Tales from a Shopkeep: New Year Reset

There’s this thing in the retail world – they call it a reset. I think. I mean, who am I kidding? I just make this shit up as I go! But, it sounds good nonetheless;) Every few months we make the store look new again. It’s important for us to change things out for a lot of reasons. To focus on new designers and makers. To keep you (our customers) on your toes. To make room for new work. To showcase seasonal items. To not be bored as we sit in the store for hours on end looking at the same (albeit) cute little box with a ship inside that balances on handcrafted wooden waves. I mean, there are LOTS of reasons. The biggest might be – we’re a constantly evolving store – and that’s never gonna change.

So, with the new year, came an obvious reset. Since we just moved into the new space in May, we haven’t done too many resets, and to be honest, this store is SO huge, it’s hard to do a proper reset with a $0 budget and our small-ish staff. But that’s just an excuse. The reality is, we’re still finding our footing in this new space. Maybe we always will be, and maybe, maybe that’s a good/great thing.

This New Years reset though – I guess this is just an excuse for me to brag on the staff here at Gather. I don’t do it often enough, imho.

26239046_1923047744372478_5817118575709438567_nThe reset is all thanks to Angela. I came in one Tuesday (a snow day for my kiddo) and very briefly made some suggestions on where I would like to see things moved and sections scooted. We *mostly* agreed, and then, the next time I came in the store VOILA! It was done!! Not just done, but done with GUSTO! So much better than I could have ever imagined. I mean, seriously, how does she do it? She’s amazing. Angela is everything I need/want/desire/Love in not only a merchandising master (her official title), but also my right-hand woman when it comes to decision making about . . . well, nearly everything. I appreciate Angela for her no bullshit taking, boundary setting, beautiful, thoughtful, and mindful taste and life.

20842004_1409253805795377_6257372920016114583_nIn addition to the physical reset in the store, we’ve decided to do a bit of a reset on our social media outlets and photography. This tech reset is thanks to Bethany. Every Friday and (now) Sunday she comes into the store to a list of photographs possibly a mile long that I’ve left for her to take, edit, make beautiful, and share with the world. And she does it. No questions asked. Bethany is my silent sophisticate setting style up a notch with each IG post she master-minds. I appreciate Bethany for her honest communication, her quiet smile, those bright eyes and her creative spirit that will keep Gather and the arts in Bloomington alive for years and years to come.

10645228_10104698995492229_3949414040060895986_nResets are well and good. We need them. We thrive on them. But, we also need consistency. Dependability. Reliability. Things that we can count on. And that’s where Chelsea comes in. Chelsea deals with my shenanigans not only at Gather, but also the Bloomington Handmade Market. We met only bc this store exists, and our friendship (yup, I said it – I am FRIENDS with my employees, deal with it!) grows every day because of it. Chelsea and I don’t know boundaries. We talk business at every table, in every chair – whether there’s tea in front of us, or whiskey (ok, it’s always my whiskey). Chelsea is my rock. She’s my voice of reason; the one who keeps me grounded and in reality. I appreciate Chelsea for her reliability and consistency, her keen eye for grammar and punctuation (who’s the former English major here?), her creativity (she is after all an artist in the store as well), and no-nonsense attitude.

Are we seeing a trend here? Yes – I have some strong women holding up this here store with me. Thankfully, because I could never do it alone.

So – stop in the store sometime soon. Heck – stop in ANY store downtown soon – January is rough for us folks!! We’ve moved some things around- we’ve gotten some new things in – we’re ALWAYS getting new things in! We have events on the calendars (Gallery Walk, Galentine’s, Craft Nights, & More!), and our brains are always searching for more. (is it our brains really?!)

Thanks for being you . . . thanks for caring enough to be here.


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