This weekly blog is all about what it’s like to be a proud shoe shop owner.
This past week has reinforced how proud I really am and all because I chose to share more of my journey with my gorgeous customers.
I was super honest from the start of my business and ‘fessed up that I knew nothing about running a business. I was a newspaper journalist who became a PR manager who became a fundraising executive who then took a leap of faith and became a shoe shop owner at age 44. My only experience was having size 12 feet and knowing how hard it was to find shoes that fit.
In five hours one emotional Sunday I decided to change my career and five months later I did so, opening the doors to The Shoe Garden.
I think my customers have enjoyed coming along for the ride, appreciating my honesty and my genuine excitement as I watched my business grow and evolve.
It faltered for a while, too. And then I regrouped and started building it back up again.
The letter was about my plans for taking my small business to the next level, but not in the mainstream sense of opening more stores. It revealed how I cherished staying small and how I had, between bouts of excitement and, yes, nausea, ordered more shoes than ever before for the coming months.
I also have the confidence these days to insist to suppliers that the shoes be delivered to my schedule, not theirs. I want to ensure that I have gorgeous new choices every month of the year from now on.
The reactions have been inspiring, supportive, funny and beautiful.
Like Kellie who said: “Still trying to process how to tell the husband this simply equates to more shoes.”
And Linda who said: “Wow! Just wow! So exciting for all of us with long feet and a love of beautiful shoes.”
And Rachel who said: “Fortune favours the brave,” and added: “Thanks Carol. This grateful customer has your back as well.”
And Cathy who said: “Carol, you really are an inspiration and I congratulate you on your very clear vision for your truly wonderful shop.”
And Brooke who simply said: “I’m so ready”
I have printed out all these comments and stuck them to the walls at the back of the shop. They’re reminders to me that people care, that they love gorgeous long shoes as much as I do and they want me to succeed.
That’s pretty powerful stuff. Words have always been a comfort to me, as well as a source of inspiration, and these ones do just that.
Until next time
Carol & CCx