Conception

The birthing process is hard, is it not?

For me, the getting-to-birthing process was the hardest.   Conception, gestation & incubation are what almost sent me reeling over the edge.   2 c-sections delivering 3 littles?  Piece of cake.    You ladies who birth the good old fashioned way?  Rockstars!

But all that is another story for another day.  {In the short term, need help with infertility? Go here}.

Anywho…back to birthing a business.  Actually I guess this particular post is really about conceiving since Plume is still very much in the gestational stage.   Her birthday isn’t until  November 1st {Grand Opening!!} and there’s still so much that even I don’t know about her.    She’s become a 4th baby.    So for those of you who are interested, here is the story of her conception {rated G}.

I’m taking a bible study right now {Beth Moore, The Law of Love} which helps digest the book of Deuteronomy. She started her lesson asking the question… “Have you ever been looking for something, and found another completely different something than what you were looking for?  Have you ever had a prayer answered in the most unexpected way?”  Oh baby, have I ever.

I found it on a road I have driven no less than 1000 times the past 2 years.  We moved into a new neighborhood which changed my husband’s direct route to work, our direct route to church, my direct route to the grocery store and my local fabric store (very important destination for me), my bank, my insurance agent…you get the picture. I’ve driven past this place a gazillion times.  Maybe you have too.

On June 28. I saw it for the first time.

Patty’s Place.

Here she is, almost exactly as I found her on the side of the road. Except on that day, there was a WHOLE LOT of stuff out in the parking lot.

Here she is, almost exactly as I found her on the side of the road. Except on that day, there was a WHOLE LOT of stuff out in the parking lot.

It caught my attention because there was a sidewalk sale going on.

It caught my attention because there was a sidewalk sale going on.

I’m trusting you with my baby. Remember you do not ever, under any circumstances, call a momma’s baby ugly…

Patty had pulled all of her treasures out from inside the shop and was trying to clear some inventory. I like yard sales.  I’m always looking for a unique little something for my house, so I stopped. I only had a few minutes because my kids and groceries were in the van with me. I thought I’d check it out quick and maybe go back later when I had more time.  I saw the cutest little vintage school desk outside.  I went to the door and peeked inside.  I knew I would go back.

The next day, I did.   In the pouring rain, Patty gave me these.

You will for sure see me wearing these at Plume.

Now when was the last time you went up to a shopkeeper to pay for something and she said…”Oh, just take them honey.”

I went back again.

That’s how it began. This is how a business starts people. You stop on the side of the road looking for a bargain and you find a truly hidden treasure. I could see it. There was something in my heart that spoke to me.

“There’s something here for you. It’s old and dusty and cluttered and hidden, but clear it out and dust it off and she will shine.”

The voice grew louder, I went back a few more times and before I knew it I was getting to know Patty and her family and taking over the lease to the space.  I started working with her to purchase some of her pretty somethings to keep within the shop.

You know what? Patty herself is the prettiest something I found.  Definitely keeping her around.  She’s become my friend.  And she’s now sitting in that same Deuteronomy study with me.  She’s an artist, a painter at heart with a love for vintage.  Some of the things in Plume she’s been collecting for many years.   She was ready to pass them on to someone else.  For the record…I did end up paying her for the earrings a few weeks later.   It was the least I could do, because what she ended up giving me in the long run was a far greater gift.

So what about you?   Is there a treasure in your life, that’s hidden within something broken & completely unexpected?  Are there things you’ve overlooked as you’ve driven by 1000 times that could just be an answer to a prayer?   Want to know what my prayer was?  I prayed it back in March.  It for sure wasn’t for God to reveal the perfect place for me to open a shop and that it would be called Plume.  Never. Entered. My. Mind.    Maybe that’s another topic for a chat over coffee in the shop.

Plume is a work in progress, even as I write this.  More painting needs to be done.  Chairs need to be recovered.  An island for serving coffee needs to be built.   I need to be downstairs sewing instead of upstairs writing.  Parking spaces need to be cleared.   And….for crying out loud, there isn’t even a sign.

For now, when you see this? You're there. But someday...there's going to be a beautiful sign hanging in that spot.

For now, when you see this? You’re there. But someday…there’s going to be a beautiful sign hanging in that spot.

She’s almost consumed by all the used cars out front and the body shop next door.   {Yes, the cars…I’ve received the most colorful feedback on them}  Those belong to my neighbor Brock.  He’s been there for 30 years so I’m okay sharing my space with him.  He and his buddy Otis & Charlie can fix up your ride like nobody’s business.   I gotta get to know these guys better because I am betting  THEY have some stories to tell.

I get it.  It’s a long shot.  Even my husband thought I had gone off the deep end at first.  I don’t have investors.  I’m not taking out loans.  I’ve got a small amount of cash to spend without feeling like I’m putting my family in jeopardy.   So, Plume is here.  On Hoe Down drive.  Doesn’t that just make you smile?  It does me.   It’s what I can afford and the still small voice continues to say, this is where she belongs.   Forever?  Who knows.  But this is where she will be born.    And besides…where’s the story in opening up on Broadway?   Nope, the story begins on Hoe Down.

Is it just so crazy that it just might work?   I’m happy that she’s gaining a little weight.

Thanks to all of you.

For reading, for “liking”, for sharing…for praying.

And hopefully one day soon…for shopping!

There’s a lot more to this little story.  Dying to see what I saw that first day when I peeked inside Patty’s Place?  I’ll share bits at a time.  If you care to know more, keep an eye out for posts under the Category “40 Stories”.

See you soon! Love, Kelly.