Change: Scary, Good, Necessary
Hi, Emma here.
I have a lot to say and I'm not quite sure how to say it, but here's the short version: Hazel & Rose isn't going anywhere, but I am. After founding and spending the last three years operating Hazel & Rose (in partnership with Bobbi since September 2017), I have decided to resign.
The truth is, through these last three-plus years I have come to realize that I am simply not at my best as the owner of a boutique store.
Those who have been following the shop from the beginning know that I started this on my own and asked Bobbi to join me as my business partner in 2017. What you may not know is that I approached her after less than a year on my own, because I quickly recognized that the way I was working was not sustainable and didn't allow the business to grow the way I had hoped. If Bobbi hadn't agreed to close Semblance and move to Minneapolis to become my business partner, I likely would have resigned when my original lease had ended in December 2018, and the store would have closed.
I am immensely grateful to have formed my partnership with Bobbi. Her ability to bring her vision to life is truly an enviable skill, and Hazel & Rose was elevated because she became a part of it. She is also the reason why I am able to step away and Hazel & Rose will continue - she will keep running the shop after I'm gone. I truly cannot wait to see how she continues to evolve this business in the coming seasons.
I wanted to take the time to write about this because coming to this conclusion has not been easy.
Entrepreneurship is idealized as this amazing way to live and work. It offers a promise of a life filled with meaning and passion because you've created your own personal dream job. I'm sure that my fellow business owners read that last part with a bit of an eye-roll, because, in reality, holy shit it is so hard.
Perhaps the idea that entrepreneurship is hard goes without saying - if it was easy, everyone would do it, and, to that end, some of that idealization of owning your own business makes sense. But truly, I don't know that I could have ever been prepared for the intense emotional kite ride (less predictable than a roller coaster - shoutout to Being Boss for that metaphor) that is owning my own business - especially my own boutique retail business.
Allowing myself to even consider that this wasn't what I wanted was truly terrifying. I didn't want to consider that I had misled myself to this point. I asked my husband to support me while I started this business, dramatically adjusting our budget and lifestyle. Oh, and I asked another person to shutter her business and move her partner and herself to another city to be a part of my business. How could I be so selfish, and wouldn't this end these relationships - the most important ones in my life?
It was very difficult to admit how I was feeling, but these relationships had been built on a strong foundation of communication, and while it wasn't what any of us had planned, we talked, we listened, we considered, and we adjusted. I still feel selfish, but I also know that ultimately this is the best decision for me, for Bobbi, and for the business.
I'm not saying this to scare away future business owners. I learned so much over these last few years, and if I hadn't done it now, I'm sure I would have gone after it later in life. There have been tears and frustrations and joy and connections and I am incredibly grateful and privileged to have had this opportunity. But I am also glad that I've been able to identify that this doesn't make me the best me. I don't have to be an entrepreneur. It didn't end up being my life's calling, and that's ok. I'm learning that I could stand to benefit from allowing myself to be defined by things other than my career, which was also not easy because I have been crazy career-driven since I started babysitting at 11 years old.
I'm saying this because I don't think it's said enough. It's ok to not want to be an entrepreneur. It's ok to not want to have a side hustle. It's ok to not get everything you need from your career if you get it elsewhere. Also! It's ok to want to do all those things! If that's what's best for you, terrific. Do it.
My actual departure date from Hazel & Rose is to be determined - I'm currently job hunting for the right fit - but Bobbi and I wanted to share this news in advance since we've built relationships with so many of you. There's a possibility that I may be moving out of Minneapolis, so I may not see a lot of you for a long time. If you can, I'd love if you'd stop in the shop and chat.