What comes to mind when you hear the word “SHOPKEEPER”?
I have visions of a gentlemanly man with a white apron, grey mustache, big smile, and a broom working out front of his quaint little store. Inside the floors are wood, it may have a musty smell inside but the shelves are lined with all kinds of goodies. Penny candies, glass jars of all sorts and size, vintage trinkets of every kind and maybe even a soda fountain. Whatever is in the store I am convinced that I will find a treasure and I’ll enjoy the hunt just as much as the find.
There are as many types of shops and shopkeepers as there are imaginations. Fruit stands, yarn shops, honey stores, book stores – on and on. I love that I can go anywhere in the world and find unique little shops that are a reflection of the owners that pour their heart into them. It’s like looking into their soul.
I’d like to think that is the way my shop is. I find it difficult forming words to express my feelings and thoughts but designing and buying for my store has enabled me to find items that each reflect a bit of who I am. If you want to know how I think and process information – just look behind my counter and at my desk and you will see my “brain” – cluttered, full, and bursting at the seems. Look at the design of my store and you’ll see my passion, my heart, things that I can not put words to. I can’t tell someone how to merchandise a new display or the front window – I just step up and let my hands start putting things together. I imagine going on a trip and what I would wear or carry, I think of colors I like and the feelings it gives me and then look for items around my store that blend in – feelings design my displays. I enjoy working on displays in my store – it is the little things, like merchandising or sweeping, that I love about being a shopkeeper. The flowers outside my door, the little chandelier hanging from the wood beam, that handmade leather purse I snagged up at a little shop at the Royal Gorge (2 weeks before it was destroyed in a wildfire) because it was different, the smell of leather in my store; all of it is an expression of me.
What I love the most, and it may seem funny, is sweeping my sidewalk. I imagine myself as that old fashioned shopkeeper with the broom taking great pride in their business. There is something nostalgic about arriving first thing in the morning when the air is so fresh, the street is quiet, and there is an anticipation of what the day will bring. It’s another day to bring a smile to someone’s face, to find the satisfaction of being able to see and touch something that I work so hard on – and like what I see.
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