It's been such a busy year so far that it wasn't until yesterday that I realized circa1910 is turning 3 years this month. Seriously, where has the time gone?! It seems like just yesterday I was working away with bandaged fingers and a passion for making women feel beautiful. Oh wait, that was yesterday.
I remember the days of working a full time job and coming home to go straight to work until 12 or 1 a.m. on jewelry and filling orders. I remember the day I quit my full time job that I loathed, to jump full force into my business. I was 23 and had no money. I lived off of ramen noodles (literally) and frozen taquitos. I remember going into a bead store and spending $30 and crying about it later because I couldn't buy groceries. I remember not being able to afford dog food for my Roscoe and cooking him up the last of my frozen chicken breasts from the freezer. I remember rationing out the gas in my car and hoping and praying I could make it to a store meeting 5 miles away. I remember my roommate picking me up off the floor, again literally, because I was too exhausted and depressed to move.
Roscoe keeping me company as I worked in a tiny hallway in our Charleston home.
I made money, but not enough to keep the business afloat and pay my bills. But I kept going. Bills were paid late, but they were eventually paid. I was stressed, my health took a sharp turn, but I lived. I cried most days, but I had my family and friends for moral support who dried my tears. I kept going. Despite my circumstances, I kept going.
And now, as the 3rd year marker of what is circa1910 approaches, I'm able to look back at how far I've come. When I first began circa1910, I hoped to make sales. I hoped to one day be able to quit my day job and run a business full time. I remember when I was younger, I participated in a beauty pageant (something I am against now, and this is partly why). I was asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I hadn't even thought of my answer before I confidently blurted out, "Successful. I want to be successful." They chuckled and pushed forward. "Yes, but what do you want to do to be successful?" I didn't know! I was 16 years old. How on earth was I supposed to know how I wanted to live out the other 80% of my life?! Why wasn't my answer good enough? Success, no matter what it's in or how you get there, is a great thing to achieve for. Whether you're happy doing book-keeping or washing windows, if you reach your goals, you are successful. And that is good enough.
This year has marked quite a few milestones. Last year, we ended up doing 3 times in revenue of what we did in 2014. This year, we are on track to do 2 times what we did last year! What an incredible feeling it is to know that the efforts you've made and all your hard work is finally showing. Of all the achievements, though, Melvin the Mini Bus makes me smile the biggest. My heart could explode with all the happiness this project is bringing and will continue to bring. All of the plans are being finalized and the designs are coming together better than I could have hoped. The flooring, cabinets, roof, design and layout, furniture, displays, paint colors and countertops have all been chosen and we are just trying to find the time to finish it all up!
I have dreamed of owning some sort of store for as long as I can remember. Although the items I would sell have changed over the last 10 years, the business aspect has not. I love owning a business. I love when people ask what I do because I get to talk about my baby without limits. And people love to listen! Others love to hear about our innovative project of renovating a vintage bus to turn into a mobile store. Matter of fact, UPS and FedEx drivers, neighbors and anyone driving by our house, have all asked to see the inside and eagerly ask what we're doing with it. I recently purchased 2 antique 1870s porch posts for the inside of the bus and the man selling them offered to deliver them to our house for free just so he could see the bus they'd be going in. I love that this project that has been pulling on my heart strings for so long, is pulling on others' too.
The past 3 years have been the hardest, but most rewarding years of my young life. Thank you, circa1910, for giving me a purpose and the ability to pursue my passion.
Thanks for reading and we'll see you on the road soon!
P.S. I'll be updating you all on the progress of Melvin, but in the meantime, follow him on Instagram!