One year ago today I awoke very early to shop for the perfect yellow flowers to have in my store on its inaugural day. I had hardly slept, partially because I'd been up all night nervously organizing and reorganizing the displays but mostly because I was absolutely terrified. The process of opening the shop was something that I'd done with a surprising amount of ease and a bit of naiveté. Don't get me wrong--it took months, but I'd been dreaming of this place for so many years that there were almost no hard decisions and no major setbacks. It'd been a project that I kept pretty quiet because I felt uncertain. Not uncertainty towards my idea and my vision, but uncertainly about how it would be received. It seemed less painful to just wait until I had something to show for myself and then hope for the best.
When the day finally arrived, it still didn't feel like a real thing. It felt like an art school stunt that I'd completed and would move on from. I met neighbors, passersby and internet friends while trying to hold it all together with the help of my friend Jackie, who kindly kept me company those first few days.
One year later, I'm no longer afraid and I have a team of amazing people to help me make everything happen. I've had the chance to go to Japan, Germany and Switzerland on pencil business, have settled into a new office down the street from the shop and have done more interviews for press than I can count. I still don't know how to pose for a photo without looking absurd and I still forget the prices of products when customers ask but all faults set aside, I can now unlock the doors of the shop and feel that it is mine. It is my home away from home and my colleagues and my customers are my family (albeit a rather unconventional one).
When people ask my why I opened a pencil shop, I still struggle trying to come up with an eloquent answer because the real answer is simple: it's what I wanted to do, and it's what I love.
Perhaps I should get to the point. What I'm trying to say is that all of my wildest dreams for this business have come true in this past year and I owe it all to you, and everyone else reading this online or visiting me on lazy summer afternoons or e-mailing me for advice. I love my shop and I love you all for being a part of it and for that I thank you.
Pictured: the shop last year, March 11th