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Business year 2 is coming to a close.   I want to reflect on a year of growth and accomplishment, but that wouldn't feel very truthful.  It was another really challenging year, with a few positive moments that seemed to show up just in the knick of time.  This is what most year 2's of small-scale retail look like - at least the ones I'm familiar with.  Maybe I'm learning how to prioritize, relinquish some control, work smarter instead of harder, and find ways to distract myself from the weight of it all.  Maybe.

The overall theme and voice of the store got stronger and more cohesive in year 2.  I'm proud of that. As I consider goals for year 3, I'm holding my breath, waiting for the next chapter of this dream to take shape.

Many people have asked how the demolition and reconstruction of O'Gara's for the duration of 2019 will impact my business.  The answer is I don't know.  Scary short-term?  Positive long-term?  I would prefer to share excitement over the new pizza place that's going in a few doors down.  Or enthusiasm over Rose Street Patisserie opening in the the vacant Starbucks space.  Or progress being made on the new soccer stadium scheduled to be completed next Spring.  I'm scared, but also hopeful.

Earlier this summer, Hannah of Life+Style+Justice announced she would be hosting 2 discovery trips to the Philippines where she has been working on a factory project you can read about here.  I read over the itinerary for the September trip, and felt strongly that it was something I needed to do to help me - and the store - move forward. 

photo c/o Life+Style+Justice

Just a few highlights on this trip agenda: visit social enterprise organizations, explore a sustainable agriculture farm, experience the craft of hand-loom weavers, learn about zero-waste innovations in the textile world, and maybe hike a volcano and play in a waterfall or two.

I'll be leaving the store in the most excellent hands starting late next week.  Fall fashion is rolling in and I'm little bummed I won't be the first to see it all.  However, I hope to do some sourcing in the Philippines, so you never know what treasures might come home with me.

Cheers! 
to 2 years worth of supporting small brands and artisans
to a shot at year 3
to new friendships - human and doggy
to the growth of St. Paul, the homiest city I know

Shop small this fall.

xo

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