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Lessons In Business: Changing Course Does Not Mean Failure

7:59 AMKathryn Curling

This a hard post to write. As a business owner changing directions or realizing that something hasn't succeeded is hard pill to swallow. Over the past 9 months, I've opened a vintage clothing boutique and put my blood, sweat and tears into marketing, photographing, promoting and trying miserably to make something work in the wrong location. (I realize that 9 months isn't a long time in retail but bare with me here.)

Going into this, I knew that my toughest hurdle was going to be my location. My market is not here.  I live in a city where most people spend their free time mudding in their over sized dually trucks or honky tonking. To each their own, but those just aren't my customers. I was going to have to bring people from far away and create my market so to speak.

 I've had it in the back of my head for quite some time that maybe I should just start doing pop up shops and markets but closing down my brick and mortar would feel like I failed. But from a business stand point, it just isn't making sense anymore to stay where I am. And last weekend, when my beautiful tin ceiling began leaking and then a huge piece of ceiling and 100 year old dust and rotted wood turned mud plopped onto the floor in the middle of my shop, I knew it was time.

So, I'm currently looking for a new space and until then doing what I ultimately wanted to do: travel with my shop! It's with a heavy heart that I leave behind my beautiful loft style building and back patio but I cannot force something here that isn't mean to be just for the fear of feeling like I failed. That's just silly. I do feel however that I'm failing my devoted customers. The many people that I've met that have loved my shop have definitely made it worth it. These folks are wonderfully beautiful people! They've been what has kept my doors open this long. But don't worry we will still be around! Just not in the traditional sense! More on that later!

 This past weekend I met the lovely Rachael from VintageMoonFlower. (She makes the prettiest jewelry!) I bought her entire inventory of vintage! We shot the breeze for quite some time and she said to me "If you were in any other city like Dallas, Mckinney or Austin, you would be doing so well!" She confirmed my new desire to travel with my shop. 

So what I've learned this past month: changing directions isn't failure, it's just smart business. You adapt and learn what does and doesn't work. Once I accepted that, I've allowed myself to truly be excited about what is in the future for Gypsy Beard Studio.  I mean, I'm going to get to set up at amazing music festivals and markets where people are genuinely excited about what I have! I'm going to meet so many wonderful people and experience so many new things!

So keep an eye out for us. We'll soon be coming to a town near you in our traveling vintage shop! I plan to try to be at the Mckinney Trades Days and First Monday very frequently. The hunt is on for the perfect trailer/rv/van now!

Any suggestions for great markets / places to set up shop? I know I have some crafty friends out!


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