A little heavy for a typical Thursday, but this post has been tugging at my heartstrings for the past month since I closed Sugar Bit and you guys always say you love the real posts–SO I figured this is my best opportunity to be 110% honest and transparent and tell you why I walked away from owning my own business… all for the better of my family.
I’ve had a job since the day I turned 16. Literally, on that birthday, I snagged my driver’s license and headed to the mall and applied for a job at Pacific Sunwear. I was hired on the spot and couldn’t wait to get my first paycheck as I was saving for a cell phone. At that point in 1999, there was no social media… I just wanted my Nokia cell phone with interchangeable face plate and my parents said I would need to find a way to pay for it on my own, so I got a job.
I worked there for two years until I went to college. Then I worked at The Limited while at UT and also worked at a tanning salon [long before the days of a good spray tan–we will save that for another day though]. All that to say that the world of retail has ALWAYS fascinated me… after college, I landed a corporate marketing role at a big consulting firm and said goodbye to retail, but it never left me, especially as I started to blog in 2010 and would share fashion finds and knew my love affair with it was still there.
After I left the corporate world when I had Caroline, my heart ached to contribute to our household in that same way and I missed working. Honestly, I felt incomplete without a job and I felt like my self identity had gone missing. Not only did I truly enjoy work, but I felt a hole without the excitement of it–fast passed schedules with crazy tight deadlines, interacting with adults, conference calls, working my way up the ladder, the social aspect of it… I missed who I “was” because I felt like my entire life had changed. Jeff and I sat down and he knew I had always wanted to own my own retail shop–so I put pen to paper, created a business plan, mapped out my actions of what I needed to do to make it happen, and the rest is history.
I could go on and on about running my own retail business and maybe I need to formulate more blog posts about that, but all this to say, other than being a mom, OWNING MY OWN BUSINESS WAS THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE.
I mean, how could you NOT want to be home with them more?!??!
It may look glamorous jetting off to market every season, hosting pop-up events, setting up shop at holiday markets, and posting all the fun outfits and such everyday on social media, but behind the scenes, things were much more difficult.
For instance, one time I had to get our lawyer involved to draft a seize and assist letter to a competitor who was stealing my company’s trademarked and proprietary information. Another time, I had to call out a sales rep for one of the brands I carried because they let a competitor duplicate my orders because they liked everything I bought for my store and they wanted to recreate the looks. Let me tell you, these types of things aren’t so fun to deal with, but yet I was the owner, the one who had to do it all.
I was the person writing checks, handling finances, running profitability reports, wrapping all the packages, inputting invoices into QuickBooks, updating the website, creating promotions, etc… the list goes on and on and since we were online, I was always “open”. Let’s not even discuss anymore of the bad stuff–because more than that– my days were filled with GOOD. Sweet mamas sending me pics of their babies dressed in Sugar Bit for every significant event, having friends rely on me for their go-to place to buy gifts, creating registries for expectant mamas… oh those were the things that brought SO MUCH JOY to my life.
But at the end of the day… it wasn’t what I wanted anymore.
I wanted to be able to turn off work when we travel, I wanted more quality time with my kiddos and Jeff, and honestly, I was simply tired of the constant 24/7 of owning a retail store. For those of you who have done and/or do it, HUGE props being able to make it work and having success because it’s not for the faint of heart.
It may appear easy to those on the outside, but I’ve never had a more rigorous career in my life. Truth be told, I made my decision to close Sugar Bit at the end of Christmas Village last November. I had prayed about it for months and I knew I wanted to say goodbye to my shop. But I had already placed orders for spring and summer [my favorite seasons to buy for], and I wanted to be certain I made the right decision.
It’s been a month now and I am happier than I have been in a very LONG time.
I am more content, less stressed and far less anxious… I now get to volunteer at the girls’ elementary school, blog more, and spend more time working on the things that fulfill me. It was bittersweet, but I know I made the right decision and in my heart I know I’m happy that chapter is now closed.
This season of life with Caroline and Carson is hands down my favorite so far. They are little sponges, soaking up everything around them, and it’s so exciting to see their little personalities take shape… another reason I wanted to be more available to my girls and thankful that I have the opportunity to do so.
So now my role as “momboss” has evolved and changed a bit, as I put more focus into this little blog of mine and other social channels and it’s giving me so much energy to see where it goes. And that’s because of friends like you who have helped make this dream come true. Just know I am more grateful for your support than ever before and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
A little long-winded today friends and I apologize for the ongoing saga of words, but I hope this helps even one of you realize that it’s OK to walk away from something… to focus on your kids, your marriage, your friendships, yourself. Now I’ve got ample time for more AMAZING things and that’s quite alright by me. OXOX