It’s been a few years since my last real blog post (other than store sales, specials…). I don’t love seeing myself on video and when I have more than a little to say I guess this is the best way to connect with my peeps. You, who are you that will read this? Somehow I have managed to own this amazing shop for 20 years and I have these peeps- these Patricia Shoppe ladies and friends that keep me going more than you know! So here we go- I’ll try not to spill my guts and heart too much.
Do people still blog- I’ve been learning more about digital media and the experts says yes, so I’m going with it? If I go with the things ‘ you should be doing’ I should be posting all about what I am doing in the shop and act like an expert, post paint colors I choose, links to products… You guys should all want to be just like me. I should post amazing perfectly filtered pics that make my life look perfect. Well let me tell you, I am no influencer. I am a Midwestern middle aged mama who fumbles through life, likes to remodel old buildings, and by no means is an expert in anything other than being slightly overweight, battles with body image sometimes being proud of my curves other times wishing and hating that I don’t make time for the gym. I love clothes, and jewelry and shoes, and everything girly. I am a sucker for a good floral print. I really love what I do but don’t always feel like I am the best at it, maybe it’s just my personality but am always wanting to do it better. The older I get the more practical I get and probably less fashionable. I often feel like I need to step out of my comfort zone (and comfy shoes) and do better at being cool. I scroll endlessly through social media devouring what other stores are doing around the country and often wish ‘I could be like them’. It’s inspiration/research –right? (That’s what I tell myself at 6am when I should be doing yoga instead of scrolling.) Ughhh the influencers and perfectly filtered pics are working on me- Nooooo…. I am a Gen Xer- I am supposed to hate posers and pave my own way. Regardless of how I got here, this is where I am at and how it went. If not influenced maybe at least you will be entertained and intrigued to pop in this spring and see how it turns out & feel a bit closer to me which is what I prefer over you wanting to be like me.
The dressing rooms needed to be painted- the hangers scratch the walls, peoples hands get it dirty… in general they get beat up and it was time to paint. When paint is fresh it makes the old look, well, gross. I won’t talk about how old the snagged, stained curtains were, or how pilled the rugs were- I know you don’t believe me, my shop is so pretty you’ll say, but believe me it was past time to do something. In fact it shocked me at all the little things I didn’t like in my shop- my shop. Its mine, I can change it. But somehow the store feels like a thing of its own and not always under my control. i.e.-The flower hooks on the walls, I get compliments on them all the time, people ask to buy them – we used to sell them (like 14 years ago) but quite frankly I am sooooo over them. They are ‘so Patricia Shoppe’- vintage, girly and sweet and…. dusty, so dusty- a cleaner’s nightmare. And they are gone, so gone- it’s been real, 20 years real- adios! (They will be cleaned and for sale for a deal to anyone nostalgic or decorating a little girls room.) So what is ‘so Patricia Shoppe’ now- it’s still vintage, but maybe a bit modern- grown up, glamourous not girly? (a 1960’s sheath dress versus a 1950’s floral house dress) How can shopping for hooks make you analyze who you are now and where your life is- but somehow it did. What is Patricia Shoppe now? Don’t we all feel altered somehow after 2020…
Yep, so that’s how it started, me crying (yes, literally crying) in my dressing rooms over ugly flower hooks- remembering the time they were last hung into place (more on that soon, probably the real reason for tears). I told you – this is not a blog to be amazed at my ability to redecorate effortlessly- this is my fumble through life and hope it all turns out story. So obviously I needed some time, some time to refresh- press the restart button. And lucky for me in Door County we have an off season where it’s very slow and only worth being open weekends and even that is questionable. Not sure if it’s lucky, but this year it is- happy for a break! The past few years I haven’t really taken advantage of the down time, I haven’t had downtime. So I am taking it, closing down for a month to paint- which turned into two months to rejuvenate, and to be real- it’s still not enough time but I’ll take it.
Eight years ago (the winter of 2012/13) was the last time I was closed for the winter when we built the addition onto the store. It doesn’t sound like that long ago but when I reflect on those eight years (crying in the dressing rooms) it is a lifetime. I am a different person. Eight years ago I expanded and doubled the size of my business; I got pregnant the same year. What a whirlwind. I came up for air sometime in spring 2018 (see my last real blog post on turning 40). Since then I bought and renovated a vintage bowling alley and created Cherry Lanes Arcade Bar. Sorry I was way too busy to blog about that. (https://doorcountypulse.com/worth-the-wait-cherry-lanes-arcade-bar-now-open/ ) I also got a divorce, moved into a tiny cottage, and now bought a house that I am about to have moved ¼ mile down the road and put next the shop to be my home with my daughter and our newly adopted doggie Fern. (https://doorcountypulse.com/egg-harbor-business-owner-saves-this-old-house/) Wow eight years in one paragraph- that is quite a paragraph of life- now that I put it in writing- holy shit! No wonder I need to take a break this winter!
For those shocked and wondering - It was a fast, amicable divorce. We are friends; we have a beautiful daughter who is an amazing first grader, girl scout, dog and Dolly Parton loving, freckle face wonder. I am still processing it all and didn’t share this info with too many customers this year like I do most other personal things. I am not sure why, embarrassment at not having that perfect filtered life? Regardless it’s something that happened to me and feel like I have to tell/share with my peeps. Plus it will help explain why I am buying and moving a house. ! I’m finally a bit more comfortable in my divorced state and not embarrassed. For it to happen in 2020 seems extra horrible, right? Actually, no. This was the year of everyone feeling isolated, alone, living in some sort of twilight zone. Thank you Covid for having the world get divorced with me and feeling all the weird, sad, confused feels with me??? Knowing everyone else was miserable too helped somehow.
I made it through 2020 behind a mask, not loving being in retail for the first time and dreaming of an office (or now work from home job). I’m not going to reflect too much on 2020 business, I am hoping there will never be another year like it. But to say it hasn’t affected me or made me rethink things would be wrong. I love retail and want to enjoy it again. Who knows if it is Covid, divorce, the election, retail business changing to an online, social media world or a bit of it all but I am feeling the need of all new, new everything. New year, new me, new house, new doggie. Not influenced, but inspired. So what is new? Spoiler alert- new hangers, rugs, paint color, clothing hooks, and quite possible even all new fixtures. Hopefully a new website, a logo update (rebrand) too. New products, new product categories even?! As I take it all down I am taking down a lot of memories because he helped make a lot of the store and its fixtures, but I am not taking them down because of that/him. They were beautiful and great then. Ironically I am taking them down because they just don’t work anymore. It is a time for change in everything, I’m not inspired by my atmosphere anymore and need my space to reflect me. Saying goodbye to shabby chic girly is easy. Transitioning to fresh, simplistic, modern classic feels great. You might not even notice the changes, it will still feel very Patricia Shoppe just brighter from the inside, filtered by my own true lens.
Here’s to 2021, a new year! I want to give a huge shout out to all my dedicated amazing customers. I have always felt very close with you, but this year though separated by masks and by only ‘seeing’ some of you guys through screens I have never felt so connected. When the shutdown happened in March/April it was such a scary time, and for some reason you all ordered! I know you didn’t need those floral blouses, or pieces of jewelry during the lockdown! Every order, every social media like and comment means the world. It is what helps makes me go to work every day. I hope that getting something from my shop brightens your day like your business does to me. I hope to see you all soon.