A common question I’m asked is: when are you going to open another Shoe Garden…
- on the northside
- on the Gold Coast
- at Logan
- in north Queensland
- insert a wide variety of geographic options here! 🙂
To be truthful, I’ve always felt a bit awkward at this point.
Because, you see, I don’t want to.
It may sound strange but I didn’t start this journey to build an empire. Far from it. I wanted to reclaim my life, to be happy at work, to earn money and give something back, and create something that is completely, utterly, wonderfully, exclusively my own.
It’s that last point that is perhaps the most important reason.
The Shoe Garden is my creation and every day, I love coming to work with CC and welcoming my gorgeous customers and helping them to find gorgeous shoes. The environment they come in to, the service they receive, the website they visit to shop online, the range of shoes they choose from, the ongoing contact they have … I do it all, am responsible for it all and I love it!
I think a lot of this stems from my previous professions where, as a journalist, I was always the impartial observer; as a PR manager, I was the face and voice of my organisation and my CEO; and as a Fundraising manager, I was the face and voice of my organisation, my CEO and the people my charity was there to support.
I was never me.
Of course it sounds good … open another Shoe Garden and double my profits and success. Mmmmm. I don’t think it’s that easy and I think I will also double my stress and, all of sudden, CC and I lose our place on the front desk, happy and ready to greet our gorgeous customers.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people lately in retail, some who are very successful and say that they miss “the good ol days” before they expanded and grew. If they could go back, they would. They miss why they started the business in the first place: the customer interaction, personally showcasing and representing their brand rather than outsourcing that to others, and being in the thick of it.
I think it’s easier for me as I started this journey when I was 44. I had already been the journalist who then became the editor, the PR officer who then became the manager and the fundraising officer who then became the senior executive. I don’t have anything to prove anymore.
I relish being up front and personal. I love it that every time a customer visits The Shoe Garden, CC and I are here waiting for them. I love checking my online orders late at night and seeing an order and emailing confirmation straight away as I’m so excited. I even love cleaning the shelves and mopping the floors because then I can sit back and admire how gorgeous it all looks.
I guess, never say never. But opening more Shoe Gardens is not on my horizon.
What is are plans and goals and dreams to be even better and bigger with more customers and finding more gorgeous shoes and I have lots of exciting ideas for the future … all delivered from the one location where you will always find CC and myself.
That’s the power of one … or one plus her darling dog!
Until next time, Carol & CC