Tales from a Shopkeep

This week (for Gather, and myself) was a little like second spring break. See, I have a younger brother who is 14, and he lives in my hometown about 3 hours north of here with my folks. Traditionally he comes down and spends a few days with us over his spring break to escape the monotony of home, and because my parents, like me, are self-employed and can’t really take a vacation in the middle of March. So, for Gabriel, coming to Bloomington is like vacation, and thus, my second spring break:) While the little bro was here I took 96677db6b3069d2e5fb4014dc40de024him to the Foxhole to get his first adult hair-cut (and brow wax), let him walk around downtown without having a tracking device implanted on him, and took him to see the newest installment of the Divergent films. And then, I worked a lot, and he played a lot of Halo (don’t judge me, he Loved it – my parents live OUT in the country and don’t really have internet, so him getting to watch YouTube and play Halo was like his dream come true). So, if you saw an attractive young man helping me in the shop this week, that’s my little bro. I taught him how to use the POS, and he helped me rearrange the store on Thursday just before he left to go back home. He’s a sweetheart, and a really good kid and I hope that he remembers these spring breaks fondly when I’m an old woman and need someone to take care of me and get my brows waxed.

f846b4a1c3c553919de560f1586c8d66I also spent a good part of my week meeting up with the rest of my tribe. Yes, I said it. Tribe. It’s such a hot-button word these days, but, ya know what, I’ll admit I like it. And I Love my tribe. We had a nice lunch with quite a few #ladybosses from Bloomington and were able to talk about things that . . .well, let’s be honest – our spouses, our partners, and even our best friends can’t always understand, and sometimes just don’t want to. Me, I’m lucky that one of my best friends also happens to be part of that group, so color me eternally grateful. I spent my mornings and lunches meeting with #ladybosses pretty much all week at local haunts like King Dough, the Bakehouse, and Rainbow Bakery to name a few and discussed future gallery shows (featuring comics and fairy tales!), another’s dream of a brick and mortar, employee management, friendships, and mentorship. We had our first Gathering Emerging Maker mentee meeting this week with Miss Laurel; a local hobby artist trying to find focus. I always get so inspired and jazzed when getting to sit down and figure things out with a fellow artist, and help them to find their focus and create goals. I’m weird.

It’s been a little slow in the store the past few weeks, but then again, my mind has been on spring break, so I’m not complaining. It gives me time to contemplate our future and . . . well, to be honest, to rearrange! My mom walked in on Thursday to pick up my little brother and saw me on the floor moving around the bath and body products and my little bro moving candles from one shelf to another. “You’re always moving things in here, you’re just like your grandma,” she said to me, in a not so complimentary way. And you know what, I am. And I’m ok with that. I like to keep it fresh! And so, next time you walk in, hopefully you notice we’ve moved things around a bit, because we’re welcoming in about 20 new artists in the next couple of months and by fall I’m almost positive we’ll be busting at the seams with no less than 300 artists under our roof!

e42f3d8788346c1b28b82b46f749fdb8After the move around and all the meetings and the little brother visiting, I desperately needed  time to unwind with just the right person. So, I called on Jackie and we headed over to Cardinal Saturday night and we tried out a few of their signature cocktails and shared our stories for the past couple of weeks since we all returned from California (from whence she and her betrothed got married). And we spent no less than 5 hours talking and could have kept going . . . for hours (E knows this to be true). And so, I’m even more eternally grateful for this tribe of mine, this family. While we were at Cardinal we ran into a fellow Gallery Walk member, Maggie the Pug’s parents, and one of our artists that performed at our fundraiser back in the day. We live in a small town – and most of the time- i Love it.

35503e18499fbc5c4517cc1174cde273The end of the week (as we are here right now ) is a holiday weekend, so I was able to spend my day today with the family – hiding Easter eggs, relaxing on the sofa, and honestly, not thinking about work for a few hours – which was nice, albeit unusual. Yesterday we took part in the annual Downtown Easter Egg Hunt on the square, and my girl Allyson (bless her) ran our craft table on the windy Courthouse lawn. It’s always sweet to be able to participate in downtown Bloomington events like that – we’re all a family here.

And that’s that. There’s our week, in quite a large nutshell. Thanks for reading, and thanks for being part of what we’re doing here. I hope your week has been filled to the brim . . .

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