I don’t think I have really spoken about our Extended Stay Residency at Winsome Goods since it first happened back in July. It’s been a whirlwind of looking for new spaces and figuring out what being a solo owner looks like again. I finally came to the conclusion that taking a beat and feeling settled was what I personally needed. To be honest, I think Hazel & Rose needed it too. A moment to rebuild and reflect on what I want and need from being a retail store owner. I used to think being open 7 days a week and available 24/7 online was worth more than having time for myself. That I could always push through and if I couldnt I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, creative enough, determined enough. If I couldn’t do it all then maybe I just shouldn’t be doing it at all. I felt myself starting to question my purpose and worth, both as a business owner and as an actual human being. And that, is where I found myself at the end of 2019. Having regular breakdowns and questioning myself and what I’m doing with my life. I had to ask myself a lot of hard questions, which finally led me to admitting for the first time, that I was and am exhausted. Burnt. Out. Old ways of doing things are no longer allowing me to grow and be creative. It’s not enough for me to just go to market to find cool things anymore. To bring in massive amounts of stuff each season just to mark it down and devalue it until someone finally buys it. To barely be able to pay my bills and break even, and to be honest,sometimes not even that, is no longer sustainable. Providing jobs and encouraging creativity and opening this space up to new people and ideas, as well as respecting this planet and the people that live on it, is what i ultimately care about. I want to focus my energy on finding ways to better these systems and not kill myelsf trying to figure out how to have a “cool” store on instagram. I am not the first business owner to feel this way or have these thoughts, and I know I won’t be the last. For me it has been part of growing. Owning a business is hard. Retail is hard. Fuck. Life is hard and sometimes figuring out what we want and admiting it to ourselves is really hard. I wanted to share this because through all of my thinking and self questioning, the same two words kept repeating in my head. Human resources.
One of the coolest parts about being in this space with Winsome, is feeling connected to the entire process of how a garment/product is made. The people. The material. The equipment. The time. From design, to patterning, to the actual construction. Conversions about art and creativity, sustainability and ethics, inclusivity and diversity, business and retail. It’s so special to witness all of these steps and get to know the people working to bring these pieces to life. Sharing a space with Winsome Goods, and now Al’s Tailoring has felt like a step in a new direction. We have all decided to stay here and continue this work side by side. To help each other, support each other, learn from each other, and to invite others in and see what comes from it. Expanding this space into something beyond just shopping but more rooted in learning, discovering, and community.
I am hoping a new pace of life will emerge for me. New things will come in slower and our store hours may change, as I relearn what work/life balance means, and rebuild this business. Human Resources. It’s as obvious and as vague as you want it to be. As literal or as liberal as you need it to be. A space to question and a space to solve. To evaluate and reevaluate. It’s new and unformed and right now, that’s all I need to be. I am excited to share it with you as it takes form. Probably slowly and hopefully intentionally overtime. I am also so excited to hear from you if it sparks your imagination.
If you haven’t been into this latest location, we would love for you to stop in. Browse. Chat. Hang out. Ask questions. Participate in workshops. Try things on. Interact with the products and the people who make them. Let us know what you think. We are here to learn from you and about you and get to know you. So we can be better at what we do and ultimately keep doing do it.
Thank you for reading this. I don’t do things like this very often. Your time and attention is very much appreciated.
Bobbi Barron and Hazel&Rose