The Enriched Stitch turns 4 years old today! I can’t believe how time flies. It seems like yesterday when I was painting the walls, hanging threads, and having panic attacks on a daily basis and wondering what I had gotten myself into lol.
When I first announced to my stitching group that I was going to open a store, Aggie said without hesitation “I’ll work Saturdays.” Not so easy to find someone so willing to pitch in on that day of the week. We would spend those Saturdays mostly stitching and praying that customers would come in. It didn’t take long. . .now it’s hard to find time to shove some food in our mouths for lunch!
On opening day I met Mary Susan. She was so excited to the new needlepoint store to open. When she walked in, she was quite surprised to find her husband already in the store. He was buying her a gift card for her birthday. Funny thing was . . .I had no idea how to issue a gift card. Talk about more pressure on your first day. Mary Susan was with her daughter, Julia, who later came to work at the store. She’s the genius who first built our online store. She was mortified that day when Mary Susan said to me, “I just know we’re gonna be great friends!” And boy was she right.
Nancy, my mentor, sadly moved away to Colorado, but makes guest appearances at the shop when she’s in town or when I go on vacation. She tirelessly listens to me nearly every day about the goings on at the shop, how business is, what I’m working on. We must talk about more than that since we talk for over an hour almost daily.
I met Patti very early on. I came to call her “It’s Just Not the Right Red.” She was working on a canvas with flowers, and at the time I didn’t carry nearly the amount of threads that I currently do. Little did I know that Patti had an incredible sense of color, which explains things in retrospect. Who knew that her attention to detail would come in so handy one day?
And then there’s Becki. Oh what would my life be without this colorful character? She breezed into the store for the first time, finally finding it after going in nearly every surrounding parking lot. She had wacky taste in canvases and she talked about things I had never heard one could do with a canvas. Boy has she opened my eyes! I still thing she’s got wacky taste . . .not sure I can get on board with all of her woodland critters that she’s always stitching.
Andrea would pop into the store from time to time early on, which then evolved into a few times a week. She would jump in and help customers without hesitation when we were busy. So, I asked her if she wanted to “officially” work at the shop since she was basically doing it anyway lol. She has boundless enthusiasm and patience. Guess that must come from being a mom of five. Shoot me dead! lol
And Linda, dear Linda. She’s very busy right now planning the wedding between the gingerbread man and his fiance, who’s ring I saw yesterday. Quite a rock if I do say so myself lol. When Linda would come into the shop years ago, she would bring her fabric for finishing the piece with her and match her threads to it. This was such a foreign concept to me. I get it now. In fact, she makes us get our fabrics before we start stitching so that she doesn’t get sent all over Manhattan looking for just the right pink. Chances are, she’s got the fabric at home. I am dying to see her needlepoint room. I think it’s secretly a fabric and trim warehouse.
I am so grateful for the ladies who work at the shop. Not only are they amazing stitchers, they are my support and my backbone. I couldn’t do what I do without them cheering me on and supporting me. We’ve built a village together and I can’t wait to see it grow.