I wasn’t really sure what to call this post… How do I just burst in this Monday morning to tell you all that I sold my store? How do I fit the sum of some really large feelings over the last few years into one simple and concise title? So I decided just to lay it all out there with “That Time I Sold My Vintage Store.” Before you start to panic I want you to be aware of a few things… this was exactly what I wanted; I was fortunate in that my business parter wanted the same thing; and lastly, Sweet Clover is still standing, still open with the same amazing vendors, and I am sure it will only grow and improve over time with the care of its new owners, Kim & Rebekah. Now that I’ve given you the very important details, let me fill you in on everything; I am sure this is absolutely shocking news for most of my readers.
Three years ago, Sweet Clover was formed. In all honesty, Sarah and I had not set out to be shop owners, but the opportunity fell in our laps and we decided to take it.The chance to own a store that was open once a month was perfect for us as moms with busy kids. It would allow us the flexible schedule we wanted as well as a creative outlet and an income, right? Right. Two years ago, I came across this post by Persnickety’s Awesome Emporium, 20 Things You May Not Know About Owning a Shop and it absolutely 100% hit the nail on the head for me and Sarah. (If you own a shop or are thinking of owning one… read it!)
Over the past three years we have painted, hustled, lost vendors, brought in new vendors, set up special events, shopped for the store, brought our kids to work over the summer, staged, styled, cleaned a toilet used by many, managed schedules, managed money, and have done so much more behind the scenes to keep Sweet Clover on the path we wanted. We have done everything on that 20 Things list and then some. Sarah and I have felt unsettled over the last year and have found ourselves questioning if it was worth it- worth the sacrifice of time and mental space. We openly and honestly have had so many conversations, and we’ve kept each other going, pushed through, hired help hoping to ease some of our stress and time management. What truly kept us going was our love for the people in our store, and that goes for our team of vendors as well as our customers. It killed us to think that we might let them down, and we wanted our vendors to succeed and to continue finding their own joy in their businesses. But in the end, that’s not a reason to keep going, not when it’s at the expense of your own happiness; and neither of us were happy.We took on Sweet Clover because we wanted to be flexible with our schedules as our families are our number one priority. However, I can’t tell you how many soccer games and tournaments I’ve missed over these last three years. Tournaments always fell on weekends we had events going on, and I could never make it. Some days the kids would have to come with me to work while Sarah and I staged, and some days they had to get off the bus and wait at home without me for 2 hours until I could close the shop and get there. Emmy would call me when they got home, and her sweet little voice on the other end letting me know they were home and ok… well, it absolutely killed me. The times that I was physically with my family, I wasn’t always able to be emotionally present. In this day and age of technology, people are always able to get ahold of you; texts, emails, phone calls, messages were non stop, and it was hard to turn it “off” and tell myself an immediate response wasn’t needed. As a business owner, it was impossible for me to grant myself that grace. My mind was never at rest, always on work and how we would market more, get more business, stage next month, find more vendors.This past August, our sale came and went and the thing is, it was a good sale numbers wise. We had fun with each other and with our vendors; but even knowing those things, Sarah and I looked at each other and we knew that we just weren’t where we wanted to be in life. However, we did not want to just close shop… we had loyalty to our vendors, our customers, and to our landlords who we have grown to love so much.Sweet Clover has grown into a business that we are proud of creating, and we knew it was something worth keeping in our Frederick community as well. With that in mind, we decided to sell the business, but not just open it up to anyone because even though we were letting go, we cared about the direction of its future. Sure, we knew people in our industry who would be interested, but we wanted to keep it in the Sweet Clover family, and opened it up to our vendors only.
We are so excited that we will be leaving Sweet Clover in the very capable hands of the sister team of Kim & Rebekah! Aren’t they cute? (They sent me this photo to use with their permission because I wanted to introduce them.)These girls have spunk, creativity, passion, and a sarcasm that might equally match mine and Sarah’s. They are a great fit, and I am so excited to see them take Sweet Clover further than I ever dreamed it could go. If you are local, head out to the next sale to show them your support! I am going to be heading out of town that weekend, but planning to stop in Friday morning.
I posted this on my facebook page the other day, and I want to repeat the sentiment here:
“To all of my friends, customers, and most of all to my family, thank you, thank you, thank you for the support, love, and encouragement you have shown me. Thank you for understanding when I needed it but maybe didn’t deserve it. Thank you for spreading the word about a ‘new’ vintage barn sale a few years ago and helping it really take off. It’s been the experience of a life time, and I won’t forget it.”
So cheers to the next chapter in my life! Hold on to your seat, because now I’ve got more time to travel and share, create, design, and write… I am looking forward to improving my blog and spending more time with my family and embracing whatever life throws my way.