March 2008 was the month we first opened our doors so we've been celebrating our birthday this month (and beyond, if we're honest). In June, we'll have an art exhibit at the downtown library, and a Night Light event; in the fall, we are planning to go to London on a buying trip. In the meantime, we've been looking backwards and forward - thinking about the ways that we've changed and grown in 10 years, wondering what will become in the next 10. We aren't completely re-branding ourselves, but I had an idea for a wall mural, which turned into stickers and printed bags (printed bags! after 10 years of stamping our bags by hand, it was such a treat for those boxes of thousands of bags to come in). It is also past time for painting the walls - there are many nail holes which should have been patched long ago but on principle, I cannot paint the same color over itself. SO.... hmm. lots of paint chip talk which bores my sister to tears but has been keeping me very occupied.
We still laugh about the time we were painting the store, obscured from passersby by the collage of papers we had on the window, including the description of the store. Two women stopped to look at our description and one said to the other, "I give it 6 months." Little did she know we were within earshot. Sachi calls it incentive: "we'll show her," rather than discouragement. Then again, there are certainly aspects of the store that probably only lasted 6 months, only to be replaced with more durable and sustaining aspects. If you had told me when we first opened, that I would be selling t-shirts and pint glasses, I'm not sure I would have believed you, which only leads me to wonder about what the next 10 years will hold, and what I cannot possibly believe.
We are so tremendously grateful to all the people who have supported us on this path. The world of the small business owner is so strange to me - it is credited with so much independence, not unlike the American cowboy mythology, and yet I find it to be so dependent in every way - our growth has come only because of the time and energy and resources of our employees, our family, our customers, our artists, our city, our country. We can't wait for you to accompany us on the next 10 years!