Coming Soon... August 16 2015
So blogging…….I has become necessary that I blog.
Why, you ask? Because social media is very important to the success, and growth, of a business.
What business, you ask?
Drum roll please…..
The new Repeat Offenders retail store!!!!
Yep, that’s right I am opening a retail store in Winston-Salem, NC. My concept for Repeat Offenders is signature antiques, mixed with painted furniture and gifts. I will also be stocking a couple lines of milk and chalk paint (TBA) and teaching painting classes. I am going full speed ahead into the world of retail store ownership, in the hopes that I don’t crash and burn!
So how did all this come about, let me take you back in the space/time continuum that is my life. Many people know I worked in racing most of my adult. Many think it’s glamorous, but the truth is, it is a lot of traveling, bad hotels, bad food and being away from where ever I was calling home at the time. Do you see the glamor? Yeah, me either. Then one day into my life walked Kevin Hamlin. I knew the first time I kissed him I was going to marry him (true story!). Six months later he moved me from Dallas, Texas to North Carolina. Two years later I was married to the man of my dreams at the advanced age of 43.
When he moved me to NC we bought our first house. This was the first house I actually owned. That was not a rental and I could do with whatever I wanted. The nomad that I was owned nothing; Kevin walked away from his divorce with a Corvette. A very clean slate for both of us. I have always been very artistic, and grew up with a mother who flipped houses; so I had some skills. I was living with a man who didn’t care what color that bathroom was, or if the dinner was burnt; this gave me carte blanche to experiment.
What does this have to do with the store? I’m getting to it…
Armed with a little of knowledge, his support and something I never had before… time, I was off and running. I was determined to become Martha Stewart. Then my ADD kicked in and I became Monster Stewart a decorating, cooking, home making maven on steroids. Paint chips, fabric swatches, catalogs, home décor stores (I think they got tired of seeing me at Pottery Barn) HGTV, YouTube videos, books, Lowes (it’s like my second home); I was obsessed and having the time of my life. I had my successes; our lake house is the first thing to come to mind. I had my failures; the chocolate bedroom with bright red oriental accents was awesome in theory, not so good in person. But the end result was people coming to our home and loving it, or cooking dinner for the crew guys at the track and getting hugs and praise from my extend racetrack family. This turned into friends asking for advice on decorating, or where I got something, asking how I did a paint technique, asking for recipes or taking me with them to shop for their own home. I was on to something, I had found my niche!!! Even back then I had the thought in the back of my mind, “wouldn’t it be cool to have a store of my own?”
Then a bad thing happened. Red Bull Racing closed its doors and Kevin was unemployed. He was at loose ends and had nothing to do and days to do it in. I was supportive, and nurturing as possible, helping him and his crushed ego through a very had time. Weeks turned in to months without a job offer. I was as understanding as I possibly could be. One morning I walked into the living room to find him once again in rapt attention to a rerun of the “Andy Griffith Show”. Instead of yelling at him to get out of the house! Get a job! You’re making a dent in my pretty sofa! I went downstairs to my work space in the basement where I had a cache of antiques stored and started working on them. I was down there all that day, then the next and the next. Pretty soon I had a bunch of restored antique, and paint furniture. I was watching YouTube videos and teaching myself to upholster. On the internet getting tips on paint finishes and wood working techniques. Yep I threw myself and my ADD into avoiding fights with Kevin, and the end result was some really cool pieces. Which, I started selling on Craigslist, eBay and Etsy. Again, I was on to something! The voice in my head said, “Dude, you need your own store.” (I’m from California, the voice in my head speaks “Dude”)
Thank the Lord and Jeg’s, Kevin finally got a job in June, but was required to spend the majority of his time in Ohio. At the same time we also sold our lake house and moved into a much smaller home in High Point. I decided there was not enough things to do at the new place, and day drinking was becoming an option; so I rented a work space a few blocks away and got back to refinishing antiques, and painting furniture. It was now my job. A job I could not wait to get to in the morning! This led to a couple of booth spaces in antique malls. I am now a legitimate business; Repeat Offenders Inc is born.
So I am killing it at my booths. I start getting custom orders. The esty store is hopping….uhmmm I need my own store!
Then one morning fate steps in in the form of Miss Mustard Seed. I love her blog and check in on it damn near every morning. I love her style, her attitude and her enthusiasm. Her blog that morning was about putting things out to the universe and seeing what comes back to you. For some reason I was compelled to comment on her blog and put my desire for my own store out there for the universe to see. Later that day I had a meeting with our new accountant. It was our first meeting and he was asking questions about our finances and such.
He asked, “What do you plan on doing with your little business?”
I said, “In a perfect world I would open my own store.”
He said, “Really! Because I have a couple vacant retail spaces. Would you like to take a look at them?”
Just that quick everything started to fall into place. I signed a lease and remodeling began on a space big enough to move my shop and warehouse into (seems I’m a bit of a hoarder), and a retail space out front. The new world headquarters for Repeat Offenders Inc is in the works. I didn’t tell anyone at first. The fear of failure or jinxing it kept me tight lipped (highly unusual for me). But now that the finish line is in sight I have to think about filling my new store with people to buy my product.
Hence the return to blogging….
Hence the long blog post….
Sooooo……Drum roll please!!! Repeat Offenders new store space. Not much to look at now, but it’s going to be GREAT!
The remodeling so far has been an adventure, which I plan on sharing here on my blog, to increase my social media foot print, to gain followers and hopefully customers….blah blah blah. Just come back and see the crap I have been dealing with, you may find it amusing :)