the economy

here's the thing.  i have been in business now for five years.  over that five years our economy has changed dramatically.  the first couple of years were relatively easy-- the shop was growing, the economy was about to crash but no one knew it yet, my vendors had lots and lots of beautiful things to sell-- then the fall of 2008 happened.  since then things have been changing, steadily but constantly.  my vendors and i-- all trying to hang on and stay in business-- have developed different relationships.  we support each other financially, and we understand when something is out of stock, or when something takes a long, long time to get in to the shop-- that's just how it has to be so that we can continue to do what we do.  it is all about cash flow and the lack there-of.

at my little shop we are lucky-- we are in a little bubble selling fair trade and organic goods in a liberal, largely well-heeled valley.  we actually still have growth through this hard economic time.  but we have, clearly, tightened our belts.  we can't re-stock things as easily as we once could-- both because of our own cash flow issues, and because our vendors have greatly reduced what they are able to carry.  they are carrying only the things they know will sell best.  for many of my customers this has not yet sunk in-- every day i have someone wanting something that i simply cannot get.  we are so used to instant gratification in our retail world that we have yet to understand that the world has changed-- we have to learn to be patient and to wait.  we have to learn to be okay with what is available, rather than thinking we should be able to get whatever we want.

for me this is not a bad thing.  i have long been aware of the creativity that can come of necessity in  financial hard times.   i am forced to be more creative in everything i do-- finding ways to make enough money, staffing my shop, arranging the shop to keep it fresh during periods when not as many new things come in.   all of it an exercise in creativity and frugality.

and always-- there is hope that we will all come through this okay.


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