When I got the keys to my store back in April 2017, my life was already in major upheaval. My husband and I had just purchased a fixer-upper in Salem, and we were floating between two houses with lots of DIY renovation work. With this new business opportunity, we decided to put the home renovations on hold and focus on the shop build out. With our two young children in tow and my sisters ready to help, we walked into this old dance studio space with dingy yellow walls, plié bars, and a wall of mirrors wondering where to begin. 

We also had an aggressive timeline: to open the doors in a month so we could generate enough income to cover the next month’s rent. With the only employees being me and my sister, Amelia, I was overwhelmed and I had no idea how I was going to manage our online shop, candle production, a new brick and mortar shop (on top of caring for my girls and working on our trainwreck of a house). Thankfully my husband always has an arsenal of tools at the ready and was game to help with whatever ideas I conjured up. Removing the remnants of the dance studio and picking out an amazing paint color immediately helped us envision in what direction we should take the space.

I bootstrapped the build out using a tiny budget and a LOT of creativity. There were definitely projects, like the ceiling tiles and lighting, that we couldn’t afford to tackle in the beginning, but we built the pipe + wood shelving and cash wrap ourselves. With some Pinterest inspiration, we also created the penny countertop as a conversation starter. We even sourced some super old ones to hide in there for fun!

In those early days, it was pretty bare and I cringe a little when I see some of those old photos, but I know we had to start somewhere. After seven years I’m super proud of the evolution of the space and the experience we’ve created for those, from near and far, who visit our humble Salem shop! Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate with us at our 7th anniversary party on June 1. Please enjoy some photos from the event below!