Blogging About Blogging or The Black Cat in the Matrix

Thoughts on Survival in a Bad Economy for a Very Small Business

Having a blog on Patch is sort of a vice. This is my place to unwind and let it all flow without worrying about it too much. Sounds odd since the blog goes out on the Internet but for me anyway it really is a source of decompression when things start to get tight.

I rarely reference my "Tiny Business" that I own in Sudbury but when I do it is for a reason. I spend the major part of my day at the Boutique, getting ready to go to the Boutique, buying supplies and so forth for the Boutique, or just plain thinking about the Boutique — how can I make it more appealing to passers by, for example. Or will a particular customer I look forward to seeing stop by. Owning a small or tiny business in Sudbury or any zip code in the United States is a leap of faith and courage and fortitude. And it is what will power our economy in the coming years.

I consider my little shop not unlike the Birch tree. Birch trees, Betula sp., are Pioneer plants. Pioneer plants are those that quickly set roots in areas of devastation caused by either natural phenomena such as flood or fire, or by clear-cutting by Man. Birch trees will quickly set root and help the soil stay firm and not fall prey to damaging winds and flood waters. The roots help deter erosion and provide the food and shelter needed for the flora to make a home. The notable and unfortunate fact that most Birch trees are short-lived suggests that they set the path clear for trees and shrubs that will eventually establish a more permanent landscape.

The Town of Sudbury has a few very long-lived Pioneer plants. These Mom and Pop businesses hold a special if not family bond in the hearts of Sudbury "Townies" and going down Memory Lane can be quite informative. The current retail space that I rent for my business My PassionFlower has had a number of previous tenants.  A Barber Shop was the most long-standing business and I really wish I had taken my two sons there instead of setting the hairstyle shaver to a number 5 buzzcut. I did visit the Wood Floor display showroom when I was looking for bamboo heating vents but they didn't know of any. Cloud Nine Toys down the street has changed locations since I moved into town but I worry that the lack of a neon sign in this day in age will get everyone down the hill to buy the Slinky for the stocking. No I'm not. They are the best source of classic and new age toys in town. Barely Read Books with their great new sign really is a favorite on my radar screen.  Check out the Gardening Section. And who can forget Town Line Hardware. Where else can you find an aluminum paint can/floral container as well as loose nails and screws and little do-dads to fill your husband's stocking with?

In January My PassionFlower will be transplanted to the lovely antique timber frame retail location to be shared with Maggie Flood Bridal at the set of lights at the intersection of Concord Rd. and Route 20. This is a good thing as my space is tight for the business I own today — it has grown out of its pot and needs a new container. Is this a sound business decision in light of our economic times? I think so. Growth means risk and we Americans need to individually make  choices that support our National Economy. Go out on a limb — that is where the fruit is.  

This is the Season of giving and joy. Sometimes it is okay to give yourself a gift. Then you will have the energy and strength to give to others. So if the black cat crosses your path in repeat performance fashion sit and wonder if maybe there is a glitch in our matrix. You have the power to create your own future. The birch tree has no fear. Only a quest for survival. I think things are looking up!

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Bob Cargill December 10, 2011 at 01:16 AM
Good luck, Kirsten, to you and your business, My PassionFlower, with the move to your new location in January!
Kirsten Vandijk December 13, 2011 at 09:57 PM
Thanks, Bob! And I hope you and yours have a Holly Jolly!!
kris kefalas December 17, 2011 at 06:46 PM
I have happily discovered the gem that the Passion Flower is. Kirsten is extremely knowledgeable about the floral industry and is a very talented designer- second to none. She carries a lovely selection of unique antiques of different price points; some of which now grace my home. I can't wait until she moves to her new, bigger location. Good luck, Kirsten! Kristy Smerlas
Kirsten Vandijk December 17, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Thanks, Kristy! One of the distinct pleasures of having a tiny business is getting to know the wonderful people that come into the shop. You are a gem of a customer:)


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