The Right Timing
I sounded like a broken record. It got to the point where I started to get tired of hearing myself say the same thing over and over. "I want to open up a shop and be my own boss." My goal was to do it before I turned 30, but almost five years past that deadline, hope was scarce.
When April's Bloom was born in 2016, time only allowed for business to be operated online. The audience quickly grew and the small community that supported the brand was loyal and consistent. I started to see the true potential of the brand and at that point I started to think of expansion. In 2017 I was lucky enough to be one of the many exhibitors at the Children's Club show at the Javits Center in NYC. The brand was well received and interest started to come in from retailers. Though I was excited, fear started to set in. Expanding meant more time, more money, a bigger collection, and I started to slowly walk away from the idea. I convinced myself that small was good and manageable, so why expand?
At the show, I also met the owner of the manufacturing company in India where we now produce from. Our partnership started soon after we met; our standards were a match. Production was small (in comparison to a department store), and it was exclusive to April's Bloom online.
Towards the end of 2017, I again started to flirt with the idea of opening up a shop where we could sell the brand and expand to other categories as well. My heart was set on a specific location in my town. The location was not exactly what in real estate terms you would call "a heavy foot traffic area", but that did not stop me from imagining how I would set it up and the feeling of joy it would bring me to walk in to my shop every day and connect with different people. The set up, the love, the joy that I felt would exude from the space, making it a destination; a shop you wanted to go visit because the peace and joy felt was just magnetic. In my head and heart the space was perfect. I went as far as starting a Pinterest board of inspiration named "April's Bloom storefront".
I got the courage to ask about the space, which at the time was available, but once again I did not follow up because the idea became too real. By the time I snapped out of it the space was already rented out.
Last month, before deciding to look around the Montclair area, I first inquired about the original space; enough time had passed I thought, so I'd check one last time. I learned that it was under a three year contract and so I had no choice but to start my search elsewhere.
I quickly found a nice space in Montclair on Valley Road, but the rental agreement was a bit too serious, and the landlord was not budging, so I had to walk away. A few days later the listing agent called me to tell me that the landlord had a change of heart and was open to being more flexible. She asked me to present her with my proposal before finalizing.
As I'm in the middle of getting my proposal together, I get a call. "Hey Liz, it's Jim. I'm calling in regards to the retail space you've been interested in for the past two years. The renter broke her lease, and it's free now. Are you still interested?"
The lesson that day was clear. That which is meant for you will find its way back when the timing is right; when you are truly and finally ready.
As circumstances continue to change, I will continue to stay open and follow the path in which life is pushing me towards. I am no longer resisting change, as I am rather grateful for the twists and turns this journey has taken me on. Slowly but surely I'm learning a great lesson; the more open I am to life, the more opportunities life brings my way. Opportunities that are aligned with that which truly brings me joy.
While the space needs a lot of work, the passion, desire and motivation is more than ample to bring the vision to life.
Fear can choose to join the ride, but this time the bus will not stop.