Yes. Ten years. Seriously. I have been doing this for ten years. Who would have thought? Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think that I would stick with this for ten years when I had the crazy idea to open a store post 9-11.
The store has taken on a life of it's own and is nothing like I envisioned when I started; but that's a good thing! Some of you have been with me for the entire ride and for that I THANK YOU. I am amazed, almost daily, by how things have grown and changed. I was talking to someone the other day trying to explain what the initial concept of The Inspiration Station was. Do you remember? I was fully immersed in the world of seed beads and peyote stitch jewelry. I was selling my creations at craft fairs and wanted a more permanent place to display them. I wanted to INSPIRE people to make their own beautiful creations. So they could come to the store and purchase my stuff or buy the supplies to make their own. It was all about inspiring creativity.
Right about now some of you who are newer patrons of the store may be saying "beads? jewelry? What on earth is she talking about?" Yes, The Inspiration Station began as a bead store. I actually considered having the music in the store be Native American flute music to create atmosphere (can you imagine?). Scrapbooking as an industry was just beginning to take off and I brought a few things in just to have some diversity, read: pay the bills. I knew absolutely NOTHING about rubberstamps and had no plans to go in that direction.
Opening day was a complete shock. We actually had crowds of people! Of course, I think many of them just came for the free food, but still... I had a slight panic attack wondering what I had just gotten myself into. This was going to be my little happy place where people would buy stuff to support my habit and I could sit in the classroom and work on my creative pursuits! How many people think that is what it's all about? The snowball had started to roll down hill and I had to choose whether to get serious about running a business or a very expensive hobby.
I learned very quickly that I really enjoyed inspiring people and talking to them and seeing their projects. I met some of the greatest people. My greatest feeling of satisfaction comes when someone walks through the door and their eyes light up with delight, like a kid in a candy store, and they say "Oh my goodness, look at this place!" - Like walking into Disney World. Ok, so maybe it's not Disney World; but seriously, when someone comes in for the first time who has never been to an independent scrapbook/papercrafts store it is something magical. That is what keeps me going even when the roof leaks, the toilet backs up or I get the bill for the latest oil delivery.
So what I am trying to say in this long and rambling post is THANK YOU. Thank you for feeding my creative spirit. Thank you for supporting this crazy idea for all of these years. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for the inspiration I need to continue on this journey.