Yes, you read that right!!! Crazy, I know. Before I go into all the details, let's start way back at the beginning, because a lot of you might be thinking, "WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHEN?" You know, all the basic questions people ask when they don't understand something.
(DISCLAIMER: If you decided to stop reading because I wrote "let's start back at the beginning", and it sounded like a lot of work and time on your part, I get it. I totally get it. Which is why I am writing this: please note that I bought a WHOLE BUILDING to open up A STORE FRONT and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING, so follow along on social media or subscribe or join our email list, etc. etc. to watch all of our adventures, please and thanks).
For those of you that know me pretty well, it has been a long time dream of mine to open up a store front. But I wanted it to incorporate all of my favorite things....antiques, coffee, flowers, handmade home goods, local artists and community events. Having a place with all of those things seemed quite silly and a bit much to most people, let's be honest. It was ALWAYS just something I dreamt about and never thought would/could be a reality.
Well, people, DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE.
Back in May of 2018, I decided on a teeny-tiny whim to sell my house. (Like texted my roommates on the way to dinner, "Hey, this is super random but I thought I should let you know that I am planning on selling my house soon... Not sure when and I haven't talked to a realtor yet, but this is me giving you a warning that my house might be listed soon, so you should probably start looking for another place to live.") This was the house that I planned on being in for the rest of my life and the house that I fricken loved. I decided to sell it. The housing market in Grand Rapids was absolutely crazy and I thought if I was ever going to have a chance to step into the world of owning a brick and mortar store, now was the time.
My house sold in less than 48 hours and I did not even have time to put a "FOR SALE" sign in my yard. The Lord blessed me with that little house 6 years ago and then He blessed me again with the quick and smooth sale of it (no pun intended). Then began the hunt for a building.
I had my heart set on a giant old warehouse that was quite literally falling down. And then I had my heart set on a giant old farmhouse, with a barn and lots of land. But both just weren't in God's cards, because He is the dealer. WOW, I just really wrote that.
Offers were placed, counter-offers were made, more offers were placed, and then nothing. Nada. DID I SELL MY CUTE LITTLE HOUSE FOR NOTHING?
Every day I was getting these automated emails, from my realtor, showing the newest commercial buildings on the market (shoutout to Jeremy Veenstra, if you ever read this.. bless you for setting up automated emails to come to my inbox.) And everyday I kept seeing things that were too much money, too big, or not cute enough for me.
Then on June 20th (which is my birthday BTW) at like 6 am in the morning, I was mindlessly checking my emails... and low and behold there is this cute little red building for sale. Said email was immediately forwarded to my parents, "WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS ONE?" because I was out of state at summer camp of all places for work and I didn't want anyone else to buy it before I got back, so parents, hop on it!
We immediately set up a time to go and see the building. It was old, yeah... and needed lots of work, yeah....and wasn't as big as the other places we had looked at, yeah....BUT I could realistically afford it, it was cuteeeee with flowers boxes and things, and it had the right amount of space and opportunity mixed in with enough projects to keep me challenged. An offer was placed.... and an offer was accepted.
That's where we are at people. I officially closed on August 27th and we have been cruising ever since, starting the first day with tearing out ALL OF THE CARPET.
According to my dad, I have this incredibly lofty goal of being open for business in the Fall of 2018, but I think it's doable, because I have a village of people surrounding me. My family tirelessly encourages this dream of mine and loves it just as much as I do, they support me in the good, the bad, and the ugly, and last but not least, they help with all sorts of demo projects that seem never-ending because THEY ARE SAINTS.
It all seems surreal and overwhelming and hopeful all at the same time. I am excited for so many family, friends, and absolute strangers to be a part of this! Like I said, follow along on social media, like all the pages, join the emails and blogs, things like that. I am going to be posting all sorts of pictures and stories from here on out, because this is a wild adventure and it's funny and scary and you are going to want to see what happens. PLUS, I would love for you to come visit us when we are open (which according to me will be sometime THIS FALL!!!!)
P.S. If you read this far, you are my hero because you read the first ever blog post I wrote in its entirety.
P.S.S. No, I did not quit my job at Ada Bible Church (they are stuck with me for a long time). Yes, I plan to do both jobs. Yes, I can do both jobs because I never sleep, yolo and my family is amazing and is helping me run the store. No, I don't need more sleep. Yes, I would love your prayers and well wishes.