Treasures from the Heart
A few have shown interest in knowing how
I got started in my business, and what the store is like,
so I am posting on that today.
This is the long version, but I have hi lighted
the main parts for those of you who only want,
or have time for, the short version. =0))
About 28 years ago, when our children were young,
my Mom took an oil paining class.
I said to my sweet fella,
"Someday, when i have time, I'm going to take a painting class."
His response, "You never have time, you make time!)
So, I took an oil painting class at a local parks and recreation center.
Not far into it, while having the church ladies over for lunch,
they saw what i was doing and wanted to learn too.
And so began my 27 year
'career' as tole and decorative painting teacher.
After that first 8 week session of oil painting classes,
it would be years before i took another class.
They were few and far between, as i enjoyed the challenge
of figuring out how to do different techniques on my own.
I would just buy a book and figure it out.
The first 7 years, we were at tables in the family room,
and as one might say, it was "the blind leading the blind".
(only under very good lighting my sweet guy had put in for us).
I was glad to share what i was learning, and they were glad to be there.
So much so they insisted paying me for my bits of knowledge,
encouragement and help.
We transitioned from oils to acrylics somewhere along the way,
after dabbling in other things like water colors,
pen and ink and painting on fabric.
I loved the challenge of trying new things
and variety keeps it fun for me.
By then we were painting on wood and not canvas.
Of course that meant i had to buy a saw and figured
out how to cut my own wood.
I could not be waiting around for someone else to cut wood for me.
If i had an idea, I wanted the wood, right now!
As time went by, and we filled the family room with wood cuts,
and the garage with tools, and more students and classes were added,
We decided to rent a place somewhere, and found a location that worked well
only 7 miles from home.
Classes continued to grow and I did many bazaars,
meaning hours of cutting and painting to get ready.
(ask me sometime about the very first sale i did.)
Another 7 years at that location, and we decided paying rent
was not longer wise use of our money,
and we purchased the property we are currently in.
It was zoned for business, and a fine location for painting classes.
The house needed much repair, some we hired out,
and some we did ourselves.
(that is another long story of it's own!) =0)
After 13 years of teaching in the big room in the front,
with classes now being slower
(fine with me, I had been teaching up to 5 classes a week,
with 8-15 people in a class!) it seemed the Lord's timing to
have my dream of opening a store.
My students were so gracious and encouraged me,
even though it meant they would move into a smaller room for classes.
(they said it was 'cozy". =0)
And more work began.
Although the inside and outside of the building
had been fine for painting classes,
it fell a bit short in being a cute little store.
Friends, family, students, all pitched in to make the transition.
and in May 2008, a store was 'born', and a dream came true!
So my little gift shop, in an industrial area, in a little old ranch style house,
with a gravel parking lot, and weeds in the back yard,
and only open 3 days a week,
continues to grow as the word gets out.
I continue to teach a class a week, and will do more if the Lord sends people.
And we wait on Him to send the people He wants to the store.
You see, this is more than a store to me, it is a ministry.
My heart is for it to be a safe place for people to share.
A place where local crafters can consign their wonderful goods,
and a place people can shop for a unique and
special gift at an affordable price.
God is providing all those and more.
Thank you for reading my story.
Another time i will write the short and on going story
of how i became a part of blog land,
and offer updates about the store,
and what i am learning about life because of it.. =0)
Blessings on your day,