We had our ladies "Let's Have Coffee" Bible study the other night and this year we are looking at the different names of Jesus. We meet once a month and this month we looked at Jesus as bread. I loved setting the table with fall decorations and having a display of homemade challah, grapes and cheese. We partook of communion together at the end of the study, remembering that the bread of life, both invites us to fill up on Him but also gave up His life for us.
I do have to say that one of things I'm looking forward to with the shop closing is being able to focus on doing more of this type of thing. I've missed it and do feel like I've gotten distracted a bit. Many of the ways I want to minister to others just haven't happened because I've been busy. When I opened the shop, I had the desire to reach out to our community but that hasn't happened either, mostly because people coming in are there to shop - period.
I know I mentioned closing for the season, but the whole truth is that the shop will be closing after the first weekend in December and I'll be relocating back to my home. I've been doing okay there but I have found that I just don't have enough traffic coming through the shop to make it worth staying open. The people who come in love it and generally do purchase something, but there just are not enough customers. Even in this "busy" season, I may have only about 4-6 people come in. Other days, no one comes in even with advertising in the local paper. My online sales have been fabulous but since 95% of my sales are through Etsy and Facebook, that is something I can do from my home.
I have mixed emotions, but at the same time I know this is the right thing to do. My landlord at the shop was generous in giving me such a wonderful deal, but I just don't have enough money coming in to sustain it long term. I had originally planned on staying open through Christmas but my landlord is going South for the winter and understandably wants to close up the building before they leave.
So last big "Hurrah!" will be the first weekend in December. That Saturday is the day the entire town celebrates Christmas and there are vendors all over the place. They are in the high school, churches and businesses. There is a tree lighting ceremony and Christmas carolers and a trolley, taking people to the different locations. We were not here yet for this last year so I'm looking forward to it.
Of course, it does mean I'll only have a day to pack up everything because they are leaving right after that weekend and I'll have to squeeze everything back into my home! :-) But at least I'll have a project to work on during the winter months. lol Then I can refocus my attention on having people over and focusing on those things I love doing in ministry.
So I truly am thankful for this opportunity I've had. I made a go of it and while I did truly enjoy it, realize that I just don't have the resources to do this type of business.
And nothing ventured is nothing gained! I have gained some new friends and acquaintances. I've gained perspective on what it means to run a business. I have gained a renewed vision for my own personal ministry.
And that makes it a good experience.