Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doors Closing, Windows Opening


When a door closes, a window opens.
~Dutch Proverb~

Five years ago, I opened the doors to BessieMary.
It was a little shop, named after my grandmother and mother, specializing in fabric and supplies for heirloom sewing and smocking.
It also stocked various gifts, especially sweet little baby things.
Now, the lease has expired.


I will begin moving the merchandise to an unused portion of our home, from which I will continue to run the  website of BessieMary.


Over a year ago, I decided not to renew the lease in this location.
My plan was to move the store to a different location; one closer to more of my customers.
However, recent health issues, the possibility of additional eye surgery later this year, a longer commute for me and ever increasing gasoline prices have caused me to reconsider.

I have experienced every emotion.
I have cried, I have breathed huge sighs of relief, I have laid awake at night thinking, and I have pulled the covers over my head and just wanted to hide.


For five years, I have spent more time within these four walls, than anywhere else.
Actually, if you count the months spent renovating, it is more like 5 years and 6 months!
My days often started much earlier than opening time, and extended well past closing time.


It will seem odd, not to hop in the car and head this direction.


But, I think my little people and I may soon appreciate the slower pace.


There might even be moments for me to sit down!


Or, maybe I will set up the cute little cherry covered cabana from my classroom and play, just like so many customers' children over the years!


I hope there will also be more time to spend sewing and creating.
There is a major misconception that shop owners can easily pull fabric from the shelves, lace from the drawers, and while away the day stitching.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Just want to clear that up!

I have truly loved playing in my shop, greeting customers, and making friends.
Hopefully, they also enjoyed spending time there.


I tried to make it an inviting place,

an inspiring place,


with a touch of sweetness,


a dash of whimsey,


and a sense of humor.


For just a moment, I hope time did stand still and my guests did a little daydreaming.


BessieMary may no longer be a brick and mortar store, and I may no longer stand behind this counter.
I do hope to continue encouraging, inspiring and helping others to make stitching dreams come true, through this blog and BessieMary's website.
Maybe someday, the doors will reopen, and we will once again meet across this counter.

37 comments:

Kellie said...

I never had the privilege of visiting your store... I am so glad you shared pics! It looks so inviting and cozy. I am sure whereever you are inspiring people will be just as grand! Change is never easy but all things will work together...promise.

DawnB said...

Jan, I know this decision was very hard for you and probably liberating at the same time. I am so glad I got to visit your store, it was so beautiful and inviting. Good luck with the transition process.

Sara said...

Jan, I just know that this will be for the best as I am sure you have spent much time in prayer over this. I wish that I could have visited this adorable shop!!!My very best wishes for you!!

Laurie said...

What a beautiful shop! I'm so sorry you have to close the doors, but I can certainly understand your decision. I'm glad you will still be able to keep your internet store open as you inspire so many!
God Bless!

Susie B said...

Thank you for sharing pictures of your sweet store. I had always hoped to travel to Texas one day to see it and meet you. And now I got to peek into Bessie Mary today! What a charming store you created! Thank goodness you'll only be a click away on the internet! Best wishes for peaceful nights and days filled with fun stitching!

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Dear Jan-
I have been in your shoes, my friend. The hardest decision I had to make back in the 90's was whether or not to keep the brick and mortar location. As much as I loved - and still love - my customers, I came to the same conclusion you did. I love being around people and having the shop, but I never got to stitch! Even my employees were able to spend more time with needle in hand than I did.

I wish I'd been able to visit your shop. I can tell from the photos, it was a magical place. I can see things in the photo that I definitely would have wanted to own!

I know the next chapter will be exciting and joyful for you, my friend. Blessings for your future.
xoxo
Donna

Kathy V said...

Dear Jan...what can I say? I know first hand how much you have poured your heart and soul into your shop, and I know that you will continue to do so even though it may not be a brick and mortar store. Love the pics....I so wish that all could have had a chance to visit!
I look forward to the day that the doors might reopen, and hope that at that time I might actually have someone to sew for! :-)

Kathy V

MrsScott said...

