Allow me to welcome you to Tuesday, August 17, 2010. Today marks the ninth day that Books by Design has been open for business—and what a blessing of a day it has been!
We had nearly twelve people stop by throughout the day; seven of them purchased books and two of them even brought books to trade-in! Wa-HOO! There’s nothing I love to see more than people walk out of Books by Design with a sack in their hands, excited to dive into their “new” used books!
Over the past nine days, I have learned a lot about being a small business owner, and the struggles associated with starting, growing, maintaining, promoting, and profiting in business. I’ll be honest. I thought I was ready. I knew it was going to be difficult. I thought I was adequately prepared for the fight. But it is all much more challenging than I ever anticipated. Now, don’t get me wrong. God has bless Books by Design with some profit or nugget of positive feedback or interested customer everyday we’ve been open… but there are times when I was sitting at my desk, staring off into space (as I brushed up on my children’s literature or attempted to engage in a suspense novel) that the whole bookstore/interior design shop/tutoring service endeavor seemed absolutely absurd. What am I doing—investing my entire life’s saving, all my time, all my energy into an invisible little shop in a town that is basically a dot on the map? I legitimately wondered if I had totally lost it, off my rocker.
Then I think back and remember how God has so obviously planned and set this entire scheme into motion so long ago, and I can’t help but believe that (even on the tough days), this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
I mean, why did I have to grow up in Temple, Georgia if not to pave the way for Books by Design early on? I can’t tell you how many times I asked that (if only rhetorically) over the years. Not that I didn’t or don’t love Temple. I always knew that in many ways I was blessed to grow up in such a small community, but during the process, sometimes it’s hard to see the silver lining. But how neat is this… I met such a sweet lady who was walking her dog in “downtown” Temple this week, saw a flyer for my store in a shop window, and decided to drop by. I can’t tell you how much it means to have the people in my hometown backing me and my little small business.
Likewise, why else would I have gotten an interior design internship in little ol’ Villa Rica if not to set the stage for Books by Design? Most of my friends at UGA did internships in Alpharetta and Atlanta, some in New York, and a few even traveled further out. I stayed at home? What was up with that? Well, looking back I know. I know I needed to come to Villa Rica for that summer and build relationships with business people around town as I did my internship. Over the past year, Becky, Lily, and several people from the small cafés around town have been saints and such generous helping hands in getting Books by Design off the ground.
And why on earth did I fall in love with a boy who wants to live in West Georgia? Let me assure you—that was not in any of my plans. I wasn’t all that interested in the falling in love part, and I most certainly didn’t want to have anything to do with the living in West Georgia part. Again, it’s not that I don’t like Villa Rica/Temple/Carrollton/Douglasville. It’s just not where I ever saw myself residing, much less owning a business.
Alas, God seemed to have other plans, and for right now, things… my business, my life couldn’t be… well, I just couldn’t ask for anything more. God brought me back home after graduation, (literally) drove me right to Ted’s shop that was for rent and exactly within my budget, and when I couldn’t find the books to stock the store, He woke me up and (literally) told me exactly where to look. And similarly, He has provided everything else since then.
Here I am. Nine days in. On the journey of a lifetime. At just twenty two years old. With the love and support of my family, friends, colleagues and the community to get me through the bad days… but let me assure you:
Today, day nine was a great day at Books by Design!
P.s. Sorry there were no pictures this time! More coming soon! =)