Dirty and Blessed...A Shopkeeper's Life
At least once a week here at the shop, a wonderful customer or two will wander back into my work area in the warehouse and tell me, while looking around in wonder, that I have the coolest job ever.
Lila the Sideboard, awaiting paint.
The customer is always right...right?
I do have the coolest job. I LOVE it. I am grossly blessed to the point it’s truly frightening. I own a vintage and painted furniture shop called Persnickety’s Awesomeness Emporium, and dude…it is fun here.
Every hour is happy hour!
I get to work with my amazing mom most days of the week.
We have THE BEST customers, the most amazing and talented contributing designers…everyone is family and our family is the raddest! I adore them all! I haven’t the first clue how I bumbled my way into this kind of luck, but lucky and grateful I am.
That said, this is work. As in manual labor. Dirty work.
I am not wearing a sundress, perfectly coiffed hair blowing in a light breeze, leisurely painting priceless furniture in a lush field of free (yet high quality) paint brushes.
Nor do I have a slightly stubbled Gilles Marini body double on hand to wordlessly move all of those heavy pieces of priceless furniture while I sit back, perfectly pedicured feet upon the counter.
Here’s the reality the starry eyed customer may not know:
Paint, brushes, waxes, knobs...they're expensive, yo!
I am always, always, covered in dirt and paint.
There’s unladylike sweating, a lot of it.
Some extremely unladylike swearing (caused by splinters, fingers nearly broken off by rogue cabinet doors, unexpected spider appearances, project mishaps).
Cuckoo crazy deadlines that I can’t even blame on an unrelenting boss (since the unrelenting boss is just me...well, me and the bills).
So. Much. Dirt.
Paint on every article of clothing I own. (Have I mentioned I look like Pigpen every single day?)
Not nearly enough time in the day or days of the week and no real time off. Tears, sometimes. Stress, usually. No social life.
I eat entirely too many meals from the parking lot taco truck.
My ruined lower back is not unlike that of an 87 year old arthritic woman and I am certain we take the same nerve pain meds. And I am always poor, because I am a startup and every penny goes back into the business. If my hair is actually brushed don't ask when my last shower was.
You know what, though?
I love every minute of it. I couldn't live without it.
I wouldn’t change one single thing. Except...maybe...the shop's location. But, hey, why be like everybody else (have I mentioned we are betwixt a tattoo shop and a smoke shop...oh I haven't...weird)? So I like a challenge, whatev.
There are folks out there with brands much bigger and talent much deeper, those that have been doing this much longer, with amazing locations and oodles of hard earned cash.
They probably started not far from where I am. A place called Scratch.
I see what they have done, and I see what I have done differently, because I like different, and I am different.
To those that are better than me (and the numbers are many): I don't hate, I congratulate!
I am glad they are out there and am honest to goodness happy for their successes.
It gives us little guys something to shoot for someday.
In the meantime, there is work to do.
And...it's worth it.
Because every time someone enjoys something I have painted, or buys a piece that they like so much they choose to showcase it in their home...there are no words for what an honor that is.
Simone the Sideboard...all tarted up!
Every person that has walked through this door and shared a laugh, some of their daily struggle, takes a class, becomes a friend, or emails just to say hi graces my life with more riches than any amount of money I could ever make.
Our Drab to Fab Painting Class...these ladies rule!
Each day I get to work to work with my mom, who makes me laugh with her brand of under the radar hilarity, touches my heart with her hard work and thoughtfulness, and touches a nerve every time she tries to talk me out of painting something wood ("Mom! THAT'S WHAT WE DO HERE!")....
Ma and Me
...I know I couldn't be more tired.
Or more loved.
And that's the real life of a shopkeeper. Dirty and blessed. :)
Thank you to the marvelous maven of Holy Craft, Rachel, for having me and thank you all for reading!