Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Intersecting Lines...

Running the day to day at the shop, I meet the most unusual people and with it still being the dog days of summer, I'm more than appreciative for the company.  Today, an older man stopped in to tell me he use to work in my building...for 2 days.  It was in the mid-sixties, he, a young black teenager, lied about his age to get the job at what was the Old Nehi Bottling Company.  The family that own the factory (who we would later buy the building from) paid him $7 a day -- no matter how long he worked.  His first day was 12 hours, the next was 14 - loading and delivering wooden bins of heavy glass bottles until his arms were jelly (hence the 2 day job).
A location in Arcadia, Florida
The rest of the day, much like the last two weeks has actually been steady foot traffic but very little ringing of the cash register...ho hum.  I know its always this way during the Summer - it just isn't pleasant.  One of my browsers today was in fact a return visit from "Mr. Clearance" - I named him that because he knows exactly when I put out seasonal merchandise (i.e. Halloween) and then will return once or twice to swoop in and get it marked down.  His wife has actually came in and bought a few items for him at regular price - rolling her eyes at his perceived hunt for that deal.  Lord, just get what you want when you want!
Ghoulish and Glamorous - Halloween is here!  Including my silkscreened Boo Y'all Towels

Despite the downturn in sales, I am just buying like there is no tomorrow.  As soon as I flatten a pile of boxes, here comes more.  There is so much that I'm not sure where to turn first - gradually you should see most hitting our website and Etsy in the coming weeks.  And in speaking with the gentleman this morning, it made me so sad to hear, after all he has seen in this small town: segregation, poverty, effects of war...he actually told me the town seems at its worse today He said there is nothing to buy, no where to go.  He painted a picture of a place that had department stores, cafes, and bustling mom and pop's that everyone walked to and fro.  Today as I look out (it is over 95 degrees), it is still busy, busy but most are passing through to somewhere else.
The independent retailer life is nuts -- now who needs this squirrel???
So, either we are crazy building up this shop in town or just maybe we might be on to something like revitalizing a place with a new purpose.  Let's hope its the latter. 

--Lisa LeBlanc

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