In January 2020 we bought a store. Didn't rent one, oh no we thought that wasn't being fiscally responsible, we B.O.U.G.H.T. a store.
A year after starting Thatcher Ellery online to put my toe in the water I came to accept that people need to feel a personal connection with the things they bring into their home and give as gifts, just as I do.
Let me back up. I have long believed that shopping should be a (positive) experience and you should feel a connection to the people and places you shop from. For example; when we moved back to New England after sixteen years in...well...anything but New England, most of my childhood haunts were still up and running. I felt extreme comfort in that. There is something to be learned from every successful and unsuccessful business, especially these days. I notice everything while in a store and take scrupulous notes and file under the "When I have my own store" tab.
I believe in complimenting, not competing with my soon to be small business peers. If we are doing what we do well, unique to us, we all have a place. Yesterday I cancelled an order for products I love simply because a store less than a mile away already carries them. With respect to her, finding things that are unique to me benefits us both. It goes back to the movie Miracle on 34th Street, the original with Natalie Wood of course. Kris Kringle (Santa) sends parents to the competition to get the perfect gift for their children when his store doesn't have the exact gift their child is asking for. Spoiler alert, he gets fired for this, but he is triumphant in many ways in the end.
So, back to reality. We own the building. A sad building (sorry Old Girl), home to many businesses since her birth in 1940, including a real estate office and a massage "spa". It is located in the historic district in Sandwich, and to be honest, the location is amazing. When Covid shut everything down a year ago, so did I. I avoided the store and Sandwich so I wouldn't have to see her. My dream of opening Memorial Day weekend, the start of summer, was squashed like a Greenhead on a hot August day. Instead I enjoyed being home, on the Cape with my kids, Andrew and the dogs. Tiller was going through chemo and we gave him the best last few months of his life on the beaches of the Cape.
So, here we are today, one year later. The kids are navigating life the best they can, we have a new puppy, Halyard, and we are refocused on getting the store open. We are still in the process of requesting permits and variances, getting quotes, scheduling contractors and ordering building supplies (Yes my new Sandwich friends, we are replacing the purple doors and ugly windows. You're welcome). What should have been a Memorial Day 2020 opening, and then a Memorial Day 2021 opening has turned into "It'll happen when it happens" mindset. For all of you that have been so kind and generous in supporting me and Thatcher Ellery and received a note expressing how excited I am to see you this Spring, and then Summer, let me say, whenever I actually do get to have you visit me, in my new store, it will be by far sweeter than if everything had gone according to plan. This will explain why I will most likely jump up and down with joy when you finally walk through that shiny, new (black) door.