01 July 2008

Inspiration station

So far I've thought of a few clever catchphrases to launch this entry. I will share them in the aggregate, because I don't think any single one is clever enough to carry the weight:

I started a store, that started the whole world...shopping....
When the going gets tough, the tough open a store.
Nessa Reifsnyder: writer, editor...business owner.

Perhaps that last one is the best summation of what I'm trying to say here. With a business partner named Erin whose enthusiasm is, paradoxically, calming; and a collection of ideas that are designed to spark creativity in others (and in us); I have been incredibly fortunate enough to become a small-business owner.

Presenting...our logo:

Supplies, kits, workshops, ideas, digital printing, genealogy/heritage projects, support, inspiration: that's our business plan in a nutshell.

I think it's safe to say that I've never felt the mix of emotions that are brewed by this entreprenurial activity. I'm composed and serene, while also roiling with concern and anticipation. I'm ready and, simultaneously, unprepared. My creativity is feeling colorfully and texturally stimulated, yet my left-brain is wide awake (with columns of numbers and tax-code laws dutifully lining up to be analyzed and tabulated).

Erin and I went on a buying trip last week (feels like last month, that's how crammed every day is right now!) On the Internet, I had found this fantastic resource for fabric and goodies in Paterson, NJ:

Needlecraft is a wholesaler with 77,000 bolts of fabric and a helpful, supportive staff presence in their warehouse. We spent a whole day there, selecting fabrics and notions, learning about many different lines and designers, and discussing the business with Sam, Paul, and Jen.

Paterson is also the city where my grandmother Hazel resided for a number of years until her death in 1966. So I was able to merge this buying trip with some much-needed genealogy...setting my heart right, so to speak.

At day's end, Erin and I had three cartloads of fabrics:

(Incidentally, we have toyed with calling the store Naivete. And our secret superhero identity: Chicks with Bungees.)

Yesterday the wealth of fabric arrived at our store space, representing our first influx of stock. Nothing else to say about that, except yay yay yay!

I called this post "Inspiration station" because our enterprise is located in a remodeled gas station (at left). I adore that incongruity...but maybe it's not so incongruous: a building that sits at the center of our village, which for decades served a deeply practical and unifying function, is now repurposed--yet still has the potential to unify and lead to tangible outcomes. Okay, so art/craftmaking is not always practical, but when you set about gathering materials into a new object--and that object was created using your memories, emotions, and skills that have been handed down over centuries...well, yeah. Not a gassed-up or repaired vehicle, but it might take you places anyway. And quilts can sure warm you up come January.


franberry said...

Wow Nessa, what a leap! Starting my own business was something I thought about a lot while I was home with the kids, but was never brave enough to try. Best of luck with your new endeavor.

Janet said...

The very best of luck, Nessa - do you have a web presence yet?
Would love to see your wares! I try to shop within the geographical concept of Atlantica - a loose trading group comprised of the 4 Atlantic Canadian provinces and the 6 New England states.
Found your site through surfing and serendipity.
Janet in coastal Nova Scotia