I am so sorry that you are closing your store. I will be thinking and praying for you. I know this was a difficult decision to make.

Linwood & Margaret said...

I pray that only wonderful things come in the open window.

Eloise said...

What a precious store! I'm sorry that I have not driven out before now to visit it. When is your final day there?

Sarah said...

Jan, you are joining the shops of the "21st" century! I know full well how owning a shop is a 25 hr/day commitment. You lasted better than I, who capitulated after only 3 years. This is the age of technology and you will find more time to keep in touch with your sewing friends and customers - you may even make a profit! LOL I look forward to many orders to you!
Sarah M.

Goosegirl said...

Oh my dear Jan. I am so sorry that you are closing your store. I had always hoped to visit someday. Your lovely pictures made me feel, almost, like was visiting. Your shop is lovely. I am continuing to pray for your healing and I am praying that you will now have more time to sew and create. You are an inspiration in all you do. Your attitude is such an encouragement to me. I pray that the Lord will continue to give you peace and healing.

Ellie Inspired said...

Oh Jan, your post brought tears to my eyes and I never even had the privilege of visiting your store. It did look very inviting and cozy. I am sure you have a ton of different emotions as you made this decision and I also pray that it will be a welcome rest for you and healing. Your blog is a great source of inspiration to me and I admire you very much. I am glad that you will still have your online store and blog to continue to inspire us. Blessings to you!
Laura

Marte said...

Jan, I read about your decision to close the store with a huge sigh. Every visit was a sewing inspiration but I know to everything there is a season.

Following your story has made me marvel at your strength and determination. And your blog always provides me with food for thought. I look forward to your new retail adventure and many more blogs.

Rebecca said...

I closed a full on retail store about 13 years ago and it broke my heart. Honestly...I'm still not over it. But, what I have today is better and more in line with the calling on my heart. I know you will find peace in whatever and wherever you move. Your talent amazes me and you bless us all.

Love you girly...I believe in you!

xoRebecca

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

I'm sorry I never made it to your store during the last SAGA Convention in Dallas, but I'm pleased to say I did buy a pair of scissors from you! Another classmate purchased them for me. Closing the store is such a hard decision to make, especially after all the time and love you've invested in it. Surely your new online shop will continue to grow.

Robin Hart said...

Jan, I had the pleasure of visiting your store a few times in the past 5 yrs... not near enough. There were many a day I wanted to escape my world and come live in your world with you. I know how hard of a decision this was to reach. I wish my layover next week was more than 2 hours. I would take a taxi to come see you. Get that one last glimpse into that magical world. Thanks for being such a wonderful hostess. Hugs!

Martha said...

I've said it all before. HUGS, as you enter this new chapter of BessieMary.

Eileen said...

I know this had to be a very difficult decision but I am sure it is for the best. I hope you have more time to enjoy the sewing that brought you here in the first place. You know I will continue to be a very happy customer (can't get rid of me that easily!).

Sewbusymor said...

Jan, you and I share the same roller coaster today. My [series] of brick and mortars traverses almost 9 years! May you find peace and health in your decision. I am beginning to see the good in my decision to close and go internet. I hope you too will see the positive. We should chat soon! Karin

maggiebsmocks said...

How lucky we have all been to share our dream of opening a store with you. I'm thrilled to hear you will still share our favorite supplies with us. May the days of moving be light and and unpacking a breeze. ((hugs)) maggieb!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that this will be best for you, and that is what is always best!

Sharon said...

I will miss knowing your shop is there waiting for me when I have time in my schedule to sew beautiful things for my girls. It was a wonderful place to go, and I loved all the time I spent there. I will also miss driving by and thinking of you and the beautiful things in your store. When I have time, I'll definitely order from your online store!

Sew Gracious said...

