Summertime Confessions of a Small Business Owner
“When something goes wrong you have two choices: to fall down and stay there, or rise up and become stronger.” - Unknown
I recently attended a Lunch and Learn event where the speaker shared his experiences and struggles starting a company from the ground-up.
I was touched by his story and felt immensely inspired by his positive attitude. No matter what was thrown his way, he always resolved to move forward.
This post is my Lunch and Learn. This post is me, moving forward.
I lost my mojo
You may have noticed that it’s been some time since I published a new blog post for your reading pleasure.
I could take the easy route here, and simply say how “busy” I’ve been.
Although that would be true (I worked three jobs this summer), it wouldn’t be entirely authentic. And authenticity is important — crucial, really — to me in both my personal and business relationships.
The honest truth?
I’ve been wallowing. Most days, I've felt completely void of creativity. The thought of sitting down at my computer and trying to write a positive, inspiring blog post filled me with disgust and dread.
A bad year for tourism
Why? Well, it’s been a difficult year for small (and probably larger) businesses in the Okanagan. First it flooded, then it was on fire, and then it was filled to the brim with smoke.
Definitely not a year where we saw a lot of tourism, nor did our local community want to step foot outside… and I don’t blame anybody. The smoke was nasty!
But it made for a very stressful sales period. I reached out to someone about my concerns, and while they offered helpful advice, they also suggested that I consider making my business “more mainstream”.
If you know me, you’ll know how disheartening this was.
I have always strived to be unique, and to provide unique experiences. This is the main reason I started Karmyc Bazaar: to share one-of-a-kind, DIFFERENT artwork with our community.
To even consider bringing in things that would fit a predetermined ‘mould’ made me feel like I was selling out, and what would be the point then? I may as well close the doors and find an office job again.
So, I wallowed, I cried, and I began to doubt myself and everything I’ve been doing for the last year and a half.
Community = Heart
And then, my lovely community, you seemed to know that something was awry.
You began to tell me how much you appreciated that we only carry handmade, Canadian artwork — pieces that are utterly different and sometimes a bit odd, like our leather masks that incorporate real bones, or our sugar skull mermaid paintings, for example.
Your words began to lift me up again, and my resolve has slowly been coming back.
So, with this newly-restored resolve giving me strength, we're going to keep doing what we do. The last thing I want is to have a business that carries beautiful things that can be found in ten other stores in the area, or pieces that are void of substance.
How can you help?
As we continue to grow and refine our business, we simply ask that you think of us when you need to pick up a gift or a treat for yourself.
Consider making the trek downtown (we know parking can suck); you won’t be sorry. Some parking tips: the Chapman Parkade is right across the street from our shop and always has spots available, and if you don't mind a little bit of a walk, there is often angle parking available on Lawrence Ave closer to the intersection of Ellis and Lawrence.
Support your local businesses around the holidays for sure, but also year-round when you can — that’s when we need it the very most.
We understand that finances can be tight and money isn’t everything. Your visits and kind words mean the world to us as well. In the area? Pop by for a visit! (I love tea, I'm just sayin'.)
And if you love our shop, please spread the word! Stop by and pick up a few business cards. The next time someone compliments the rad necklace you picked up from KB, pass the card along and share the love.
Our promise to you
We will always strive to provide you with an experience when you walk through the doors of Karmyc Bazaar.
While some pieces may not be your thing, or you find them “weird”, we hope they will still make you think. In a world where it’s very easy to sit down and zone out, thought-provoking work is at a high commodity.
We will continue to support local and Canadian artists, and continue to offer you a place where you’re sure to find one-of-a-kind treasures for yourselves and your loved ones.
Most importantly: we promise not to sell out.
With so much love (and renewed strength),
PS: In the spirit of supporting small businesses, we have a page dedicated to our favorite local friends here: https://www.karmycbazaar.com/friends-of-kb