Want to know how the Mercantile really got started?
I’ve shared before that I read an inspirational book that motivated me to take the leap towards my dreams of owning my own business just as I turned 30. What I haven’t shared is that my life was turned upside down just one month before that. I had unexpectedly discovered that parts of my life weren’t what I thought they were. I was devastated and grasping at anything to distract me from the pain of it all. In the end it inspired me to make a change.
So I read that book. I turned 30. I bought an old FedEx truck. I started the Mercantile.
Six months later I was devastated by the same pain again. Only this time the wound was one I struggled to heal from. My life changed forever. It’s a dark spot in my story that would eventually become such a gift. In the moment however, I didn’t see it that way. I almost ended the Mercantile but ultimately chose to focus my energy on my kids, providing for them, and the truck. It became a focal point that stabilized me enough to put one foot in front of the other.
Eventually, I opened the pop up shop and fell in love with having a storefront. It was what I needed to grow the seed of the truck into what became the store on Riverview where the Mercantile currently lives.
I now can see that the Mercantile has always been a saving grace for me. It gave me hope. Hope that I could start out on a journey I’d never been on and be ok. In fact, not only could I be ok, but I could thrive.
Now, after months of a Midwest winter that is always a struggle for small business, and the realities of COVID-19, it’s time to set the Mercantile off on its next chapter. We are closing the storefront and going back to the truck.
This decision was hard. I have agonized over it for months. For me, this business was always about giving and not taking. I never wanted it to be a drain of any resources for myself or my family. Unfortunately, for me and hundreds of other businesses who have had to shutter their doors, this hasn’t been the case of the world we find ourselves in.
But that’s ok. When my world was turned upside down just before my 30th birthday I tried to find the good in the situation. The silver lining. I’m doing the same today.
I think about the weekends I’ll be able to spend with my kids uninterrupted. Slow moments where we have no where to be but with each other and moments where we are so busy making memories our cheeks hurt from smiling. I think about new babies to snuggle. (Oh yeah - did I mention my sister is expecting her first baby in August? Eek!) I think about the fact that I can still have the Mercantile but get more out of the life it helped me rebuild.
With so much uncertainty in our world right now, we are choosing to take a breath. Appreciate what we have. Reflect on the hurt and pain filling up every corner of the country. Listen to others. Grow and reset.
While I don’t have any immediate plans for when I will roll up the back door to the truck, I am so beyond thankful for each and everyone of you who supports the Mercantile. We can’t wait to see you again when hugs and handshakes are back in style.
Stay tuned for updates as we move inventory and transition back to where it all started.
With a full and grateful heart -