Friday, July 2, 2010

long story short

So, I've been going back and forth about when the right time would be to post this, and you know, I'm just going to go for it. I thought if I posted it too early I'd do nothing more than add more grief to my day, but if I waited too long I might pass up an opportunity that might make this whole thing a little bit easier to swallow. So here goes...

My lease here at the shop is up on March 31st of 2011 and I'm not re-signing. There, it's out. The Paper Sparrow will close by April 1st at the very latest.

This little shop was such a delight to run and maintain over the last three years and I'm so glad I actually took the plunge and dove in head first. I knew nothing about running a business before I first opened my doors, and honestly, I can't say that I know everything there is to know about running a business now. But I've learned so much, met a ton of amazing people and experienced something that many people have told me they've always wanted to do but never had the guts. That said, if you're considering opening a business and don't think you can do it or don't know where to begin, get those wheels rolling. You CAN do it! If you can balance a checkbook, you can run a business.

Over the past two and a half years I've grown a bit weary of being here. When I first opened my doors the economy was in full swing and people were out and spending money left and right. Everything ran smoothly and the future looked bright. Then the economy took a nosedive and people were afraid to spend a cent, and yet somehow we still persevered. Locals were more than willing to spend their hard earned money in Troy, especially in our little store here, and I can't thank everyone enough for supporting us, even when your wallet contained nothing but cobwebs. Yes, there's always stress in owning a new business. Yes, there are always hurdles to overcome to keep moving. And yes, there have been way more good times here than bad. But I'm burned out and I'm looking to get out before I simply hate this whole thing. Plus, closing means a part time job for me and a little money in my pocket to help pay the mortgage...this is a good thing. Poor Ben has been supporting me and Olive for close to three years now and he's working his tail off on his own. I want to help out (I have a few plans up my sleeve and I'll fill you in on those soon enough). We all know that you don't make any money in your first three years of business, so I'm basically working for free here. I'm not complaining, it's worth it. I'm just ready to try something new.

So that puts me right here, right now. I wasted ten years of my life working for Verizon and hating everything about the job, my life, my attitude. I was miserable. And when I left I promised myself that I'd keep moving forward and never let a job that made me unhappy hold me back. I'm starting to get that same day-to-day blah feeling all over again and I refuse to let that happen here. So I'm calling it quits. I know this is going to upset a lot of people, and I know that bailing on a community that is struggling so hard to pull itself up doesn't help things, but this is the best thing I can do for myself right now. Does that make sense? I feel selfish even writing that out.

I'm fully prepared to hear all about how I'm making a mistake, or maybe making a smart move, or just being an asshole. I've heard it all before when I left my job with corporate America, and I'm braced and ready to deal with it all over again. Just please understand that this is something I not only have to do, but I want to do.

That said, I'm in a position where I'm willing to sell this business. The name, the logo, the wholesale and resale contacts, the names of consignors willing to stay here under new management, the merchandise, etc. I'm willing to talk with serious buyers as candidly as I possibly can. I'll be totally honest with you when you ask me questions about the good, the bad and the ugly. If I don't find the right opportunity to sell, you'll see some pretty serious in-store sales going on between January and March, and a kick-ass "Goodbye Troy" party on our last Troy Night Out. Stay tuned, folks. It's going to be a bumpy ride. And please be patient with me because this project was my baby for three years and it's going to be hard to let it go. With eight months left to go, it's starting to hit me.

For questions or inquiries about the sale of the business, please contact me at


Amanda said...

As someone who struggled for years to make a name myself in a business that was saturated with people trying to do things cheaply instead of doing things right... and also as someone who consigned with you, I know how hard this decision must have been. I'm sure you went back and forth with it... knowing in the back of your head that it was the right decision, and knowing that you would be happier on the other side.

I wish you nothing but the best Kate... and I really hope you find someone who wants to take it over!

Lemongrass Love said...

Hey! I'm sorry I've been out of the loop lately but I'm glad to hear/read that you've made a decision on your shop. I've been there and can totally relate so please no that you are not alone and that you are super cool whether you have a store or not!