Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another Chapter

It is such a relief to finally be able to answer the question "What are you going to do now that you are closing your store?" with something resembling a plan for the future. I must admit that it is rewarding to know that your friends are concerned for your future and well-being. Some of my dearest friends are also my greatest customers and they have been on a crusade to find a great location for my "next store." It took a long while for me to convince them that I wasn't looking for another location - that there wasn't going to be a "store" the next time around.

I must confess that once retail is in your blood, it is no easy feat to just turn and walk away. Not only is it not easy, I suspect that it is impossible. So with that in mind, I just kept drifting towards that deadline when I had to have the premises vacated and all the utilities and communications services terminated. It is a funny thing, but the greatest things to come my way have always been "out of the blue" and not something that I set out to find. And so it was that I came upon this next adventure.

As I was leaving Whole Foods one afternoon I picked up one of the local social interest publications and started reading through it. I happened upon an article about a venture that was new on the horizon - a marketplace opening up in a different area of Baton Rouge. Hmm... this could be interesting. The article described the new marketplace and then went on the discuss the concept and the fact that the owner was calling for local vendors and retailers to join. Might this be the answer to my questions of what I would be doing and how and where? After a few emails and phone conversations and site visits I was sure this was something worth the effort! And so, ....

New Orleans At Home is moving into My Favorite Things Marketplace! I will have a presence among many and varied vendors and retailers in this new space. The location is perfect for it is in an under-serviced area of our city that has a population with the needs and the ability to buy what we are presenting. It will be exciting for many reasons, not the least of which is that I will be able to still do all those things that I have loved about being in retail. And I will no longer have to deal with all those things which I liked least about being in retail! Sometimes things just work out that way - not often, but sometimes.

So I am now in the process of closing down my store. Each day that I break down another display I remember how much I loved making this place what it is today. There is just some form of magic in building a display that showcases a product in a way that mimics art and enables a potential buyer to see this same item being used in their home to add to their enjoyment. Retail sales is not so much about selling something to someone, but rather in showing them a product and the many ways in which it can enhance their everyday.

By the end of 2009 I shall have closed and locked the door for the last time. I will say good-bye to Mid City Baton Rouge and the many friends I have made there. I will hope to see them again in our new location where we can visit and catch up on all that is happening during the holidays and look toward the new year with hope and best wishes.

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