gifts, located in a place I never dreamed I'd return to: my hometown of Canton, Ohio. And here I am today, here we are, growing our customer base, thriving, and learning so much.
While I delight in and will continue to delight in using this blog as an online presence for my customers, many of whom check in regularly to see photos of new merchandise, read about our trips to Market, learn about upcoming events at The Blissful, and divine the inspiration behind our latest collections, I have a fresh new purpose in mind for this blog as well. If, as we go down the road, I feel the need to branch some of my posts off into a second blog, I will, while maintaining this first, original one.
So here's the new thing blooming inside me: I have a desire to dialogue with other women (and men, for that matter!) who are interested in launching or have already launched their own creative businesses. Whether that be shop owning, web design, jewelry making, freelance writing, or something else entirely, I want to talk about issues related to being an entrepreneur, what I define as creating a life's work for onesself by doing something in a way that has never been done before. I want to gather the insight of other people doing what I do--or who would like to be doing what I do. These particular posts will by no means be an "advice forum" of any sort--my name is Abby, not 'Dear Abby', after all. Rather, I will frame them as reflections of one young woman who is shaping her dream into something pretty exciting, and doing it with the help and support of many, many other people, not the least of whom are my wonderful customers. In fact, I will focus much less (if at all) on the what and the how of starting your own business. I will probably focus more on the why and the who--why do we choose entrepreneurship and who are we when we choose it? Along the way, I will probably ask more questions than I will provide answers. Sometimes just having the conversation with others who are engaged in the process is as valuable as anything else. But here's one thing you should know: I am a very positive person and almost refuse to focus for any considerable length of time on negativity. Yes, stresses and bad days are a part of life, a part of retailing, and certainly a part of owning your own business. I'm no Pollyanna wearing rose-colored glasses, but I am a bouncer. No matter what happens, I bounce back with hope and optimism. So there will be no wallowing around here.
Thank for you reading along. I welcome and invite you to post comments anytime.
Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, including those of us for whom our creative endeavors are our little babies (at least for the time being). To everyone out there giving life to your dreams today, I say cheers.