Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You win some, you lose some . . .

Well, I'm afraid that my brief time at the cafe has come to an end, dear readers. Business dropped off sharply during the month of October, and my business partners and I decided that it just wasn't working. I just came to the decision . . . some weeks before I could actually admit it out loud . . . that it wasn't going to be an investment of my time OR money that was going to be wise in the end.So even after all this work, all this heart and soul I've poured into this place . . . it's over.

I'm sorry if this disappoints some of you. I know that a lot of people have been looking up to me for following my dream. And it hurts to think that I might let some of those people down. But I really did give it my all, and I learned a lot from the experience. It's hard to pin-point exactly just went wrong, and I'm loathe to point fingers at anyone or anything in particular. It is what it is. I went through a few days of great sadness. And now I am moving on.

Onward and upward, as they say.

I have had an idea in my head for over a year now: selling my own home-made cake mixes to people who are too busy to bake from scratch. Even better, layer the ingredients and decorate them in a rustic mason jar, decorated in beautiful fabric and ribbons.

This idea has been on the backburner for me for quite some time now. I've had the supplies ready, the concept working, even the recipes picked out. When the Midland Cafe didn't work out, I know it was time to focus my attention, my energy, my passion on this project: my project.

One of the frustrating things I found with the cafe was trying to fit my "vision" with that of my business partners. Now, I am at the helm . . . I'm in full control of my own destiny.

Practical matters: I registered Vintage Victuals as an LLC. I got my friend Mrs. Southern Belle to modify my bread logo so that I could use it on my mason jars. I signed up for a local Holiday Market. I finalized my recipes, purchased holiday-themed fabrics and ribbons, and I searched far and wide for the perfect mason jars.

Then I went to work. I spent hours in the kitchen at the cafe assembling 70 jars. I brought them home and decorated them. I raided a VistaPrint sale for all sorts of fun promotional materials and gathered what I would need to decorate my booth at the Holiday Market.

Finally, I launched an Etsy shop on an online marketplace for handmade crafts and goods. Then, I got ready for my big debut.

It was such a success!!!

I sold 62 jars at the Holiday Market, and I got such a positive response that I have already signed up for two more craft fairs!!! I've spent the past week re-stocking my supplies as quickly as possible to keep up with the demand. I've had several online orders through my etsy shop, and hope that the response will continue to grow as I get my name out there and market my new business.

So bear with me, dear friends. I am down, but not out. As my dream continues to evolve, I hope you will stay with me and enjoy the journey as much as I am.