Happy Tuesday! WHAT A WEEKEND! We had our holiday open house at Sweet Clover, and it was absolutely insane. I don’t even think I can put into words how I feel about it, but I am going to try to do my best and going to completely spill my heart out here for you, interspersed with pretty pictures from the open house, just to give you something to look at besides my heart guts.
Traer Loves space at Sweet Clover
A few months back, I asked you all to fill out a survey and tell me what you were interested in hearing about and a resounding number of you wanted to know more about Sweet Clover. I have dragged my feet because I wasn’t sure what I would tell you. I want you to leave this blog each day feeling happy and empowered, inspired and able; but I feared if I shared about the business, you wouldn’t feel that way.
Danish inspired tree from our resident Dane, Ms. Maria
Sweet Clover has been open now for 18 months, and in those 18 months, we’ve gone through some changes and faced some challenges. Sarah and I have worked tirelessly, and although you don’t need to know my financial situation, I feel I should tell you that up until a month ago, our work has gone unpaid. That’s just part of what you do when you are starting a business, so I understand. But Sarah and I are both busy moms with families to consider. We’ve spent countless hours in the barn cleaning, staging, styling, photographing, pricing, and managing the sales floor when we are open. On top of that, we’ve spent time hunting, sanding, painting, marketing, searching for awesome vendors, entering sales books, reconciling the square, making schedules for open weekends, writing leases, ordering supplies, ordering paint, and doing our best to keep all of our vendors happy and trying to lead them to their own successes, while creating a sense of team and unity. We’ve sacrificed an income as well as time with our families to put it towards nurturing this business of ours.
We’ve worked hard and we’ve laughed together, vented together, drank together (on vacation). We’ve also talked each other off the ledge…. Sarah would question what we are doing; then a month later it would be my turn. The question: Is it all worth it?
Beautiful mini ornaments from Random Notion
As the kids began school, life was absolutely stressful for me. Chris was working a new job and rarely home, I was working on this “dream” business, taking care of kids and making sure homework was done and they were where they needed to be at the right time, plus taking care of a puppy and a dog…. it was too much and I felt like something just had to give. I was sure it was Sweet Clover…. I was sure that it was time to give up on that dream because I couldn’t do it all, and I was feeling like a complete failure at life- doing a lot but not doing any of it really well. Sarah and I discussed in great lengths what our next move would be.
From The Shabby Chic Girl
We have an amazing vendor now who helps us manage the sales floor, and we’ve also hired an accountant. We’ve rented out half of the upstairs of the barn to one vendor. All of these moves were made to ease some of our stress. And we decided to move forward, hoping these changes would help without coming at too much of a cost to us.
Awesome horse from Salvaged
Fast forward to now….. Chris’ schedule has normalized, the kids have gotten back into the routine of school, and work has continued to be crazy busy as we prepare for the holidays, but crazy busy good, not crazy busy overwhelming. We opened our doors this past weekend for our Holiday Open House, and it was all I needed to assure me that Sarah and I need to keep working on our dream. It was an AMAZING weekend; it was non-stop busy, and we heard so much fabulous feedback from customers. And with the hard work of our vendor team, I can honestly say that it was the best I have ever seen that barn looking. I texted Sarah and all I said was “We are doing it!” It truly felt like “this is it!” Every hour we’ve spent and every dime we’ve sacrificed has been worth it because we are finally taking this business where we want to go!
Adorable vintage houses from Bmore Nestled
I felt I owed it to all of you who’ve followed along on this adventure to share what was going on behind the scenes and in my heart and head. And I also wanted to let you know that dreaming is only a tiny part of what is really involved in owning your own business…. It’s made up of blood, sweat, tears, laughs, dreams, doubts, fears, highs, lows and so much more. I am so lucky to share all of these things with the best partner I could ask for, and I look forward to many more years of Sweet Clover! One day, Sarah and I will be running it with our little girls (who won’t be so little anymore!) by our sides and I can’t wait. So, just to end on a less serious and more “Cassie” note, I leave you with this… 😉