I vividly remember the afternoon I signed the lease for our shop. I was very pregnant and it was extremely hot - the sheer amount of sweat dripping down my body made me feel a little embarrassed. Surely a sweaty, huffing woman with sore hips and a child about to emerge from her body was NOT the right person to be signing a lease on a storefront. But there I was, with my husband, signing on many, many lines - devoting the next decade of my life to 1338 Wisconsin Avenue NW.
We are a little over three years in, and I can't even begin to describe the lessons, good and bad, that I have learned. Let me tell you... small business ownership, and specifically brick and mortar ownership, is not for the faint of heart. I didn't know how hard I would have to work - or how immensely I would be blessed for all that hard work. I was not prepared for the sheer amount of love, of community and of friendship that this little shop has held space for. The abundant spirit of the Take Care community is not for the faint of heart either, that's for sure.
When I was in labor I was working on the shop. Texting contractors, checking in with the team - making sure progress didn't stop just because Lily was coming. Some might say that demonstrates a lack of boundaries between my personal life and business life; they're probably right. Unfortunately for them, the line is more blurred than ever! That's because what being a small business means to me... is that you are an important part of my life 24/7. And that's a privilege.
I don't turn off my computer and phone at 5 and not think about you until the next day. When I see your favorite product and think of you; when I eat at that restaurant you told me about and can't wait to message you about it; when you bring us garden veggies and I send you home with crystals for your kids... that's what this whole thing is about.
This is not just a shop where you buy things. It's a place to connect. To share your joys and frustrations. To find products that actually improve your mornings and your nights, that help you and your family connect around personal care. To escape the unreal stress this this year has brought and find solace for a few moments.
Yes, we are small. And sometimes, I wish we were bigger so we could make a bigger impact. And even more often, I think back to that moment where I signed that lease, questioning if this was really real and if I was really qualified to be doing this. I have so much to learn still, but what I know is that we are all in this together. Shops, non-profits, schools, people, families... Our Community, in the million ways it could be defined - we are all in this together, doing our best to support one another the best ways we know how.
Thank you for being on this small business journey with me. I am tearing up as I write this - you and your curious, generous spirit mean more than you know.
With so much love + gratitude,