Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Life's Tough Decisions.....

5 years ago, I got this crazy idea to open up a scrapbook store.

Rumors were flying around the office that layoffs were imminent even though Capital One had promised us our jobs were safe.

In August 2006 I went down and filed for a business license and tax exemption.  2 weeks later, I was handed a 90 day notice.  I applied for jobs during the day and worked on my website and concept at night.

After almost 4 years of trying to get pregnant, I found out in the middle of my 90 day notice that I was pregnant.  Great timing.

Any job prospects I had, quickly disappeared.  No one wanted to hire a pregnant IT specialist.

So my main focus became the store.  Rent was too high so it had to be an online store.  As much as I wanted a physical storefront and a place to call my own, I couldn't throw that money away.

In January 2007, I opened for business.  It took me a week to get my first order and after that, they cam trickling in.  I had about 6 months before my son was born and I used my time wisely.  I figured out the best way to store the products, fill the orders and ship the orders.  I worked out the kinks as I went.

I 'hired' my first Design Team and they stayed with me for almost 2 years!

And then there was the growth.  I took some risks and the business exploded in my face.  It grew so fast, so quickly that I had to hire someone.  I tried interns from the local college and I tried paying a business major to help out.  I hired friends and I hired people I didn't know who had a background in scrapbooking.

None of them had the same devotion or passion about the store as me.  So my husband stepped in and learned the business.  How many of you can boast that your husbands know product as well as mine?  He knows the names of every manufacturer and every line.  I've taught him everything I know.  He can fill an order almost as fast as I can these days.  We're a team.

But this team isn't fast enough to keep up with everyone and their orders.

This year has been filled with some tough decisions and they all revolve around the business.

I listed it for sale in May.  While I had some interested buyers, it remains unsold.

I have tossed around ideas for the better part of 6 months and finally, after a weekend of tears and discussion, I've decided to close the store.

Its been a fantastic 5 years but due to so many issues beyond our control with manufacturers, production issues, product availability and competition - we've decided to leave the game on a high note.  Its like an athlete who retires at the top of their game.  The growth we've experienced in the last 2 years has been amazing and I wouldn't change a thing.

I'm just admitting that I can't do this without help.  The idea of shutting down has been in the back of my mind for several months.  I almost called it quits after the Summer CHA show but I kept promising myself another month.  So here I am, 3 months later.

I'm stepping down.  This business is like a second child, a needy second child.  And then there is my other child.  My son.  He's 4.  He needs me more and more these days and I do my best to be there for him.  But that means that there are days when orders don't get filled or product doesn't get entered into the system.  Something has to suffer and thats not fair.

So this incredible 4 year old that keeps me on my toes - he needs me.  It took him telling me this for me to realize that my priorities are out of whack.

We have sports, school activities, family time..........all taking away from the business.  My husband and I used to travel - a lot!  We haven't traveled much since the business took over.  Now that our son is old enough to go on vacation with us, we want to go places again.

This was a tough decision.  We (my husband and I) made lists, we went over the pros and cons of this decision and several others and the only way to have a normal life is to let something go.

So, after 5 years of blood, sweat and tears......YourScrapbookStash.com is closing down.

I'm so glad I'm going out at the top of my game.  I never had to second mortgage my home or take a loan out.  This business has survived on its own all this time and its grown.  That, to me, is a success and something I can be proud of.

I want to thank so many people.....

First, my family.  For putting up with me checking my emails when I should be doing other things.  For missing family events or being late to fill one more order.  For helping me even when I didn't ask for it.

The original Stash Girls.  You guys helped build the store and made people take notice of my little store.

Customers.  Every one of you helped make this store what it is.  I have people that have ordered from me for the past 5 years.  I will miss filling your orders and checking out the products you order.  I will miss your emails, comments on the blog and layouts in the gallery.

Alyssa McGrew.  Without her, the last year wouldn't have been possible.  She took a large part of the business off my hands and gave it the love it needed.  And for helping me design Stash to Treasure.  We both had a dream and together, we made it happen.

The current Design Team.  For making some incredible projects each month.

Past Stash Girls - You have been my inspiration for the past 5 years.  I don't have a lot of time to scrapbook anymore and without you, I couldn't showcase the products or communicate with customers.  You've taught me a lot of techniques over the years.  I will continue to follow each of your blogs because you're all so talented.

This is going to take some getting used too.  I will have some free time on my hands and I can't tell you how many projects I have sitting around waiting to be started.  Waiting to be finished.  I have insane amounts of product just begging to be used.  This blog will remain open and I'll continue to post projects and pictures here.

I might even have something up my sleeve for 2012.  ;)

If you've read this far, thank you.  It feels good to finally share with everyone my decision.  January 1st will bring so many changes for me.


  1. Good to hear you're will be sharing your life on this blog!
    Looking forward what 2012 has to offer :)

  2. Business is not easy as it takes 24/7 of your personal time with family. Wow, amazingly that you manage to hold for 5 years..but it's a pity to let go.
    However, I wish you all the best in whatever you decided.
    Glad tht you share with your hardworkship.
    Be happy always and treasure your family's time spent in every minute.