Letting people in on a story whose next chapter you have no idea what is looks like is scary. God has made it clear to me the search for our new location will be public with no editing. Through chronicling my story I hope you will be encouraged to step out in faith in your own story.
The Back Story. I'm the girl who is all about being ticked and tied with project plans and deliverables. I do not like to wait until the last minute and believe you need a plan to not have a plan. I tell God all the time, He can help others who need help getting organized because I have a plan. "I do myself" is part of my vocabulary which is why my people group is 4s and 5s, we have a lot in common. Pride - my constant struggle to want to do it all by myself vs trust God.
When I applied to be part of a team going to Rwanda God made it clear I needed to share what I had done with all my friends and not wait until I found out if I was accepted. That story in and of itself reminds me of God’s provision and faithfulness beyond measure. I ended up being accepted for the trip (1 of 16 out of over 500 applications, my Senior VP approved my time off during a black out period to take vacation and I met my fundraising goal). A piece of my heart is still in Rwanda and bottom line, its where the seeds for Shoppe 561 were planted. Read the full story in my posts from 2011: Rwanda Blog
Time to Move. Fast-forward to today, the shoppe’s lease runs out at the end of August and we will be moving. Where you say – I have no idea. What I do know is God has an awesome place picked out. I know this, as our current space was the ONLY space I was actually able to get a realtor to show up for the appointment and get a lease for review. Many would agree it has been a great space so I know our new home will be perfect for this next season.
It's clear we are to grow one space versus add a second location as we head into year 3 November 1st. We need to double our current space if we are to become profitable and be the place of community I believe we are called to be. I love what the shoppe has evolved into but our space limits us both in product categories and activities.
My vision is a location on South Dixie between Okeechobee and Forest Hill (we will see what God thinks). Currently all the possible locations seem to be sitting on gold based on the dollar per square foot being asked for in rent or motivation to return messages does not exist.
There is one spot I have loved long before it became available 4 months ago. (It is one of those locations that is sitting on gold from best I can gather.) Last month I was walking by it, standing at the front door and I had a Joshua moment. For those not familiar with Joshua he was the leader who ultimately took the children of Israel into the Promised Land. God told him he would give him everywhere he set his foot. The interesting fact is Israel only ended up taking about 30% of what God had given them because they did not step out in faith and trust God to give them the land.
As I stood in the doorway I told God I was setting my foot and desired the location. Is it crazy – if you knew the location you would truly say my chances are 1 in a million at best.
God is showing me I need to LET GO and trust that He who planted the seed of Shoppe 561, who brought it all to fruition and continues to grow it in ways I could never have imagined has it all under control.
The question - will I be bold enough to keep moving forward or will I let fear of "no" and facing what seems like a giant deter me.
My answer is keep moving; God is able to do immeasurably more than I could hope or ask - even if the location I think is best is not, He will come through with THE BEST location if I will trust Him to provide.
My baseline VISION for our new location: 3000 square feet, lots of windows and natural light, easy parking, wide open floor plan, space for people to sit and have community (possibly sell coffee/tea/etc), constant hub of activity with story times, moms groups, book clubs, craft times, more open walls to show case art from Palm Beach Public and South Olive Elementary Schools (whom we are business partners), classroom separate from our storage area allowing 20 plus people for classes and parties - just for starters.
The journey of letting go has begun and you can sign up below to receive my journey updates in your email. The key in the photo is one of The Giving Keys® and it the first product in the Giving Collection I am curating for the shoppe. I am so excited about this new collection as the range of product is going to be fantastic to include clothing. It is another reason we need more space (more details soon).
You have an opportunity to win a Giving Key. Sign up to receive the shoppe’s blog and on Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 pm eastern we will choose a winner from all who have signed up. The winner will receive the Hope Giving Key pictured below.
Hope is my anchor and the shoppe's anchor and I delight in passing this key forward.
(Photo's courtesy of Chloe and the hope key below is from The Giving Keys).