Returning home I shared with friends that God was telling me to open a store of locally made products to expand the state of Florida. Amazing to me, they all responded with a resounding “yes”!
The dream bag started filling and I continued dreaming and researching. Two months after my return from Ireland, I was in our Kentucky offices for meetings. My Vice President sat me down and shared we were going to be restructuring our department. I was offered an amazing position but there was one big downside – I needed to move to Kentucky. Now Kentucky is a great place and I have lived there for work but I moved to Florida 6 ½ years ago because there are four precious children (now teenagers) I want to be woven into the fabric of their lives. I want to be a source of love, encouragement and great memories. When I moved to Florida they were in kindergarten, second grade (the twins) and 6th grade. In picture now 6th grade, eight grade and senior.
I weighed the decision and knew this was the time that God was saying; the seeds of your dream are ready to be firmly planted. Deciding to leave Gap after an amazing 25-year career that included 8 relocations and being part of many “firsts” with the company was hard. Deep down I had hope within knowing a dream was getting ready to come to life.
Daunting and overwhelming the thought of leaving the security of Gap, Inc and venturing out on my own. Exciting to know that God is in this all the way. He is the master planner. I look back on my Gap career from my first days out of college as an assistant manager in the stores, that God has planned every step of my career. God was giving me insights into all aspects of business that I would need one day to run my own Shoppe.
My path has been made clear and it is one God has been directing for the last 25 years. Knowing He has the plan and that gives me Hope to move forward and open Shoppe 561.
Shoppe 561’s underlying theme is hope. Look closely at the logo and you see the word HOPE pop out. This store is more than a retail outlet; it is a store that is meant to provide hope to artisans and customers alike.
Artisan creations will have a greater purpose in the lives of the buyers as well as meet their needs. Hope is given to the women of Rwanda who will have items for sale in the store that will fuel scholarships to keep women from being trafficked or provide a new path when rescued. Locally hope means supporting Hope House – a safe house for girls rescued from human trafficking.
Community will be core to the store. Partnering with local schools and artisans to create the windows, internships and classes are a few ways the Shoppe will be a part of the West Palm Beach Community. Hope has no choice to grow in our hearts when others who dare to dream surround us.
What is to come:
Fall 2013 is my planned store opening. Over the next months I will be traveling the country to meet with small business owners doing similar things to learn best practices. I will also be traveling the state of Florida sourcing artisans. (If you know of any artisans in Florida that would love to be part of my Shoppe, please let me know). I hope you will subscribe to the blog; it will share the faces of hope I meet as I travel these next months getting the store ready to open.