Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Re-opening of Closed Doors...

It has been quite a while since I made a blog post. I don’t even know if any of you are still here with me.

It has been a remarkable and enlightening journey to reopen the doors of A Classy Closet Boutique (ACCB). When I closed its physical doors in 2013 in Homewood, AL (a small city right outside of Birmingham, AL), and transitioned to a complete online model, I never thought I would open its doors again. I remember sitting on the outdoor wicker bench that I used for seating inside the store and crying for multiple reasons; however, failure was not one of them. I knew I had done something unimaginable with limited to no resources and created something special.

After leaving active duty in 2001 at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, I knew I was supposed to live in Charlotte, NC at some point in my life. A guy that I dated while in the Marine Corps took me to Charlotte for the first time in 2002, while on active duty, to ice skate for my birthday and something inside of me told me that Charlotte was to be my home. After multiple failed attempts to move from Birmingham to Charlotte, I decided to focus on what was in front of me and opening the boutique was one of those things. Nevertheless, my window of opportunity opened unexpectedly in the fall of 2012. Now I was faced with being in the place I know I was supposed to be and running a store that I loved like a family member. After realizing that my life as a boutique owner didn’t have to die just because I was moving, I began planning for the next phase of my life. Not having the ability to manage the day-to-day activities of ACCB and not having anyone that could take on the responsibilities for me, I had to close its doors; however, two things were certain, I was supposed to move to Charlotte at that exact time AND I was supposed to keep the heartbeat of the boutique alive, somehow.

After I physically moved to Charlotte and finished building my house, I took my time dissolving the store. I did not actually close its doors until after I had been in Charlotte nearly 3 months. One of my most devoted employees packed up the store in my absence and my brothers helped me load the U-Haul and drive it from Birmingham to Charlotte. I was heartbroken.  I knew the only way I could keep the boutique alive was to learn more about online platforms and get serious about developing a system to manage inventory at home.

I was so fortunate to be apart of a pilot program with the owner of the online platform StoreFlyy, whom I met through the marketing company I was working with at the time, Crash14. I didn’t take the time to fully integrate the online store then because my focus was on the brick and mortar and driving sales. I soon began trying to educate myself on what tools and options I needed in a platform to be successful. The owner of 7952 Craft Studios and I tested just about every platform out there (I can see her facial expression now…lol). We both eventually settled on platforms that we felt comfortable managing so thus began the new venture to relaunch

Almost 6 years later to the day, God said “The doors of A Classy Closet shall open again.” WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT????? I’m going to save my story about how I discovered our new location for another post, but we are off to a great start in a wonderful new community. I can’t wait to share with you my experiences and insights on being a small business owner, my opinion about fashion trends, and how to weave yourself into a community of wonderful people.

Stay motivated friends and definitely DRESS for yourself! You should look in the mirror and smile. 

#7952craftstudios #Crash14 #StoreFlyy #aclassycloset #lowellnc #fashionblog #homewoodAL

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