On a beautiful day in April of 2011 we opened the doors to the walk in love. store in Lancaster, PA with anticipation, hopefullness and excitement for the future. Today, on April 27, 2014 at 6pm, we will be closing the doors to the store with the same anticipation, hopefullness and excitement for the future.
I've been feeling a bit nostolgic as the closing date approaches and found myself looking at some of the photos from opening day and laughing. Laughing because I look at the younger version myself and can't help but think, "You have no idea what you are doing or getting into." I have a very vivid memory of opening morning. Our team said a prayer and as I started walking toward the door I looked to Brooke and said, "Well...here we go." With those four words we plunged into the unkown of owning a store. We didn't know what we were doing and in the past three years spent a lot of time making it up as we went. I have no problem admiting that because we were doing it. We weren't talking about it or telling people what it would be like. We were there, in the arena, living it out the best we could. We certaintly made a lot of mistakes, but I don't think any amount of planning would have negated them. We made them, learned from them, moved on and tried again.
I hear a surplus of young people talk about all the things they are going to do without any action to back it up. I am so tired of hearing people talk about what they are going to do, will do or are waiting to do. For so many, talking about all the great things they are going to do is where it starts and ends. Words about action without action are lies. So either stop talking about what you are going to do, or start backing up your words with action and life. There will never be a perfect time to do anything in life. There is no perfect time to get married, have a baby, quit your job, start a company, open a store. These moments will all take a little risk and a lot of bravery, but are totally worth it! The life we have been so graciously given is worth living. So stop talking, take a deep breath and plunge into the great unknown of whatever you want to do. When you are looking back and feeling nostolgic you will be so thankful that you did.
In about ten minutes, I am going to get up and head into the store for it's last few hours of being open for business. Over the past three years there were a few times when I thought the store would close. I made a few financial mistakes, among other things, and was unsure where they money would come from to pay the endless bills. I remember during those times feeling so fearful of what people would think of me if the store closed. I believed that people would spend so much time talking about me being a failure. Now, I am closing the store on purpose and really couldn't care less what people think of me for it. That's just one of the many lessons I have been able to learn from doing and not from talking. Life is meant to be lived. Stop talking about all your great plans and start doing anything - because trying anything and failing is way better than doing nothing.
I spent part of my childhood living in southern California in a tiny house on Olive St. We had a pool, because almost every house in California has a pool. I had two older siblings who were fearless around the pool. I remember watching them fly out of the pool, get a running start and then throw themselves back into the water, while I couldn't even swim. I was a late bloomer when it came to things like swimming, riding bikes and just being coordinated in general. I know that some of you are currently like I was as a kid, sitting in the shallow end looking at the fearless people around you flinging themselves into the water. I never learned how to swim by just watching my two siblings. Learning took action, bravery and spitting out a lot of water. I am so glad I learned because I ended up throwing myself into the pool the same way they did, enjoying the wild feeling of jumping, diving, splashing and screaming. So stop watching, take a few steps back, run and jump into the endless possibilities that only come with doing. - T.J.
DISCLAIMER: We are not going out of business. We are just closing our store and selling online only!