We're all familiar with what the "Terrible Twos" look like. Even if you don't have children, you've seen two year olds in action at the grocery store, right? Two can be ugly. So many growing pains during this time of growth and development. But also so many sweet moments. I often think of my business as my child...My very needy, time consuming, (sometimes) terrible two year old. I alternately want to spend every minute staring at it and admiring every detail of it or lock myself away in the bathroom and forgot that I made this thing.
Thankfully, I find some kind of balance between these two feelings each day. Even now, as I think back to our Grand Opening and put the finishing touches on our Birthday Carnival, my emotions are confusing mix of extreme excitement, cautious optimism, and a little bit of dread.
It's hard to not be excited when you work in the toy business! We get to PLAY every day. We are privileged to watch your children grow and develop. We love celebrating their milestones with you! We love being a part of our amazing downtown community and we firmly believe that Franklin is on the verge of amazing things. This is a very good time to be right where we are. And yet, we are cautious in our optimism. It is, after all, a pretty dicey election year... You may (or may not) be surprised how much what happens leading up to and ultimately in November can impact the sales at a small business like mine. Couple that with an extensive road project (more on that below) and, well, you can see why I'm reigning in my enthusiasm.
The beginning of 2016 was not kind to my "child". Growth expectations weren't met. There were some milestones we just didn't achieve. It surely wasn't for lack of effort. We extended our hours. We offered TONS of classes and free events. We spent time in our community. We were BUSY with the business of trying to GROW this business. For whatever reason, our sales just didn't reflect the amount of effort we put in. Two year olds just don't always do what you want them to do despite your best efforts. The second half of the year seems to be turning around, so maybe 2 won't be so terrible after all. Maybe.
We'll be missing a road for a while. (Hence the dread.) I've traveled this road before. Here's what I learned the last time. People are VERY sympathetic. But they are also very busy and convenience is king. If coming downtown isn't convenient or takes too much time, they'll quit doing it. All I can say about that is, PLEASE DON'T. We cannot afford to lose your business, nor can our neighboring businesses. After a poor first half of the year, we need strong support leading up to the holiday season. I can honestly say we aren't really dreading the next three months, but we aren't as optimistic about the beginning of our third year of business as we'd like to be. If you're excited to have a special place to attend events and shop for toys, books, and games, then share your enthusiasm with us (by shopping) and with your friends and family too!
As I proof read this state of the store post, I'll admit that it sounds a little gloomy for such a playful time of celebration. I can promise you that if you visit our shop or attend a class, you won't get a gloomy feeling at all! We LOVE what we do and all consider ourselves blessed to be doing it! We may look like sleep deprived parents of toddlers (because at least one of is) due to the long days and late nights of working, planning, and PLAYING with our favorite two year old!
We Play. We Learn. We Love.