Friday, June 25, 2010
A River Runs Through It (Gumdrop Swap's Basement, That Is)
June just hasn't been my month. It really appeared I was hitting my stride at the end of May. A successful Grand Opening. The weather was improving. It's not surprising to need a jacket on Memorial Weekend in CT. So with the warmer weather, you can see people's mood changing. They can't wait to get some fresh air after a long winter. So I was getting some good traffic especially from those working in downtown Bridgeport and wandering during their lunch break. I even get a few jurors on break from the courthouse down the street. So, I was feeling good about opening my boutique instead of keeping Gumdrop Swap as a web-only business. Then WHAM! My store was burglarized. June 17. My immediate reaction was the urge to run for the hills. I can take a hint. Maybe this isn't for me. I mean, I don't have a retail background. I went to art college for goodness sake. My business experience was learned through many instances of being taken advantage of as a freelance artist while still in high school. And a string of administrative jobs taught me contract negotiation, legal ease, record keeping, and etiquette. But, who was I to think I could open my own retail store? The theft was a reality check that being a friendly business owner won't deter the scum of humanity from feeding off your hard labor. But what bothered me most was the idea of someone invading my personal space. In the last few months I've spent more hours in that store than anywhere else ever (besides my home). I've made a decision about every color, fixture, hanger, and object in that space. Some stranger came in uninvited, took things that belonged to me, rearranged things, stole papers with my information... It's so hurtful. So one week later I was beginning to recover. To smile and trust the customers coming into the store. I'm trying not to assume the people that enter my store are casing the joint.
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