One year ago, this weekend, my mom and I kicked off a huge project, huge for us anyway. I had the biggest dumpster you could rent delivered to property I purchased seven months earlier and we went to work cleaning out the building that would become Four Directions Alchemy in five incredibly short weeks. The lead-up to this decision was seven months of city codes, architect, building contractor, and banking nightmare; obstacles and rejection on every path we tried. So, we decided to take the plunge, do it with what we had available to us and what we already owned. It has been a grand adventure I never anticipated in this lifetime. An education in our national business and financial systems. And the biggest, best lesson has been what I can accomplish with support from family, friends, and community.
In one day, mom and I filled half of a 30-yard dumpster to the top with leftovers from all the previous owners. With help from family and friends we hauled out enough trash to overfill that 30-yard dumpster. We swept up 100 years of dust bunnies, mouse houses, cig butts, lost coins, a never-ending supply of nuts & bolts, washers & nails, and miscellaneous small items. And we swept. And we swept. Old wood floors hold A LOT of dirt. We scrubbed floors, walls, and windows. We painted a little with help from family and friends. We made and trashed untold number of plans for the building and business as we worked through sprucing up 507 E. Dowland Street.
Two weeks into whirlwind remodel we had a no options break. We had promised the littles an end of school camping trip, so off we went to the east coast of Michigan to camp and see dinosaurs. It was three days we felt we didn’t have in terms of getting the building to opening condition, but as it goes, I wouldn’t trade that trip with my mom and my grandchildren for anything.
From the start of planning I educated myself and shopped for all things needed to run a retail and service business from Federal and State requirements to accounting systems to retail stock, mop buckets and wet floor signs, bags and tissue paper and cash register tape, and point of sale systems, marketing practices, costs & reach, consignment and rental practices; the list is huge and I could go on and on. Let’s go with it was mentally busy as well as was physically busy. A labor of love set upon to build a dream.
Target opening date, July 2nd, 2019. We did it! Four Directions Alchemy was a ready as we could make it in 5 weeks. We opened the door. And the people came. Thank you from my heart to yours for following our progress, shopping with us, reaching out and stopping by, sharing your gifts, talents, and time. Every opportunity has been a learning experience or a pleasure. Thank you.
One year later and we continue to work hard at sprucing up, fixing, adding to the building. 100-year-old buildings need a lot of loving attention. We are honored to become an established part of this local community, as well as building relationships with others of similar interest in the national and global communities. That saying we all know, it takes a village, is spot on. Community support is our lifeblood. Thank you for showing up in all the ways you do. I notice and appreciate every one of you that have shared social media posts, handed out business cards, posted flyers, brought in friends and family, shared emails, made recommendations, and shop here. I look forward too many years living in, working with, and supporting this community.
Blessings to you and yours for an abundant and prosperous year.
And so it is. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.