Hi! You may or may not know who I am, so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lindsay, and I am the owner of the Boho Basement. Despite typically preferring to keep the personal and professional aspects of my life separate, I'm realizing that owning a small business constantly blends the two into one crazy roller coaster ride. So in 2021, we will be adding a lot of new things, and I will personally be taking you behind the scenes as much as I can.
The Boho Basement was founded this time last year, by myself and my partner, another amazing artisan, Frances Butters. We started 2020 with high hopes for our little shop, and planned our Grand Opening for February 29th, leap day! January and February consisted of insanely long days and nights as we put everything we had into making that basement nook cozy. Our opening day came and you guys blew us out of the water with your support. Family and friends drove hours and when the day was over, we were shocked at all we sold. Needless to say, those high hopes we opened with were still flying high. Sadly that died down quite a bit when we were only able to stay open for two weeks, before the pandemic hit and we chose to close our showroom to help prevent its spread. We operated online through our website and social media accounts, and were able to keep the lights on, but things were far from easy. In June we finally re-opened, and fortunately, things began to look up. Although the world was insanely different than we ever imagined, we continued to push through, and learned how to adapt to the new normal. 2020 remained hardcore, and pretty much threw everything at us. From the pandemic, to civil unrest, and even our store flooding twice in one week (not fun), we kept pushing. As owners, our own art got pushed further and further to the side, as we fought to keep the store operating for our amazing collective of makers, and for you, our customers. (For those of you who create, you know that the work you do acts as not only a hobby, but also a form of therapy. So shoving it aside is extremely hard, especially in a year like 2020.)
In September, I drove past the vacant space that is now transforming into our new store. I had been inside before, and knew it had everything we needed and more. But renting an even bigger space considering how 2020 had unfolded, was I crazy? Yeah, I kinda was. Still am. But I am also pretty good at seeing the potential in things, and leveraging risks. The only problem? A store four times the size as our current store was going to take at least four times the amount of work, and we were already running on fumes.
In October, Frances decided that despite the fact she loved Boho, she really missed having the extra time to create like she used to. She lives much further than I do from either location, and adding that to our already huge list of responsibilities (that were only growing bigger) might take what was once a hobby and remove the fun, stress-relieving characteristics that made it worth pursuing. She chose to resign, and join a new shop much closer to home, owned by another talented artisan we both used to work alongside. (Speaking of, go check out Twin Bull Treasures in Petersburg and shop their family of local makers!)
I was now at a huge crossroads, and despite having owned two businesses since 2016, I had never made a decision of this magnitude before. My businesses prior to Boho were made up of me, myself, and I. They could be closed at any time or restructured easily because I only had to think about what was best for me. Boho is different. There were 20+ vendors who had become like family, who all worked harder than ever to fight through 2020. Not to mention the customers and our community who had grown to love us. I knew we couldn't stay where we were. But was I ready to take on a larger space, with even more vendors and their inventory?? I ran the numbers over and over and over. Talked to my husband. My parents. My sisters. And talked to them all again and again until I know they were probably screaming in their heads, "make a decision already!". Finally, I trusted my gut, and jumped. I signed the lease.
Man am I glad I did. I am still scared, sincerely frightened lol. But I think all entrepreneurs are at some point. Working a 9-5 may be dull at times, but it typically carries with it a sense of security. Small business ownership carries none lol. At any time, everything could come crashing down. But you know what? Ever since I made that decision, things have started falling into place. I made myself a list of things I had to accomplish by certain times to ensure the new space would come together. Things that would make me less and less frightened about this move if I could accomplish them. I had time, right? Cue the holidays. December was HARD. Like really hard. I was juggling an insane amount of custom orders (thank you, all my amazing customers!), running the shop pretty much every day (except for my incredible mom helping one day a week in-store, and countless others watching my son, bless her soul!), trying to pack and organize the current store, plan and schedule things for the new store, all while trying to be present with my family, and help create "Christmas magic" for my sweet toddler. I had breakdowns. I had panic attacks. At one point I was sincerely ready to quit, I just couldn't figure out how. But finally, Christmas Eve arrived, which meant I had made it. I was going to get a second to breathe, and soon, could focus on just one store. (If I ever try to relocate through the holidays again, someone please stop me.)
Which brings us to where we are now. The new store is coming along well, thanks to my amazing family. (I cannot thank them enough for their support and free manual labor!!) I have so many new vendors to introduce on our opening day I almost can't contain myself. And those goals or list of things I needed? Pretty much all checked off.
And now I am blogging about it, which feels weird enough as it is. And it also turned out WAY longer than I planned (sorry!!). But a blog and tutorials are one of the things many of you requested last year, so I am going for it. Authenticity is something I think people should see, and whether that may lead to three sentences and inconsistent posting schedules or weekly novels like this, who knows. So stay tuned, ask me questions, and continue supporting your local businesses!!