When I started Rusty Romance in the middle of 2015 it was the first step to a dream realized. I knew I was embarking on a journey with a steep learning curve but I was ready for the challenge!
My end game was to have my own retail space. My past career left me prepared for what having my own brick and mortar location would be like, so off I went in search of the perfect location. I toured many empty buildings and tried to visualize the beauty that each unpolished gem held but something was missing. I then came across an alternative plan…maybe I could join a Co-Op. Sharing space with like-minded people who share my same interests would be exciting! Not only would I be surrounded by creative people and years of combined expertise but some friendly competition too!
My thought process…1) Approach a Co-Op owner. 2) Ask nicely. 3) Pay your rent. 4) Become an overnight success…EASY right?! WRONG! I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods but in mine….it’s HARD. I was shocked when I was told time and time again that there were very long waiting lists for a space of my own. It could be up to 2 years just to get my foot in the door! Surely, that couldn’t be right? So, I put my name on the lists, MANY lists and waited (not very patiently).
Tick…Tick…Tick… fast forward 16 months! I had all but given up and was ready to throw in the towel when I hit the LOTTERY! I had clawed my way to the top of a list, I got a space. I could see it all so clearly, it would be spacious and lovely. Do you know what I got? I got a CASE and a promise that if it went well I could get a space. UGGHHHH!!! Dejected but determined I decided to make it the prettiest display case in the history of display cases. I got it ready for Valentines Day and I crossed my fingers.
My Valentine Case
It did well right away and was well received by all the vendors. Within 2 weeks a space came open and it was mine, ALL MINE! I was over the moon and moved into my Vintage Themed space right away.
With my new space doing incredibly well I was hooked! Can’t I have just one more space…pleeaassse??? I began to stalk my fellow vendors like a jungle cat watching for signs of moving boxes. I think I scared my neighbor, he fled in the night and in the middle of February I got my 2nd space!
My Primitive-Themed space
Now I was really making some progress! Enough so that I was starting to see my garage floor again, inventory was moving out rather than in for a change!
Be careful what you wish for….if you are patient enough you just might get it. I made it to the top of the list at another Co-Op in a neighboring town. This one needed a little love so with some paint, a chair rail and a fairly awful stenciling job, it was ready to go!
The end result… my Elegant Antique Space!
2017 truly took off like a ROCKET for Rusty Romance and I am anxious to see what the rest of the year holds. I am so blessed to be able to realize a lifelong dream and for my family and friends who support me every step of the way!
Happy March to you all!