I looked down this morning as I was walking into the store… not only was I admiring these new shoes we just got in, but I was reminded about why I keep pushing and hustling this small town dream of mine.
Owning a brick and mortar store is extremely hard. If you want the play-by-play I can sit you down and school you on why you probably don’t want to go down this road and save you a lot of heartache and headaches.
I can also tell you about the rewarding things that come along… like girls rolling in last minute and need a concert tee, or a precious girl coming in to get an outfit for a date. I love helping those mommas needing last minute birthday gift. I love creating custom shirts for a momma needing to wear to her son's baseball game, the Yearbook staff, or another fellow business.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the fact that I can roll out of bed and take my baby to work. We get to laugh, play, watch all the Princess Sofia and Judge Judy we want.
We do this though all while praying for customers to come in.
While holding my own in town; it has become apparent now more than ever, if I want to grow… I must grow online. There is only so much I can do (by myself) to push and promote folks to shop local.
If you follow the headlines, you hear more and more of businesses closing their doors. In fact, in my shopping center alone there are two spots available for rent; and have been for the entire 4 years I've been open. There is constant turn over in businesses trying to "make it work" and still afford the 1300 rent in an older crappy building. However, there will never “not be a need” for specialty shops in small towns. I just do not believe that. It will always be our bread and butter and we will always nurture that.
However, it is time for us grow. If we want to continue to flourish, it must be online to a bigger audience. So, you'll see a lot more of... me. Me pushing the products I believe in. Me pushing our custom apparel. Me, pushing our gorgeous new arrivals that are high quality and selected with lots of love and research. The thought of "me" pushing makes me want to puke because I truly have a love/hate relationship with putting myself out there. However, I know I can do this. More videos, more posts, more events, more everything. More love.
Its really unfortunate the way social media has changed their algorithms and methods -which once was so so easy to be heard as a small business online, it now is almost impossible without spending a small fortune in facebook ads. Or impossible, to be "heard" if facebook doesn't think your posts are engaging. You must have perfectly curated images with these white backgrounds and insanely bright light that is almost blinding. Who in the hell lives like that? No one! Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. Creating captions are mundane and such a chore, you almost would rather not post at all. Seriously, I've been on facebook since 2006 and I'd much rather go back to a time when things were simpler and not fake. I'm over it. I miss the days when it was "Ashton is....." (fill in the blank here.) Original Facebook OG's will know what I'm talking about there....
So if you see me on the struggle bus over here, just know I'm trying to attempt that online and brick and mortar mountain. Authentically. I'm worn out already, BUT rejuvenated and motivated to tackle it. I've been educating myself (and still learning everyday) the tricks of the trade. You'll see more transparent posts about the struggle bus and the rewards and goodies along the ride -while we flourish!
I'm in awe from my other fellow women entrepreneurs weathering their personal/ professional storms while killing it in sales. I'm cheering you on. Maybe you don't own a business but I'm cheering you on if you are just trying to climb up that work ladder. I'm cheering you on ladies that get to stay at home and raise those beautiful babies. I'm cheering you on women who work 3 jobs while trying to save for school. Let's cheer us all on; because there is a prize down the end of this road we're all walking down I just know it. No matter what struggle you trying to overcome... work related or not, I'm cheering you on! It just takes sometimes a simple reminder when you're walking in the door...
By the way if you need a pair of comfortable shoes I highly recommend these!