15 October 2007

Seasons & Revelations

The other day I had the privilege of having a wonderful conversation with a lady who writes for many national home and decorating magazines. She told me she might be interested in doing a feature article sometime on my home and on The Blissful. What thrilling news! I told her that I would love to share my shop with her in a more personal way. To have one's boutique written up in living color in the pages of any glossy mag is, I imagine, a secret dream of almost every shop owner. So the shop, definitely a yes. And then, I told her my big secret, which I am going to divulge here today.

The secret is that I do not currently have a home to call my own. I gave mine up two years ago in order to be able to start the shop. Since moving back to my hometown of Canton, Ohio, I have been living out of my childhood bedroom in my parents' house. Almost thirty years of my own accumulated finds, furnishings, and style now reside ingloriously in paper bags and boxes in my mom and dad's basement. How ya like them apples?

I miss having a home of my own. I especially miss having a kitchen where every purposefully-chosen utensil, all the dog-eared cookbooks, each adorable and impractical-looking tea towel, and the chunky cutting board, are all right where I want them. I miss flopping down on my own sofa at night. I miss not sharing a bathroom. But, you see, the sacrifice of home ownership (or even home rentership) feels worth it to me in this season. I would rather cultivate the shop and a lifestyle of entrepreneurship right now than cultivate a home. It's definitely something I look forward to for the near future...with a very hopeful emphasis on the near. After living as a self-supporting and independent woman for a number of years, and as great as my parents are and as mercifully easy as our relationship is, you might imagine that the transition is occasionally a little frustrating. You would be correct. But we're all in this together.

So that's my big revelation. When customers very graciously say things like, "Your home must be gorgeous," and I sidestep the question by replying with something like, "Well, it's a lot different than the shop," now you can understand why. While their minds are conjuring something very lush and offbeat and Euro-styled, my mind is holding a picture of my 10x12-foot bedroom, the perimeter of which is ringed with stacks of books and overflowing laundry baskets (holding clean laundry, I promise!). When I eventually get a home of my own again and am able to appoint it delightfully, I probably won't be able to keep myself from posting photos here on the blog, so you can be sure you'll get to take a peek.

But that's a story for a different season. Today, I'm focusing on enjoying the one I'm in. Tonight, in my parents' kitchen, I'll prepare a simple but tasty dinner of seasoned baked chicken breasts, rice casserole with mushrooms, and dilled baby carrots. The trappings might not be my own, but I can still put them to good use. :)


melissa @ the inspired room said...

Oh, that is MOST MOST exciting! I've been horribly behind in everything, including reading blogs and writing one special post in particular (it won't be long now, I am working on it today!). But, what else is new for us busy gals.

You are dedicated to what you do, and you have made the sacrifices necessary. Commendable! Do not be ashamed of that revelation, oftentimes the only way to make your dreams come true is to set some of them aside for awhile! You go girl!


anniemarie said...

you are ONE amazing woman! you listened to your heart and did whatever it took and opened a business and that IS following your bliss.then,you opened up your heart about home ownership~remember that your home is where your heart is and right now it is your FABULOUS SHOP! i am so happy for you and wish you great success! blessings all along the way! hugs,ann~marie

Jen@The Cottage Nest said...

Congratulations to you. How very cool.

I know for sure that you will appreciate your house so much more when you finely get it. And I look forward to seeing you display your talents in another way.

Raised In Cotton said...


Big hugs to you for following your passion and knowing that your bliss will always follow. Remember that Home is where you make it.


dahlias said...

Wow! Abby that is an awesome achievement for you and the shop! You know I get ya...I used to think I was the only 20 something that was living at home with my parents...while all these people think I am soo independent b/c I own my own shop...it always makes me chuckle when someone assumes my house looks amazing. I too am still in my childhood room...its decked out in a celestial theme that I designed in 1997 (when I was 15)...its ready for a redo...maybe this winter when I have some extra time:) When we take a step back we know its worth it...right?! Yes TOTALLY worth it!

Simply Me Art said...

Wow, I see all the Sacrafice you have put into your shop. You are extremely Dedicated and Determined. Lots of Good Things will come to you for all the Hard work you have put in. I love your blog and your shop looks Amazing.. Keep it up. Jamie

Paige Thomas King said...

Too cool! You've clearly got it going on!
I, too, have often heard those wonderfully flattering words, "Your house must be beautiful" or "I'd love to see your house." My involuntary flash is usually on the pile of laundry on my bathroom floor; chipping paint on every door jam; or any of the numerous unfinished projects throughout the house! My usual response is "You're looking at it--this is wear I live mentally, if not physically!"
I think you've hit on the secret of success--simplify to allow for focus. Clearly, it's working.
I'll be watching for the feature articles on The Blissful in my favorite magazines! You truly deserve your success.
PS love my gloves!

Anonymous said...

I really admire you for following your dream and giving up your home to pursue it. I followed the link from Melissa's blog (The Inspired Room) and just LOVE your shop! That's great news about the magazine article! ~ Lynda ♥

Anonymous said...

Abby-What a neat story. My Mom owned a really nice store near Chicago while I was a small child between the time that my folks divorced and she remarried so times were tight for us as she followed her dreams.
The store which today at best would be called a "pre-anthropologie" type store in the 70's was in my Grandfather's old Chicken Coop building. You'd have to see it to appreciate it. It was really neat. Today, as an adult, I'd be all over it! As a kid, it was the place to go to get $5 from my Mom for McDonalds.

My Grandfather had paid if off years before and retired in the 70's so she took it on to open a store of her own after working for whats now called "Macy's" but at the time was Marshall Fields. I"m sure you heard of it.

She had the coolest built in pieces that were important to my grandfather's chicken coop business that she used to decorate and show case products to their best advantage. Neat old scales and things that you can find in antique stores that cost lots of money today.

She owned the store for almost 20 years and finally closed it when my Grandmother became ill. I remember the sacrifices she made to make the business work. Looking back I know realize what a great business owner she was and maybe where my dream of owning my own store started.

I wish St Louis was closer to you so I could visit! Your store sounds like dangerous fun!


Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

I'm standing on my desk..."Captain my captain!" Your shop is beautiful and your dedication to your dream will reward you richly of that I have no doubts. I daydream about the life you are living and reading your story I had to marvel at your spirit and determination. I can't wait to see your online shop! You have deeply impressed me.


KarenHarveyCox said...

I just scrolled down to read this post also. I am so glad that I did...you are so brave to have given up your home to make your dream come true. I admire that, and your shop looks so enticing, I wish I lived closeby. I look forward to coming by and reading your blog often. Blessings, Karen