UPDATE: As many of you know, we evacuated Key West with our entire inventory, 2 wks ago. Due to a biz negotiation, we chose Asheville, NC & knowing we wouldn't be able to get home anytime soon, rented a tiny house- like on TV. It has been a ROLLERCOASTER! We watched as our friends' homes & lives were destroyed, while trying to find a way to keep ourselves afloat in a strange town. We know there'll be nobody buying jewelry in Key West until, at best- Jan. & sadly, on the heels of the best year, we ever had... I'd just spent most of our money on inventory, in preparation for the coming, KW 'Season'. There's a lesson!
AVL is a very tight rental market & NO Landlord wants a short term tenant, but due to the kind, generosity of an amazing woman named Susan West- Owner of BLUE Goldsmiths, we will be in business on Oct. 1st! She AMAZINGLY, is allowing us to sublet her downtown Asheville location, for the busiest 3mos of their year.. It's not free- it's 2wc the cost of our location at home, which we also have to pay for, in our absence & we paid upfront, to get it. So, it cleaned us out- but like I said- there's no business to go home to & we'd just be dead in the water... SO, this is a GODSEND! We are SO GRATEFUL to this Wonderful STRANGER, for giving up her prime location during high season, to help us!
While we wait to open, we must vacate our tiny house, due to a previous rental, from Friday. We're working on that now... I've also, rented a booth from another wonderful woman named Jada, who owns Bon Vivant in Biltmore Villages.. She's giving us 'till Oct. 1, gratis. Thank you, GOD! ANd, we just posted VERY generous discount codes for online sales.. Did I mention, we sell bridge jewelry? That means, not certified stones, which means, insurance isn't really an option. So, neither was leaving our inventory, which is all we've got, but it's A LOT! Uggh!
And, there's more! Kiran Kumar, is the incredibly kind man, who offered me the most generous gift of my life! ..An entire store full of gorgeous cases! Ultimately, we had to turn them down, because the sublet from BLUE is completely turn key & we really don't have the time & $$ to set up an entire, new store from scratch + would've had to find a way to get them from FL to AVL. So, I hope the next jeweler in need will make great use of them. What a PRECIOUS GIFT! Kiran Kumar is an ANGEL!
This has been probably, the most harrowing experience of my life- packing our THOUSANDS of pieces of inventory in a day & a half.. STRESS HIVES, running for our lives, afraid we'd get stuck on the highway, during a Category 5 hurricane.. BUT, I am thankful to report, we are okay. And I'm so grateful for the kindness of all these lovely strangers. I'd also like to thank Eileen McClelland of InStore Magazine (my favorite!), for checking on us.. I'm supposed to be the 'My Life' feature this month.. Boy, how times have changed, in 2 weeks! Thank you, Eileen. <3
Our hearts are breaking for our friends who lost everything. We had a locksmith cut a key to our condo, from a photo yesterday, so our friend & her little girl can stay there (& not in a tent!), until the 1st. Hopefully, they can get a FEMA trailer by then & we can rent it. Our realtor is even going to take care of that in trade for earrings for his wife.. SO GRATEFUL.. & SO SORRY for those who have been less fortunate! As soon as we right our own ship- we WILL HELP! I PROMISE!
Today, I'm hoping for a Shopify Capital Advance, am going to ask my mortgage holder for assistance, set up at Bon Vivant & pack to vacate the tiny house & find a place to go for the next 10 days, so I can be set up downtown on the 1st..
I apologize for the lengthy post. The gist is: We are okay & extremely grateful. People are KIND. Don't over buy, save for a rainy day & HUG YOUR LOVED ONES & LOVE EVERYONE. Peace & happiness to all of you beautiful, sweet kind people. <3 Thanks for listening.