I was in Seattle last week for the Yarn Market News conference and boy did I have fun! What a great experience. Kibbitzing with store owners from all over the globe, getting lots of great ideas from the sessions, and coming home with a brain full of ideas of how to make the Nest even greater! If you aren't familiar with Yarn Market News, it's a trade publication that comes out about every other month. It's VERY well done...many of the speakers said it is the nicest trade magazine they have ever seen. I have to agree.
The conference was very well planned and included courses about display, branding, accounting, and my favorite "Get a Life!" about finding a life/work balance. I am not one to get on my soapbox and preach about the long hours, busy days working solo, or all that goes on behind the scenes to make the Nest great...it's not my style. I love being a business owner. I love my shop. I love my customers. However, it is rare that you will see me in the store knitting or sewing...there's just so much to do! I don't take a lot of personal time and even when I am not physically in the store I am in the store. As a business owner, my brain is always there, my phone is always on, my email is obsessively being checked, and one will most likely find me holed up in my office logged into the store computer being the Wizard. In fact I make the joke "don't mind the man behind the curtain" because that's truly who I am...the (wo)man behind the curtain keeping the show going!
This session about getting a life resonated even more this weekend when a customer pulled me aside to compliment me. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't take compliments well, but what you might not know is exactly how much they mean to me. I take them to heart. Anything about the store is a reflection of me, so even when the store is talked about nicely I may brush it off, but it's only because I am embarrassed and I am always thinking about how I could do better or improve. Anyway, turns out this customer has a background in career coaching and she paid me one of the nicest compliments I have ever gotten, (I am paraphrasing here) "you are meant to be doing this. You are a leader and it shows in how you work with your teachers and your staff. You are doing a great job and I love coming to this store."
I am sure I turned 15 shades of pink, but thank you dear customer, you made my day and all of the hard work worth it.