Spread Your Arms, Hold Your Breath, And Always Trust Your Cape!
The title of this blog comes from the song, “The Cape”, by Guy Clark. It seemed appropriate given all the activity that has happened since the last time we chatted.
The last couple of months have been a whirlwind! I went to Market and had a ton of fun shopping for new stash for the shop, I let my employer know that I would be leaving due to my plans to open Fire Poppies, I managed to turn another year older, and I signed the lease for the brick and mortar shop.
I do want to give a HUGE shout-out to my supervisors and co-workers for their reactions after I gave them my news. There was nothing but excitement and support coming from them. I must admit I was more than a little nervous and shed some tears as I let them know what was going to take place. Timing from a staffing level isn’t ideal for me to be leaving at this point, but not once did anyone make me feel guilty for wanting to take this step. If any of the folks that I work with ever read this, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I have loved my time with all of you and I have learned so much. I know that time and space appear to separate us, but I sincerely hope that we never completely lose touch.
So, let’s talk about how Market was! First, it was fun! Tiring, yes, but fun. I learned how to stitch on a pumpkin, and we will most definitely be offering that class at the shop! It was way cool and even if you don’t have friends that want to do cross stitch as a hobby, this ranks up there as a cool craft item for the Halloween season in general. I also took a class on how to do Flosstube, which was taught by the Kitten Stitcher, Theresa Venette. She is so much fun and is as nice in person as she is in her videos. I also took a class on offering “exclusives” which was taught by Ink Circles, Hands on Design, and Summer House Stitche Workes.
It was really wonderful getting to meet in person all the designers and companies that I had been emailing and ordering from. I would walk into their room and say, “Hi, I’m Susan from Fire Poppies,” and I was showered with hugs and congratulations. The entire community of designers, shop owners, and others was so welcoming that even if I had gone by myself, I would never have felt alone. It was also nice to see companies and designers from across the globe there. One of them, The Bee Company from France, had a room that was so incredibly cute with their buttons and pins displayed, that I honestly could have stayed in there the entire three days! It just made me smile and you could feel the joy that went into every item.
My friend Abbey went with me on the trip. She was instrumental in helping me pick out items and she was quite the trooper, pulling her rolling shopping bag behind her as I continually stuffed it with product. At times, she pulled mine as well so that I could squeeze my way into a particularly crowded room.
The biggest news of all though, is that I have signed a lease for Fire Poppies’ new home! It is in Summerville, SC, at 1106 N. Main Street. The lease will take effect on June 15th and I am guessing that it will take maybe six weeks to get the shop ready to open. I am shooting for the first week of August – fingers crossed! I will continue to work at my current job until the end of May. The two weeks in-between that day and when we get the keys to the shop, will be filled with catching up on all the things I haven’t been able to get to regarding the business.
I still have a lot of inventory – beads, buttons, fabric, patterns, etc., etc., that I simply have not had time to get into the POS and online shop. Once we get into the space, it will be time to paint, sort, hang, mount, count, take road trips to IKEA, and of course in between all the fun of setting up shop, there will be the trip to Stitch-Con. I’m so looking forward to meeting lots of stitchers and Flosstubers and getting the word out about Fire Poppies! I managed to get a “small” stitched for the exchange, though I have no idea how I’m going to finish it just yet. It is my first “small” EVER. Did I mention that I have a full-coverage addiction?? Let’s just say I won’t be the one teaching the first class on how to finish your smalls at the shop. I will be one of the students, ha ha!
Whew! It feels like time for a cocktail! Did I mention that the new shop will be located right next door to a very nice wine and liquor store? I see some stitching events that include a mimosa or two in the future!
I also want to say THANK YOU to all those stitchers that have found the online shop so far and have started ordering from me. The sales have been instrumental in helping to fund the start-up costs. As with any new business, especially in this industry, it will take a village to make the brick and mortar shop a financial success, so that it can be around to serve the community of stitchers for many years to come! And the stitching community is a vast and supportive family that I am proud to be a part of.
My goal with the online shop is to only make available what I actually have in stock, so that I can get your purchases to you as quickly as possible. I know there will be occasions, due to the timing of a purchase made in the physical shop, that this might not be the case, but I assure you I will do everything in my power to make those the exception rather than the rule. I ask for your patience as I figure all of this out, as I will screw up now and then. My hope is that we can always communicate openly to correct any issues, if and when they arise. I sincerely welcome comments, suggestions, and ideas, as Fire Poppies is really about you, the community of stitchers, whether you love cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, punch needle, etc.
So, until next time, I’d like to leave you with a couple more lines of lyrics from the song, “The Cape.”
“He did not know he could not fly and so he did. Well, he’s one of those that knows life is just a leap of a faith. Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.”