Two years ago on July 1st of 2011 I, along with my equally crazy mother, opened Gifted’s doors for the first time. It took the better part of five months to refurbish our location. The bulk of which was done by my husband after work and on weekends. With the selfless help of a few of our friends we stripped layers of bad pegboard facades, cleaned, painted, painted some more and then cleaned some more. In all honesty when it comes to handyman work I am mostly useless. I come up with great ideas and then will cheer you on every step of the way but that’s about all I’m good for. Which was fine because my hands were full with recruiting artists to show here at the shop and the myriad of other things that need to be done to get the business ball rolling.
I will never forget our opening morning. I was running on less that 3 hours of sleep, had failed to figure out how to program the cash register (two years later we still do all of our tickets by hand… the register is just a glorified cash box at this point and we’re fine with that) and was hustling around the store alongside Mom trying to get everything perfect before we would open our doors at 10am. Amid the last minute sweeping, display adjustments and quiet inward worries of failure, Mom and I stopped suddenly and looked at each other. It had dawned on us simultaneously that this was not the opening of a new Costco or Macy’s. Nobody would be waiting at the door stacked nine people deep pressed to the window chanting “Open, open, open” like the Mervyns’ Lady. With this realization, amid our exhaustion we broke out into giddy laughter and finally relaxed a little. We were right, the Mervyn’s Lady did not leave nose prints on our door that day, however many others came through and even made purchases. What was better is that everybody supported, applauded and generally loved our commitment to local and American made goods. That Friday, July 1st, 2011 Mom and I had our crazy idea validated and we haven’t looked back since.
Two years later, one of my very favorite parts of my job still is doing up the display window. I have far less time for creative endeavors here at the shop than I had originally imagined so it’s nice that once a month or so I just have to do the window! Mom and Melisa (one of the said dedicated friends mentioned earlier) join me here at the shop Thursday evenings for “work night”. When it’s window time you can find us working hard on stringing hundreds of fall leaves cut from paper, fashioning dandelions from tulle or creating a colorful curtain from dozens of lengths of ribbon. This month for our Independence Day / Anniversary window we made folded paper rosettes, some as big as 20 inches across!
I can’t tell you that I have a favorite holiday because I really do love them all. Want to see me break down, twisting with indecision? Just try to make be pick between Christmas, Halloween, Easter or Independence Day! That being said, our July window always holds special importance to me because I feel it is the epitome of who we are and what we do. I love that our anniversary and Independence Day are the same week… I think it’s very fitting for a shop that carries only locally made and American manufactured products, don’t you?