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Monday, May 17, 2010

The Monster Under The Bed

"Raiff turn your light off, and go to sleep. It's bedtime."
"No, mommy, I'm scared."
"Scared of what?"
"The monster under the bed."

I looked into those big brown eyes and saw fear, real and deep. No amount of softly spoken encouragements could convince my three year old that there was no monster under the bed. Where do kids get this idea? Finally, clinging tightly to my neck, together we crawled out of bed, and looked at the dark beneath. I shined the flashlight all around, and turned on every light, and with trepidation, he opened his eyes and saw that there really wasn't a monster lurking there, just a few legos, a pair or shoes, and a candy wrapper.

We all have that monster under the bed; that thing that frightens us beyond all reason. The thing we're simply too scared to even look at. For me, it was the thought of loosing my business. When we first started, the only goal was to be able to earn enough money to stay home with the kids. But, as the kids grew, so did the business, the business became our sole source of income. Everything we had was tied to the business, and the thought of all of those uncontrollable factors that could lead to the company's immediate demise, robbed me of my peace. I lay awake at night, wondering "what if". There are literally tens of thousands of ways I could loose everything and I'd be powerless to stop it. It was a thought so frightening, a pressure so great, I simply could not bare it. I ran myself ragged trying to control those uncontrollable things. Finally, I reached my breaking point, and realized I could not live with that level of fear and stress any longer. So, slowly, and with trepidation, I faced that big, scary thought. If I lost everything I owned, everything I worked for and sacrificed for, what then? I think it's a question every entrepreneur needs to ask themselves, and then be able to live with the answer. Because risk is everywhere. If I lost everything, what would be left? I'd still have my loving husband, and beautiful boys, and my good looks, so hey, we'd just do something else. Maybe we'd rent an old falling down barn somewhere, and lovingly bring it back to life. Maybe we'd home school and the kids and I will grow even closer. Maybe I'd create a garden and eat healthier than ever before. I couldn't see what our world would look like, but I could see that as long as I had my family, I couldn't really loose anything, because they were my everything. All else are simply details, and details can be re worked, new dreams dreamt. So, when I turned on the light, and looked under the bed, there was no monster after all.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Security?

These are scary times. The world is changing so fast, that we are all struggling to keep up. Every day there is a no way of doing something, and old things become obsolete and if you blink, you'll miss it. Business, especially retail, has been on a crazy roller coaster, unlike anything I've ever seen in my 15 years of doing business. And, it doesn't really seem possible to create a secure future. Anyone, anytime, could find themselves broke, out of business, obsolete, at any moment. I was watching Oprah last week and I saw good people who were loosing their homes, through no fault of their own. I talk to great people that we've worked with for years, who are closing their doors because they just can't make it, and I think, "why, how?" How can I prevent it from happening to me, and sadly, I realize I don't know those answers. I think the best we can all do, is the best we can do, in each and every moment. I get up every morning, have my coffee, talk to my husband. I wake my kids, make their breakfast, pack their lunch. I drop them off, and come to work, and I think, what will I give the world today? I put the best that I have to offer into the world (and admittedly, sometimes it's not that much), through our work. I try and always learn, grow and get better. I try to be the voice of love, and sometimes I'm successful and sometimes I'm not. I go home, sit with my family, and realize, this is it. This is security. It's not ensuring my business will grow and my bank accounts to, keeping me from the "streets". It's security in knowing that I do the best I can. I have love in my life, copious, luscious, waves of love. That's enough.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2010 ABC Spring Conference: Who and What We Love




Just got back from Louisville, KY for the 2010 Spring Conference for independent retailers in the baby and kids industry,and we had a blast. First of all, Louisville is a very charming city, clean, friendly and with a decidedly sophisticated edge. We loved the cool restaurants, and shops. The Museum Hotel was amazing, and was actually just written up in Conde Nast. Check it out, if you're going to Louisville. The show was small and exciting. We saw some of our wonderful store owners from around the country. We saw Debbie from Beautiful Beginnings in Chicago, who is doing great with the line. Spent some time with two of our favorite Left Coast Girls who own The Juvenile Shop in Sherman Oaks, California. If you're ever out there, stop in because the store is beautiful and the service is unparalleled. There was cool new products on the market that you may love. Little Castle has some really sophisticated new fabrics and chair designs. Renditions by Reesa has a new layette line, and some great new art. And, as always Nava thrilled and dazzled with silky new sensations in bedding. I think the new designs are better than ever, evolving with the times, and creating amazing new objects of desire. Sending you love from Louisville!.