A shop keepers life. A guest post with Mandi from Persnickety's Awesomeness Emporium

What It's Really Like to be a Small Business Owner

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you would know how much I LOVE pernickety's awesomeness emporium!

I've blogged about this amazing local boutique here, here and here.
Mandi's little shop is a diamond in the rough.
It's literally sandwiched between a tattoo parlor {flash Friday anyone?} and an industrial garage, but what's inside is amazing!

Mandi has a real talent for painting furniture and seeing the vision in old pieces with good bones.
She's also been a huge supporter of other local crafters {like me} and allows us to sell our junk {and I use that term in the best way possible} in her store.
I am so excited to welcome Mandi here to my little corner of the world to share with you...

Dirty and Blessed...A Shopkeeper's Life 

At least once a week here at the shop, a wonderful customer or two will wander back into my work area in the warehouse and tell me, while looking around in wonder, that I have the coolest job ever.

Lila the Sideboard, awaiting paint.

The customer is always right...right?
I do have the coolest job. I LOVE it. I am grossly blessed to the point it’s truly frightening. I own a vintage and painted furniture shop called Persnickety’s Awesomeness Emporium, and dude…it is fun here.

Every hour is happy hour!

I get to work with my amazing mom most days of the week. 

We have THE BEST customers, the most amazing and talented contributing designers…everyone is family and our family is the raddest! I adore them all! I haven’t the first clue how I bumbled my way into this kind of luck, but lucky and grateful I am. 

That said, this is work. As in manual labor. Dirty work. 

I am not wearing a sundress, perfectly coiffed hair blowing in a light breeze, leisurely painting priceless furniture in a lush field of free (yet high quality) paint brushes. 
Source:  Brobible
Nor do I have a slightly stubbled Gilles Marini body double on hand to wordlessly move all of those heavy pieces of priceless furniture while I sit back, perfectly pedicured feet upon the counter. 

Source:  IMDB


Here’s the reality the starry eyed customer may not know: 
Paint, brushes, waxes, knobs...they're expensive, yo!  
I am always, always, covered in dirt and paint. 
There’s unladylike sweating, a lot of it.  
Some extremely unladylike swearing (caused by splinters, fingers nearly broken off by rogue cabinet doors, unexpected spider appearances, project mishaps).
Cuckoo crazy deadlines that I can’t even blame on an unrelenting boss (since the unrelenting boss is just me...well, me and the bills).  
So. Much. Dirt.  
Paint on every article of clothing I own. (Have I mentioned I look like Pigpen every single day?) 
Not nearly enough time in the day or days of the week and no real time off. Tears, sometimes. Stress, usually. No social life.
I eat entirely too many meals from the parking lot taco truck. 


My ruined lower back is not unlike that of an 87 year old arthritic woman and I am certain we take the same nerve pain meds. And I am always poor, because I am a startup and every penny goes back into the business. If my hair is actually brushed don't ask when my last shower was. 

You know what, though? 

I love every minute of it. I couldn't live without it. 
I wouldn’t change one single thing. Except...maybe...the shop's location. But, hey, why be like everybody else (have I mentioned we are betwixt a tattoo shop and a smoke shop...oh I haven't...weird)? So I like a challenge, whatev.

There are folks out there with brands much bigger and talent much deeper, those that have been doing this much longer, with amazing locations and oodles of hard earned cash. 
They probably started not far from where I am. A place called Scratch.
I see what they have done, and I see what I have done differently, because I like different, and I am different.
To those that are better than me (and the numbers are many): I don't hate, I congratulate!
I am glad they are out there and am honest to goodness happy for their successes.  
It gives us little guys something to shoot for someday.  
In the meantime, there is work to do.
And...it's worth it. 

Because every time someone enjoys something I have painted, or buys a piece that they like so much they choose to showcase it in their home...there are no words for what an honor that is.

Simone the Sideboard...all tarted up!

Every person that has walked through this door and shared a laugh, some of their daily struggle, takes a class, becomes a friend, or emails just to say hi graces my life with more riches than any amount of money I could ever make.

Our Drab to Fab Painting Class...these ladies rule!

Each day I get to work to work with my mom, who makes me laugh with her brand of under the radar hilarity, touches my heart with her hard work and thoughtfulness, and touches a nerve every time she tries to talk me out of painting something wood ("Mom! THAT'S WHAT WE DO HERE!")....

Ma and Me

...I know I couldn't be more tired.  
More lucky.
More thankful.
Or more loved.
And that's the real life of a shopkeeper. Dirty and blessed. :)
Thank you to the marvelous maven of Holy Craft, Rachel, for having me and thank you all for reading! 

  Um, hello, don't you just love her?! 

 I must say, I have known Mandi {and her mama} for several months now, and love them both.  Mandi never looks like Pigpen and she does wear a sundress every time I have seen her, and never have I noticed that it's paint stained.  

If this post doesn't make you want to go support your local small business, I don't know what will! 

 So, go.

 If Persnickety's is close to home, pop in and see my friend Mandi.  If you aren't local, find another local small business owner and support them.  Remember, these small businesses of theirs is their life, their dream and their mere existence.  Support their vision.   


lisbonlioness said...

I love this post will all my heart. And I am not surprised you adore that little shop and the ladies who make it what it is, for they are amazing! (and beautiful- Pigpen? WHERE??)
I have not a single unique shop anywhere near me.. it's all generic, and what's not generic is faceless, just like the shop right next to it. How many takeaways do you need? How many polish food shops? (and I LOVE polish food shops, but seriously, two are plenty, 7 are a joke) Any more used white goods shops and I will cry.
In fact, a tattoo hop would be ACE! Just something unique to break this endless row of boredom.
Given a chance, I would support the heck out of local shops- I make a point of using our lovely little corner shop for every purchase that involves daiy staples, and I go out of my way to get everything DIY- related from the corner shop- keepers' son who runs his tiny little DIY- emporium a bit away. Might be a bit more expensive and further away than the supermarket but I LOVE it! They still do service from behind the counter, like, you go in there, tell them what you need and they get it for you. Oh yeah! If it saves me running around like a complete idiot searching for a steampunk- look mini- lightbulb, I am HAPPY to pay 20p more.
I am sad to see all this stuff die out. Get lost, Walmart, Tesco and whatnot. I love to know the name of whoever is serving me because we bumped into each other in the pub last night, not because the name tag declares it. And I love to know that Patels' DIY is an offspring of the best cornershop ever, where sweets are still counted into your paper bag by hand, and they always miscount "accidentally" in your favour.
Thanks, Ikea, but I'd rather have a persickety little shop nearby.

Anonymous said...

fun Post! I can relate to much as I have a booth and also display for the store that my booth is in- I love it!!

Megan Gunyan said...

What a fun shop! The name alone would draw me in!

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