You need to grab a cup of coffee because I have an amazing story to share with you.... Shoppe3130.
In 2009, I became a stay at home mom. It was very clear to me that God was calling me home to be with my new little family. At the time we had only been married for a little over a year, and had just welcomed our new little “honeymoon” baby. Life was busy and life was changing for us. Leaving my full time job in ministry was one of the hardest things I ever had to do but I knew that my place was to be more present in my husband’s and son’s life. Also, my daddy had just been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. This also gave me one more sweet, less busy year to spend with my daddy here on Earth.
Once I came home to be a stay at home mom I needed some new hobbies. See, I had never “not” worked before. So... I started sewing, among other crafty little hobbies I would find in books or magazines. Then friends started asking me to make things for them. One September day a good friend of mine asked me to make some Halloween costumes (tutus) for her grandchildren... so I did. When I saw how cute they were I added them to my Etsy (which another friend had convinced me to start before I even knew what Etsy was). That first fall on Etsy I sold over 150 tutu costumes. My sweet mother in law used to come over in the evenings and help me sew tons of tutus and then I figured our way through the logistics of shipping packages from my home “studio” (read: small office turned craft room). I started paying friends to help me make tutus in the middle of the night - memories I will forever cherish!
I thought that’s it. It is done. Halloween is over and I don’t have anything else to sell. Little did I know, people continued to order my costume tutus... for birthday parties and photos. How exciting! I soon realized I could create things and be home with my family while helping provide for my family financially. Both of my parents and my brothers all owe their own business and have since I was little- so this was pretty normal for me. People ask me if I was afraid I would fail when I started our business. Honestly, there has never been fear involved in our business because we realize that failure is only part of success and so what if we failed - at least we tried. We are not defined by our business. Who we are defines our business. So, since we were selling costumes for parties I began to add other items for parties - then for other events - like weddings and baby showers. I love hosting gatherings - so this also felt so very natural. (Confession: It feels like I have a part of hosting hundreds if not thousands of events each year and that is very fulfilling to me in some sense.) I love the small details of events... you know - the things that make events and celebrations a little more special - bows, decorations, straws, favors, etc.
Fun Fact: We used to own a second hand clothing store/ministry in downtown Augusta. We sold donated ladies clothing and taught women job skills training classes. I have a firm belief that so many women are trapped in the cycle of poverty because they do not have life and job skills that so many of us take for granted. We named this shop in the city, Shoppe3130. We kept the name once we closed the clothing store. The name is very dear to me and my faith. So if you have every wondered where this name came from... My first Sunday school teacher, Jeanne Gibson, welcome me in her class when I was only 21 years old. She gave me a postcard with this Scripture on it and she said to me, ‘Life changes but hold to God's words and remember this...” (Proverbs 31:30 paraphrased) ‘Charm is deceptive and beauty goes away but the woman that honors the Lord shall be praised.’ For me, keeping the name of our business gives me a chance to encourage other women and remind them (and myself) what is most important and what fades away.
As my hair turns gray and my wrinkles begin to find their place, I am more confident than ever in this reminder of this Scripture in our lives - especially for me - a woman, a wife, a mommy, a daughter, a sister, a friend. My hope is that as I see our name I am reminded to honor God in our business in all that we do.
Each year that we are in business we have grown and continue to grow. Actually in early 2015, Jesse, my sweet husband, came home from his “real” job and now THIS is our “REAL” job. This is our plan A and our plan B. We get asked all the time if we get tired of each other. Ha! Are you kidding!? I get to work with my best friend - my husband, and around my children and with other friends and family! It’s like living the real dream guys! Now, it’s not always easy. Sometimes - like any other job - times get busy and times get hard... but time is best spent with those you love.
After years of working from our home, without a store front and mostly selling online or at shows - in March 2019, we purchased our first property for our business - a cute historic home right in the center of our downtown. It’s only 3 blocks from our house and while it is quaint, it is also large enough to house our production area, office, and our boutique.
In June 2019 we partnered our retail business with another small boutique that sells women’s clothing and shoes - Rustic Elm. Our partnership agreement is to share our space from June 2019 through January 2020.
As we moved on into 2020, Shoppe3130 and Rustic Elm finished our space agreement and we began to grow our businesses in our own spaces apart from each other. Little did we know that the world was about to change altogether when Covid hit the world in Feb/March of 2020.
When I say that our community came beside us to support us - I mean they really walked with us through one of the most difficult times! We have had such a great response and tremendous support from our community. We are forever thankful for this time, your support, and the path God has taken us on and has us on.
In June of 2021, we were asked if we would like to rent the space next door to the Shoppe. (Long story short - we had some friends who were planning to lease the space to move their online business into but the timing was not right for them for a brick and mortar business so they took a different route with their business.)
We really had no intention to start another business. I mean, honestly, we have 4 children and our biggest struggle is found in the balance of business and family BUT we felt like this was such a great opportunity for not only our business and our family, but also for our downtown. We are super involved in our downtown. We are always looking at ways to revitalize and encourage people to be a part of our downtown. Seriously - we love it. We live here, work here, and we play here. SO...
We decided to expand Shoppe3130 and move some of our gift items to the new location - Shoppe3130, DBA Sweet Fig Market and Gifts. Technically, it's our second location. Our brand is still consistent with both stores - we just sell different things in the two locations.
We opened Sweet Fig Market in August 2021. If you know me at all, you know I love flowers. I grew up working at my mama's greenhouse business growing and selling flowers to local florists and hardware stores so I knew that if we did a gift store - we would offer a flower bar. It's one of my favorite parts of our business.
If Acts of Service (someone taking the trash out for me) isn't my love language - getting fresh flowers are! I also knew we would carry a line of inspirational books and gifts as well as some home decor and gift items. Honestly, our business is in a constant shift as we meet the needs of those we serve in our area. We know we are here for you and our goal is to always serve our community and our customers well.
We are excited to see what the future holds for Shoppe3130, Sweet Fig Market and Gifts, and our growing team. We are blessed and thankful that we get to serve such an amazing community - both locally and across the globe. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Do what you love and love what you do. I so love what I do. I really love who I get to do it with. I love that we get to do things to make your lives more fun and special! God has been so gracious to us and we are very blessed. Thanks for being part of that blessing in our lives! We are so thankful for you and know that you have been and are a HUGE part of what is going on in our business and our lives.
We believe that life should be fun! We are here to help add that special touch to any event, party, photo shoot, or Saturday with family or friends!
Come see us at 510 West Ave, North Augusta at Shoppe3130 or next door at 512 West Ave at Sweet Fig Market and Gifts!
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