A Letter To My Customers - Closing my Brick and Mortar

Wow, what an amazing ride this has been! I can't believe that this August would make 3 years of owning my own retail store. It has been such an incredible opportunity to serve you and my beautiful home town of Nipomo, California. Owning my own store was always a dream I had since I was a little girl. My play house was always a store (or a museum) that I imagined some day I would be having customers walk through my doors. You made that dream become a reality and believed in me every step of the way! For that, I am forever grateful.

When I got my keys to my first location in 2017

Owning your own store does come with a host of responsibilities and a lot of time spent behind the scenes just working diligently trying to make ends meet. This is the reason I have decided to close my brick and mortar because the amount of work and effort I was putting into my store was disproportionate to the output. Meaning I was spending a lot of time doing all the things and still not making a profit. Don't get me wrong, I was selling a TON of merchandise, but not enough to pay my huge rent of $2,400+ per month and still be able to buy merchandise and have any sort of profit left over. When I was at my old location I was profitable but when I moved to my new location next to Miner's my expenses exceeded my revenue, unfortunately. I am so grateful for that opportunity to be in that spot because had I not jumped at the chance I would have always wondered if I should have taken that leap of faith.

Current home of Simply Chic in shopping center

A lot of really positive things have stemmed from the move to the big shopping center. I have met more customers and made strong connections within the community. I have been able to retail 2 different paint lines, which I love and use myself whenever I am painting a piece of furniture. I love helping customers through a paint project on their own. Once they finish they feel empowered to take on their next project and that inspires me! I also learned that holding paint workshops is something that I really love and enjoy doing. I will be continuing to offer paint workshops in my home as well as outside in our beautiful backyard.

Step Stool Workshop

Since having my store closed for nearly 3 months due to the Corona virus it helped me put a lot of things into perspective. It forced me to stop and evaluate everything going on in my life. I was able to look back at the time I had spent at the new location and it mostly felt like an exhausting blur. I was working my heart out for months before COVID to establish a name for myself and hopefully get everything rolling to be able to hire someone for part of the week while I worked on other aspects of my business. Unfortunately I was never able to make enough money to hire someone to help relieve me from the store on a regular basis so everything fell on my shoulders. I will be the first to admit I have the "I can do it all" mentality which is extremely dangerous. I was balancing trying to be at my store, take custom furniture painting work, buy merchandise for the store, sell on my website, run all my social media accounts, and still show up for myself and my husband and family. It was nearly impossible and I was killing myself while I was doing it. I was juggling way too many things, over committed and over stressed. Most days I would work all day at the store, not eat a very healthy dinner because I never had time to cook and then sit down at night and answer emails and questions people had online, then go to bed. I didn't have healthy boundaries and going forward I will be more intentional with how I spend my time.

First Store Day After 3 Month COVID Lock-down

When I did open my store after being closed for months due to COVID the response was very slow. When I said what day and time I would be there I had long periods of time when I didn't have any customers at all. Doing most of my business and sales online is wonderful but it doesn't justify paying rent on a store front I am not really using. Most of my customers are in the "at risk" age category so some are still sheltering in place. I will not rule out the possibility of having a studio space outside my home in the future. Just currently with worldly circumstances as they are I do not wish to sign a long term lease.

Let's talk about the next couple of months and the future of Simply Chic. I have given my property management notice that I will be out by July 31st. They offered me an early termination from my lease and I took their offer. We will be open more days so that the merchandise will have a chance to sell and we will be giving discounts on items that we want to quit carrying, you will also have the opportunity to purchase items online with the same discounts. We will no longer be carrying any home decor or gifts so all of those items will be discounted until clearanced out completely. We will not be doing any special orders for merchandise (other than paint and supplies) so when something is gone, we will not be reordering. We will be keeping both of our paint lines; Fusion Mineral Paint as well as Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. Paint and supplies will not be eligible for a discount because I am keeping both of those paint lines. My paint will be available for purchase at "The Everything Store" down in Olde Town Nipomo after July 31st. It will also be available on my website as well as my house where you can pick up paint and if you need a consultation with a project I can help you. You will still be able to purchase paint on my website and we can ship it to you or you can pick up. I will be continuing to take custom furniture painting work and I will be able to offer MORE paint workshops because I won't be so exhausted from running the store that I can't teach.

Interior Of My Store

This is where I have you guys come in... I will need your help with clearing out my inventory. The whole space will need to be completely cleared out including displays by July 31st. I will need you

to think about every Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary, gifts for your friends and relatives and also think about things you want/need for your house and come in to shop our sale either in store or online. We will start our sale on Saturday, June 20th at 11 am - 4 pm and if we stay busy I will be there until 6 pm. I will also be there on Sunday, June 21st 11 am - 6 pm then we will be on a continual Friday, Saturday and Sunday cycle until July 31st or until there is nothing left.

In closing I wanted to say that my heart still will be with all of you and I would LOVE to see you for a workshop or if you come to get paint or even if you want me to paint a piece for you. I will be recording a lot of "how to" videos on how to paint with Fusion and Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. So you will still see my face, just mostly virtually :-). This is a new chapter and even though I am super sad and emotional about closing the store I know it is the right thing to do considering COVID is still a very real issue and I am not sure how long it will last. I have really big ideas for my business going forward that I am super excited about! I hope you will continue on this journey with me and I am so grateful for your continued support! Thank you for your understanding and hopefully I will get to see you at my store before I close my doors forever.

Lots of love,

Annie of Simply Chic

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Paint workshops coming soon. Book here

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Santa Maria, CA 93454, USA

(805) 714-8205

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