Going Into Chapter 9

29 Jul

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I have had eight careers in my way over 50 years…A teacher, coach and school counselor, a private practice counselor, the owner of a cheer camp (what an incredible time that was!), a motivational speaker, blogger and whether Ben wants to acknowledge this as a career or not – a mom.

And now I have decided to add one more title to my resume… I have just become a boutique owner – a woman’s clothing boutique, to be exact -in downtown Franklin, Michigan. (No, I do not have a degree in fashion merchandising, retail or business – but…)

It kind of hit me in the past year that my speaking career has been slowing down and since I can continue my blog no matter what else I’m doing, I started to think about what else I might be interested in. I have missed having my own business terribly since I sold CHEER! MICHIGAN – I miss my office and staff, the creativity, the problem-solving and to be quite honest, I miss being the boss.

And as much as I might feel like the boss of my home, as the person who oversees and takes care of a whole lot of things, somehow my ‘employees’ don’t seem to cooperate the way they did when I had my camps and a business away from my house.

So….one day I wandered into this little boutique close to where I live, which I had been in a few times before and thought ‘I would like to have this boutique’. I knew it was owned by two women who might be close to retirement, so I begged my sister to go in and ask if they would sell it to me (I’m kind of shy about these things). She refused. I asked my accountant to send a letter on my behalf. He told me to man up and go in and inquire in person. But I didn’t – I was too nervous about being rejected!

But life has a funny way of handling things – shortly after I was told to do it all by myself, Gary and I were out with our friends who happen to be active in the village where the boutique is located. I mentioned to my friend Michael that ‘I would like to have that boutique’….

So, Michael pulled out his phone, emailed his friend, who just happened to be one of the owners’ sons and asked if they would entertain an offer. After an email exchange or two, I was invited to go into the shop and talk with the proprietors. The following Monday, I finally manned up (half a Xanax helped); walked into the boutique and well…the transition began!

Now the boutique is officially mine. I have spent the past three months, researching brands and POS systems (that means point of sale, I’ve learned). I have asked countless questions to the lovely ladies who sold me their treasured business and to anyone who has ever been in retail. I have cursed every on-line application for business licenses and tax numbers (hate them all). I have scoured every clothing shop in Michigan to figure out what I want our shop to look like and discovered what I don’t want it to be.

It’s a blast!

We just opened after a month long renovation and an attempt to learn every angle of the business – my sister has been, as always, a huge help and we have assembled the finest little ‘sales team’…what a fun next chapter!

How long will I be there? Well, my mother-in-law bought a Hallmark store at age 60, sold it a decade later and runs the gift shop at a local assisted living community. She’s 88. My mom still does the books and runs a small arm of the business she built with my stepdad years ago. She’s 89. I retired from my cheer camps at 50 – an age most of my mom friends are barely approaching.

I’m thinking. I’ll be there quite a while….Come see me!!

(Oh – and ‘like’ us on Facebook – The Village Boutique of Franklin)

2 Responses to “Going Into Chapter 9”

  1. Wendy July 29, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    Now you need a “Shop” dog.

    • Terri Cassels Cooper July 29, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

      Well, Wendy – this may not surprise you….I have been feeding a nice black stray I call Franki. Maybe she will find her way into the store…

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