This is my life. I am forever trying to cram the entire pack of Starburst in my mouth. And when you cram the entire pack of Starburst in your mouth, you usually end up having to spit it all out just so you don't choke to death on the giant wad of rainbows that's lodging itself in your throat.
I am forever trying to cram everything that I love into every single day. I have a bar/restaurant that I love and I have so many big plans for it but wait! Because I volunteer with dogs and I have big plans for that but I have a store and I have big plans and a freelance job with really huge plans and a community association with so many big plans and I just started wholesaling and AND THERE ARE SO MANY BIG PLANS!!!!
I can't breathe. I am choking on all of these rainbows.
I have taken on too much and instead of getting everything done, I am spitting all of my rainbow flavored candy into the garbage and am accomplishing very little.
So, it's time to scale back. Everything that I am doing is doing ok. The bar, the store, the dogs, the community association, any number of other projects...they're all hanging on. But not a single one of them is really living up to it's potential.
I am a part owner of Blue and I work there but I have never really helped manage it. My husband has always managed it and I've always had something else going on. Blue deserves two managers and my husband deserves a little bit of a break. Our customers deserve more from both of us and our primary business deserves a little more focus.
I own Hey Lola and have had it in some capacity for 10 years now. Once I re-opened the retail location, I quickly realized that in order for it to succeed, I would have to really be a retail store manager. Which means I create less. Which is why I started Hey Lola in the first place. So while Hey Lola the store is doing fine, I'm not really sure what I'm doing here anymore. Especially since I am receiving more and more requests for custom work that are continually being delayed because I have to run a store.
Hey Lola the store is competing with Hey Lola the merchandise and at this time, they can't exist together. They just can't. In order to keep loving and nurturing Hey Lola into the romantic and recycled and beautiful line that I KNOW it can be, I can't spend my days trying to be a shop manager. Especially if I need to spend my nights being a bar owner. So Hey Lola the store is closing it's doors in the middle of January. Not because the location isn't great - because it is. Not because business was bad, because it isn't. It's not fantastic, but we could have stayed here indefinitely and been just fine. Our customers are loyal and wonderful and add a bright spot to every day. But I need to focus on the creative side of Hey Lola, and I'm losing quite a bit of that by trying to maintain the store.
We are fortunate enough to have studio space in our home, and that's where I will continue to work. Hey Lola merchandise is already being carried in 3 stores here in town and is available online. I hope to expand that, so that these beautiful pieces are carried everywhere. I am slowly building our Etsy shop back up and hope to be able to incorporate that with this blog and our website and create a real online home for all things Hey Lola. I have already made plans to take part in the Riverfront Market next year and will more than likely be taking part in other vending opportunities.
My husband and I are lucky enough that our customers at Blue have supported us through this journey and that we can afford to make decisions like this. I think in the long run, that this will benefit Blue, Hey Lola and the neighborhood in general. I am still committed to Renaissance Park/West Main and I still think it's a great place to locate a business. Even more so, because I've now had two here, both of which have been successful and one of which isn't going anywhere.
I recently read this in a Forbes article and it struck a chord with me - (It's about Kathy Ireland and I LOVE Kathy Ireland.)
"Not every move you make is going to be a winner. So what? Pick yourself up, learn from it, and move on."
Opening a retail location at this time wasn't the right move, but it's a move I learned from, so it was important. In the end, closing the store wasn't even a hard decision to make, because it is so clearly the right decision. I just need to take smaller bites, so I can really enjoy everything life has to offer and focus on what's important - so I can do a great job instead of an ok job. I hope you understand and I hope that you'll continue with me and Hey Lola as we continue this journey. You are all appreciated so very much!