Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day Off...

In retail, you never truly have a day off but despite being in business for 5+ years our store's top complaint is "you're never open."  I've stuck to a pretty consistent schedule thru the years minus the one year I was treated for cancer and its kind of perplexing to us.  When you prod a little bit, most customers admit they have passed by at 8 in the evening or early on a Sunday morning before church.  So, yeah, we're typically closed when everybody else is in our small town.  Currently, we're closed Sundays and Mondays with the most requests (oddly) for a Monday opening.  Honestly, I would love for our little store to open its door an additional day - but unfortunately, our town of Ponchatoula just isn't growing and therefore - we aren't.  So even tho our doors are shut for a couple days, it doesn't mean I'm not working.

This Monday was one of those manic ones, beginning with a dental cleaning (yay - no cavities) and then back home to start a merry-go-round of projects.
  • clean sink for silkscreening
  • prepare screen for image - coating with a photosensitive green goop that will take about 2 to 3 hours to dry in absolute pitch black.
  • take out yesterday's dough and shaped into tonight's bread - it will be done in an hour
  • fix myself lunch so I do not eat said bread right out of the piping hot oven.
  • clean sink again to prepare for soapmaking
  • take screen out and burn new image for silkscreening - only takes under 10 minutes but after the wash out I'll need to wait another 3 hours for it to dry
  • clean the table and assemble everything to make another batch of Honey soap - it's really popular in store, so I need to prepare enough in advance for Christmas as this will need to sit for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Take bread out - still want to eat it despite a really yummy lunch of homemade hummus - but I wait.
  • Make jewelry, yep I do that too...
  • Finally C arrives home with some seafood gumbo and you know what goes perfect with that...homemade bread!
  • Feeling full...I grab my now dry screen - do a quick test print - it looks good (this is my second attempt, as last week's was a fail) and make a small run of six towels.
  • While I'm on a roll, I grab another set of towels and repeat one of popular designs (towels are drying ALL over the house at this point)
  • It's a little after 7pm and time to rest...a bit.  I pick back up where I left off on a crochet afghan for C - it's her birthday in two weeks.
I remember, shortly after we first opened, an elderly gentleman (probably conned into going in the store by his wife) shuffled over to the counter and grumbled "what are your hours?"  I told him, explaining our two days we close and he huffed "that's too much" and walked off to collect his wife.  Back then, I probably was a puddle of despair from his rebuff - wondering if I wasn't working hard enough; now a days I don't get too ruffled but I do wish I could sort of school people on how much actually goes into running your own business - especially when you are 98% of it.  I guess you can't really know until you find yourself on this crazy train.  It certainly not a bad ride - I wouldn't want to be doing anything else - just please never tell me I'm not working hard enough.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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