As I sit here on a rare sunny day off, I wanted to reflect on the first three months of Too Good General Store. On August 9th it will be officially 3 months since we opened our doors. It is at this point in my corporate life that the probationary period comes to an end and both parties can say “you know what, this was not what I thought it would be so I’m going to (or you should) pack up and go. Good luck in the future”.
With this endeavour, I do not have that opportunity and that’s just fine. While it may not be exactly what I thought it would be all the time, it is most of the time and more.
- I wanted the store to be a place where the community could come and participate in workshops. Check. 1 workshop completed and 6 scheduled
- I had hoped that people would want to congregate around the community table for their own events. Check. 2 book clubs have gathered here.
- I saw myself in the role of problem solver. This was always my favourite role in my corporate life and yes these problems are different but it gives me huge satisfaction to know that I’ve helped someone pick the perfect engagement, hostess or birthday gift.
- I wanted to bring interesting and unique Canadian Made merchandise to Unionville. Check. Sometimes I can’t carry the things I want to because they are not Canadian made and that can be tough. I’ve only made a few exceptions where it is nearly impossible to source 100% Canadian.
- I hoped to give the tourists who come visit Unionville a different kind of souvenir. I may have lost some sales because I don’t have the “typical” Canadian souvenirs but my goal is to be unique and I think we’ve accomplished that.
- I wanted the store to be welcoming and fun. It’s makes me so happy to hear people comment on how great the store smells, sing along to our music selection and laugh out loud when reading one of our quirky cards.
I’ve learned a lot about retail and suspect I will continue to learn as long as I do this. Employee management, theft, payroll, technology issues, inventory management, customer service - the list is long and sometimes painful but we persevere and learn new lessons each day.
If given the option to walk away at this three month point I would not take it. I would say, thanks but I’m having too much fun. Excuse me while I go help a customer choose the perfect wedding gift.