Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It takes a Village to Raise a Retail Store- THANKS

by Staci Stevens

I know.... I know..... I've been out of the "blog" loop lately. You would think I'd taken a sabbatical or possibly Jenelle fired me. Well unfortunately and fortunately it's neither. I've been keeping occupied with managing the store during Jenelle's maternity leave- and just when I thought things would quiet down I moved from Seattle to Portland (OK- Vancouver "technically").

Following the whirlwind move I took a Much Need vacation to Ireland. Upon returning from my vacation I whisked myself back to L'worth to get the store ready for Oktoberfest. Phew......

So, at last I am back behind the blog wheel, or at the blog helm, or I guess it's just in front of the computer- writing my blog. It feels nice- and I certainly missed expressing my innermost thoughts about Mariah Scarey and In'a'pro'pro dressing- passively- with a blog.

Given all the time since my last blog I have a handful of things I would like to write- but you only have a 15 min coffee break to get through this blog- so I will focus on our two year anniversary.

Last Friday while tagging one of the 15 new boxes of merchandise we got in (I'm NOT exaggerating) Jenelle excitedly (and out of no where, actually) exclaimed "Happy Anniversary". I automatically responded "Thanks- but Brandon and I celebrated our anniversary in July". She giggled and clarified that she meant Happy Mapel Anniversary.

Wow- she was right. That weekend marked our 2 year anniversary. I had completely, entirely, undeniably forgotten. Plum forgot. I was so busy re-ordering outerwear, confirming we had at least two of each purse style and adhering stickers to our shopping bags I totally forgot about our anniversary.

I am proud proud proud to announce that our anniversary was our best day ever. Best'est. We actually didn't tell our customer or post any info about our anniversary- we just got our O'fest on and worked at full capacity last weekend.

With all that in mind I have to note that Mapel would NOT be in business (especially with this recession) if it was not for all the support from our friends and family.

We know everyone has been undergoing tight budgets but when you decided to pick up a new pair of jeans, find that perfect top for a summer trip, new dress for your cousins wedding, sandals for the beach, baby shower gift, or that new fall handbag we love that you came to us first to see what we had to offer. Supporting small independent business is the backbone of our economy and it genuinely means the world to us (well- and our livelyhood).

Jenelle and I also could not of built a business like Mapel without the physical and mental support of our friends and family. We have so many local and distant friends that have offered (and we've taken them up on that offer) to work with us in the store during our busy hours. Or to cover our store the moment an unexpected emergency happens, or to work with us at road shows, or to host our road shows, or deliver our alterations, or write a blog about Mapel's new merchandise, or brag about our Free Shipping, or give us a call when you see a website blooper, or suggest a new label, or.... well the list goes one.

We found strength and endurance in you sweet and timely emails of encouragement, praise and constructive criticism. These have expanded and strengthened our business exponentially.

Thanks for being our customer, photographer, model, advocate, vendor, supplier, blogger, tagger, driver, babysitter, well.... the list goes on.

It takes a village to raise a retail store. There are not enough Thanks to Thank those that have supported Jenelle and I these last two years. We can not wait to see what the next year holds.

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