Lots of word here! Sorry i have been gone so long and then write this big ol book!
Well, after a long couple months of going back and forth, we finally decided to move my shop back home again. I have been renting a shop for the last year that was about 5 minutes away from my house and approx 1500 sq ft. The space was beyond awesome, but being away from home and paying rent sucks!
I have learned so much over the past year about what i thought i wanted for my business, and if i never made the decision to rent the shop last year i wouldn’t know what i know now. My plans have totally changed.
About a year and a half ago when i was working from my garage, i dreamed of having my own store one day. I wanted a quaint little shop filled with cute little unique decor items and packed with my painted furniture. I had plans of finding an old house on a busy street with a garage in the back and then converting the house to the store and using the garage as a work space. I would have some cute perky girls working in the store, while i was busy in the back painting away!
Thats what i thought i wanted and if i had that little store then i would be satisfied and life would be complete.
Not anymore… priorities change.
I found that with having my rented working shop that i was gone from home way more than planned (and that’s why i never get to post on this blog anymore!!). Although it was super close to home, it was just easier to stay there when say someone planned to pick up furniture at six – “well, im not going to leave @ 4 or 5 and then just come back again at six, i will just stay and work and then leave after the customer comes.” And then Zailee’s gymnastics was right next door to my shop, so i would drop her off and then just run to the shop and do one more quick thing and then before i knew it i would miss her whole practice which i told her i would watch. I also had tons of late night pick ups/drop offs. I know that i could for the most part control when i was “open”, but i needed to be accommodating to the customer. Most people work during the day and so i needed to be there at night for them. There was countless times when i had to leave dinner or when helping with homework or during my favorite show (how dare they!!) to meet a client, its just how it was.
I also thought that i could have more freedom in my shop, get more creative because i could spread out and leave projects here and there, but that didnt work out as planned either. I collected lots of crap/future projects that i needed to store, so that crap took up lots of room. Room is money. And this is a business, i am paying rent here, things need to come in and out as fast as possible to make a profit – otherwise this is just a very expensive building to house my hobby! I dont think my husband would go for that!
And the whole rent thing – ugghhh! I have never paid rent to anyone in my life! (except for a storage unit for my furniture). Me and my husband have always just bought our stuff outright, so we owned it in the end. Paying rent for a space that i dont get to call my own in the end just sucks! While we were considering coming back home or not, we looked into buying our own shop, but i couldnt get anything in my area for the price i wanted to pay, plus the pros of being at home outweighed the cons at this point. And saving the approx $8000 a year for paying rent or the mortgage on my own shop was a huge factor in our decision for what our plans for the future are. I would much rather put that 8K into our cabin.
But – with quitting my job almost 2 years ago to start my own business, having a shop that i controlled (for the most part) – i learned that i LOVE MY FREEDOM!! I dont have to ask anyone if i can take a couple hours off to go to the dentist or to my kids school, i dont have to tell someone that i am going to the bathroom so they know where i am at! I dont have to get permission to leave early or come in late because i have something else that i need to do – i am the boss here! If i want to leave in the middle of painting a dresser to buy that super cute pillow that i regretted not buying the day before, i can just lock up and leave! If me and my husband decide to take a few hours off and go furniture shopping, i can! If i dont want to work on the computer that night to keep track of business bills, i dont have too! The freedom of running my own working shop is awesome, but if i had my own store – i wouldnt get that- i would be working all the time to keep up with everything, the responsibility would be huge.
(Emptying out all my stuff)
And while i have my freedom now, i still work my ass off to get things done! Its not like i go shopping for hours and out to lunch with the girls everyday – i wish! I work more now than i have ever worked before.
Anyways, what i am trying to say for those that are still reading, is that the shop was awesome, but my priorities have completely changed this past year. I thought i wanted a shop where i could separate work from home, but thats what the shop became…work. Trying to keep up with everything by myself was very tiring. And i have done the whole “employee thing” – 3 times! Working by myself is how i want to work, for now anyways.
I ended up working at the shop way more than i wanted to keep up with paying rent and paying myself. Right now my priorities are my kids and being with them when they get home from school. And a year from now, it will be building our cabin as a family and then spending time there as a family instead of stressing about running a shop or even a store. I enjoy my freedom too much now! I learned that i dont want that responsibility anymore. I want my time back and i will get more of that when i am back home.
BUT – i still have to/want to work! We have moved out of the shop and moved all my furniture into a storage unit. I have partially set my shop up back in the garage and will be finishing it up this week. I will keep selling all my stuff online and taking custom orders. I get lots of emails on how i am set up, especially when it comes to paints booths/ventilating so i will be sure to post than when its done.
(Old shop all cleaned out and freshly painted for the new renters)
While there are def pros and cons to being at a shop vs. working at home, the pros for working at home right now outweigh the cons. I dont want to spend all my time working just to keep up with having more space. I quit my job to pursue my painting, and while my painting is a job, the demands of the shop made it become more like work.
For all of you small business owners of retail shops out there, i think you guys are awesome! I cant even imagine the work that goes into having a retail business! I love all the cute little shops filled with unique items, and thats def what inspired me in the 1st place to want my own store. And who knows, i may change my mind again over the next year!