"Behind every business is a family."
As we celebrate our one-year anniversary at the shoppe, I am so thankful for the folks who have supported, built, maintained, and brainstormed until the wee hours of the mornings to help bring The Collective to life. Owning a small business is not pretty- majority of the time. And deciding to open a business is not something that affects your life, but also the lives of those closest to you. Looking back, it seems kind of ridiculous to ask such things of people who don't really HAVE to help you.
But there's this really cool thing that happens- people show up.
From 6am carpet removal to all-night paint parties, from attending every event to volunteering to work hours in the space: there are so many people without whom the shoppe would not be successful. If you would be so kind as to read on through the following thank yous...since a billboard seems impractical, shouting my love for these people from the virtual rooftops will have to do.
First, to my actual family: it may be assumed you'd have to put up with me, but you Collins' and Fletcher's are some pretty incredible [read: tolerant] people. Thank you for everything, always. And to my lovely parents, there will never be enough thank yous for what you do for the shoppe and our community.
To our artists: without you, we wouldn't be here. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourselves with us and for making this space what it was, is and will be.
Kate, Bill, Ang, Todd and your family: YOU GUYS. The blood, sweat, tears and HOURS these people have willingly shared with me is insane. My emergency team, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do.
Alyssa, Christine, Hailey, Liz, Meghan and Molly: my Cheetah girls. You all are my constant source of empowerment and inspiration. Thank you for being with me every step of the way.
Bert, Tom and Pat: I will never know what I did to be blessed with the gift that is your support, mentorship, and well, let's be honest- the therapy.
Tressa, Cassie, Renee and Hailey: Thank you for allowing me to balance both of my passions- while tolerating me and my brain on overdrive. Mohler has been a sanctuary for me and you women are just amazing.
Christine, Annie and Danielle: my rocks, my go-tos. Thank you for being my sounding boards, my therapists, my people.
My ConnXion Family: the ones who always show up. Even in the simplest of ways- the happy notes to snapchats of Carson's display sales- you are collectively a huge source of my sanity and success.
Mae and Mark: MY NEW PEOPLE! You both bring such a new energy to this community. Thank you for connecting people, and allowing me to be a part of your entrepreneurial journey; I am so excited to watch PTO take over Mount Prospect.
My fellow MP businesses : Businesses supporting businesses. It's the absolute COOLEST thing. There are so many businesses who have been instrumental in our mentorship and success this year. To Capannari Ice Cream, Mrs. P & Me, Byte Me Web Hosting & Design, Busse Automotive, LePeep, Canta Napoli, Knee Law Firm, Chokshi Filippone Law, Emerson's Ale House, Honey Biscuit, Trezeros, Lightbox Graphix, Picket Fence Realty, MECO Consulting, Innate Concepts, MPJWC, and the MP Chamber of Commerce: thank you for showing us not only what it takes to be a player in our community, but how to do it right.
Liz: what can I say? You're my other half in this game. Finishing my sentences, keeping me grounded, chasing me around with a fishing rod to reel me back in. Thank you for Zabette and for teaching me how easy it is to just be a GOOD human.
And finally, to our Village: this is where I say FRIENDLINESS IS A WAY OF LIFE YA'LL. When you work with the staff over at the VoMP, they make life so easy! Thank you all for being absolute rockstars.
There are so many other beautiful souls who have made our everyday so special. Thank you to those who volunteered during the long moving days, those who have sent cards and those who have attended our events and support us day in and day out.
Behind our business is a community: of parents and of old friends, of artists and fellow business owners, of new friends and bartenders, of teachers and coaches, of coworkers and neighbors- all coming together to support the dreams and art of local people. Thank you to the Village, our customers, and to those who have chosen our shoppe family- I am so PROUD of what we've created together this far, and year two is looking even better.
Life is complicated, that's a given. I'm just here to talk through the rough patches, celebrate the successes of adulthood and figure out what the hell we're doing.