Jan, I know this had too be an emotional decision for you; bittersweet really. Although my days of heirloom sewing are in the past, I'm glad to know that Bessie Mary will still exist. (((HUGS)))

Claudia said...

Oh Jan, this must be very hard for you, indeed. It is a beautiful space - your touch is everywhere. I'll be thinking of you as you make this transition.

xo
Claudia

Cheryl M. said...

Such a beautiful shop, Jan. I hope the newly opened window brings much success! You could always change the shop name to "BessieMary at Martin's Corner." :)))

Janine said...

I am sorry I never had the opportunity to visit-always had hoped to do so one day. So glad you will still be open via internet. I know this was a difficult decision; it's hard to let go of something you love. I am sure the increased sewing time will be a welcome blessing and I will keep you in my prayers .

Michelle Morrow Allen said...

Jan, my dear friend, I, too, have mixed emotions over this... One is excitement, that you will be able to slow down a bit and your world centered.... I hate losing the shop, b/c I had never had a chance to come to Dallas to see the beautiful world that is Bessie Mary, and to give you another hug==Nashville seems just so far back!!!

You know that all of us, your Delphi sisters LOVE YOU, and pray for you constantly......

Even if we've never been to the brick and mortar Bessie Mary, we hold it in our hearts, b/c it *is* YOU!!!

LOve you!!!

Michelle

Edward said...

I'm sorry Jan that you are having to close your beautiful shop but I cannot help but admire the wisdom of your decision process. Look ahead and enjoy this next phase. Much success to you.

Lois said...

Jan, please know that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Sandra Bryan said...

I wish I had visited your store in person but I feel I have already just by reading about it. Will visit your website often and look forward to seeing your sewing creations now that you will have more time to sew. Sandy.

Rettabug said...

Oh Jan...what a difficult decision this must have been! Its like a job transfer against your will & having to see a home you've loved.
Looking on the bright side, however, think about how many MORE people will be able to *shop* your store now! You've opened up a whole new avenue of commerce & reached an entirely new demographic!

Also, it would have HAD to happen someday...like when you're 98 & can't get around too well. This way, you can still sell your beautiful items...you just don't have to get up & get dressed for work anymore! No pantyhose or make-up...you can work in your jammies if you want to! (just trying to make you smile here)

Mega multiple {{HUGS}} to you, Honey,
fondly,
Rett

dlogan said...

Hi Jan,
It seems as if life is just a series of old endings, and new beginnings, and many adjustments in between. About the time you began your eye surgery(s),I began seminary, filled with all the hope and excitment of an answered prayer. AS I struggle to understand why God seems to be closing this door, I take comfort in the knowledge that he is never wrong and never far away. During my many months of study, your writng, wisdom, blessings, and strength have given me such a gift. As doors close and windows open may we all rejoice in His creative plan and redeeming love for us. I look forward to your new dreams from the comfort of home. Grace and peace, Darby

Mamacatjane said...

Jan,
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to see your delightful shop today and sincerely appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to assist me with my fabric selections and offer your expert advice as I re-embark on my smocking and heirloom sewing endeavors. It was a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to keeping in touch and hearing how you're doing.
Blessings to you!

Diane B said...

Very sad to hear you will be closing your store. Was planning to come see you in August when I was in Dallas again! It was such a delight to be there with you and touch all those lovely fabrics, dream, and purchase the items I couldn't live without! Many blessings on your future, both personally and professionally!

Barbara R said...

Jan, Your pictures are wonderful views of the store. When I had the chance to visit you there, I always had to wander to every corner of the rooms to look at it all. I wish there were a happier ending. I know you will make one.
Hugs, Barbara R. in Fort Worth

Jackie said...

I too never had the privilege of shopping from your store. However, I did order from BessieMary on line and was very pleased with the product & the timeliness of delivery. I am so sorry that life has taken a different direction from what you had planned. Your emotions shared through pics is so touching. Jan, keep on "keeping on." Your words & pics make me want to run & give you a great big hug.
Be encouraged.

Jackie

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