If there’s one thing I know for certain, it’s that things rarely happen according to our plans. Learning to lean into my faith and find the courage to follow paths as they unfold rather than fighting against the current of life is truly the most earnest and humble work there is.
This is one of those times. And, if I’m being honest, no matter how many opportunities life gives me to practice these skills, there is always (at least) a little bit of fear and a whole lot of uncertainty that comes with it.
In the spring of 2018, we rented 64 square feet of space inside a local vintage shop. Our plans were to use this space simply to re-home my DIY projects. I loved refinishing and restoring furniture for our home, but we had accumulated too many pieces. I didn’t want to give up my hobby, so I had to make space to take on new projects.
Little did we know that taking that one small step would lead to something we never imagined. Within a matter of months, we opened a second location. Half a year later and we had expanded yet again.
Those weren’t exactly our plans…we hadn’t set out to start a vintage business. But we followed the path as it revealed itself, and from that act of faith and blind trust, we have had an incredible adventure, making some of the best friends imaginable along the way!
And many of those friends have been urging (prodding??!!) us to take another step.
Multiple times a week…every single week…we field inquiries about offering our shop inventory online. Although it has taken us two years to feel “ready” to take on a project of that size, today we are delighted to announce the launch of our online shop!
We are absolutely thrilled to be celebrating this exciting milestone!
But, if I’m being honest yet again, this did not happen the way we had planned, and it feels a little scary, too.
Last fall, we started road-mapping and planning for what it would take to open an online shop. We already had several wonderful relationships with suppliers, and we’d learned a lot about finding the best vintage inventory for our shop. But e-commerce is another animal.
Fortunately, we have several friends who have walked this path before us, and they were generous with their time and willingness to share about their experiences–the ups, and the downs, and everything in between.
By the end of the year, we had a plan. Our plan.
And then, as it always seems to happen, the powers that be laughed in our faces.
We launched our YouTube channel in March, after months of hard work. “Our Plan” said that growing and nurturing this new project would take most of our energy…on top of blogging, keeping the shop running, and–you know–doing the billion-and-one things that come with working on a fixer upper farmhouse and tending our acres.
“Our Plan” said that we would take most of the year to gradually work on building out an e-commerce site, figuring out how to store more inventory so that we could fulfill online orders in addition to stocking the shop, and sort out the details of shipping items all over the country. Do you know how many different sizes of shipping boxes you need when you have a vintage shop online?!
Giving ourselves the better part of a year, we figured we could be up and running by the holiday season. No problem. That was “Our Plan”.
Well. Plans changed.
Eight days after launching our YouTube channel, we both became sick and were quarantined. Then, the whole world was quarantined. Then, our governor issued stay-at-home orders that closed our shop. Then, all of our favorite spring vintage markets were cancelled.
The writing on the wall was pretty clear: get your online shop open NOW.
So, here we are. Still not “ready”, but humbly calling deep upon our faith and courage to take these steps.
In our family, we believe in radical acceptance. Radical acceptance means wholeheartedly accepting life as it is, from the depths of your soul, heart, and mind.
Truthfully, this is not a practice that comes easy to me. I work at it. Hard.
My natural reaction is to try to figure out how I can influence the course of my life and the outcomes. To some extent, that’s a great quality. I’m proficient at goal setting, and I have a good work ethic that follows my belief that sincere effort and commitment are required to reap rewards.
But, you know what they say about too much of a good thing.
In many ways, radical acceptance, for me, is a practice of moderation. It’s about being willing to let go of what doesn’t serve me in order to get where I want to go. Holding on to the ways we believe things “should be” or the way they once were, instead of working with the way things are now, can be incredibly self-defeating.
There’s a ton of stuff we don’t know about running an online store. There’s certainly no guidebook for how to start and run one during a global pandemic. And, I’ve lost a lot of sleep about it lately. We both have.
It’s very important to me that our customers always have the experience they deserve with our business. I don’t ever take a single customer interaction for granted. If someone is going to put their trust in me, I never want to let them down. If someone is willing to part with their hard earned money to support our small business, I am extraordinarily committed to making sure they feel good about it.
I think that’s only fair.
Yes, here we are, indeed. Taking faith-filled steps down an unfamiliar path. Trusting that what unfolds before us will lead us to where we’re meant to serve and shape us into who we are meant to become.
There will be mistakes learning. There will be failures growth opportunities. There will be moments of struggle development.
These weren’t exactly our plans, but we’re certainly excited to see what happens next. We’re honestly delighted…despite the nerves. After all, the best rides always make your knees just a little weak.
And, most of all, we are so grateful that you’re along with us for the journey!
P.S. It’s important to add one big “disclaimer” to this announcement: None of the content we bring you here on the blog or on social media is going away! We’ve already had a physical shop for two years, and that is something we do in addition to our life and work on the farm that we share with you every day. Our online shop is simply an extension of our existing business.
If you would like to stay in the loop about shop happenings, we’ve created a separate exclusive Facebook group specifically for that purpose, and we’d love to have you join us there, too! Our Market Insiders will get first looks at the latest vintage inventory we’re adding and lots more!