I'm hit with comments on a weekly basis of how awesome it must be to own my own boutique... My honest answer: Yes and no. The perks are amazing. The stress is sometimes unbearable.
The Good: I am spoiled by a 2,700 sq ft closet at my disposal. I find myself grabbing tops and dresses and jewelry, for last minute events or even just something new to wear tomorrow and I do it like it’s the norm. I don't always appreciate the fact that not everyone has this luxury. I don't have to worry about whipping out my credit card or cash; I don't have to worry about getting that bill in the mail or spending my grocery money on clothes and shoes.
The Fabulous: I get to play dress up every day with customers and friends. I choose styles for the store that girls will be so thrilled to come in and admire. I buy a dress that some lucky lady will be wearing the day her boyfriend gets down on one knee. The perfect dress that she'll wear at her rehearsal dinner. An outfit for family photos that will last forever. That is an amazing thought to me. These items may hold a really special place in someone's heart or photographic memory forever. The fact that someone will spend their hard earned money (or their husband or dads) on something that I have chosen. And if it makes them happy, then I'm happy. If they feel beautiful and fabulous then I've made some tiny contribution to their day or their week.
Then there is the perk of meeting new people on a daily basis or seeing familiar faces and catching up on their job or kids, even their dog. I'm a people person and I've been told I can talk to a wall. So this aspect of my career suits me perfectly!
And yet another bonus of owning Teal would be traveling to market. I pray every time I get on that plane that my creativity and talents won't fail me now. I search and dig and pillage and ponder through thousands of items to find something for everyone. It's the ultimate shopping spree! And then it's like Christmas morning when Mr. UPS man delivers boxes and boxes of swanky new digs!!
Now comes the Bad: Employees. You win some, you lose some. Some get married and move away, some get pregnant and stay home to raise their precious babies (I still miss Mary Claire!), some leave to follow a different career path and some just leave without warning. That stings. I've been disappointed and hurt and I've lost customers because of a few.
But I've had so many adorable girls that I began a lifelong friendship with and even consider them family. I've been so proud and honored to have them on my team. The hard part is that you just never know until you put your heart out there and give them a chance. I have a family of my own now and being at the store 24/7 isn't always an option. So I have to put my first baby, Teal, in someone else's hands and it is so hard.
And then there is the fact that these swanky girls depend on ME! I have to be able to pay their paycheck so they can pay their rent and their bills. Some livelihoods depend on me. It definitely keeps me up at night. That and the whole legality of owning your own business, contracts, leases, State laws and taxes, computer issues, invoices, advertising, marketing, yada yada. I just wanted to sell cute clothes! If only it were that simple.
But really, it's the job I was meant to have. The good days outweigh the bad and the reward is far greater than the stresses. I've been in business 7 years this month (so hard to believe) and it keeps getting better every day!! Teal is doing so great and we have so many amazing things on the horizon, I look forward to what the next day will hold. Stay tuned...