Every new store owner's least favorite question is, "When will you open?" It's the one thing everyone wants to know and the hardest question to answer. What really does it take to start a new business? Well, for us I think we've come a long way and accomplished quite a bit in a short amount of time.
While the idea of opening up an herb shop together had been tossed around for years we had to wait until the conditions were just right. That moment came last Thanksgiving when I sat down at the table and told mom (Jo) that I wanted to open up my own practice in Grand Rapids and I wanted a shop but I didn't want to run it. Mom didn't hesitate.
Why Grand Rapids?
Mom and Dad have moved 22 times since they've been married. Our family has lived as far south as Florida and as far west as Arizona but Michigan has always been home. When I was just beginning high school we had settled in Ionia while mom and dad worked in Grand Rapids. We've made lifelong friends here so it wasn't a hard decision to move back. I'm not much of a city girl at heart but Grand Rapids does have a lot of opportunities for my two homeschooled kids. While searching for a good location a good friend of mine introduced me to Uptown. It had the right energy, the right feel, and the perfect available location. We couldn't be happier!
So What Does It Take?
Well, from the initial idea there was the research, the business plan, filing paperwork, packing up three households, searching for housing, signing leases, filing permits, meeting with lenders, waiting for funding, figuring out how to do without funding, moving, moving, and moving again, more permits, more paperwork, finding a bank, finding a CPA, installing a security system, switching utilities, finding renters, change of address forms, building shelving, painting shelving, searching out suppliers, ordering inventory, pricing inventory, labeling, filing, buying supplies, making lists, fixing broken vehicles, more paperwork, answering phones, paying bills, ordering more inventory, interviewing massage therapists, hiring massage therapists, getting the right signage, building offices, cleaning windows... there is probably a few things I missed. Not to mention somewhere in there we had to eat, sleep, and entertain two kids.
The Answer to the Big Question
So... when will we be open? *BIG SIGH OF RELIEF* We will be open June 22nd. You can stop by and say hello between now and then but we will begin taking appointments and officially open the 22nd. A bit later than we thought but then again, does anything ever go as planned? Thanks for hanging in there with us. We'll see you soon!
Kathryn Doran-Fisher is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified GAPS Practitioner and owner of Elder & Sage.