Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What was I going to blog about today?

Oh, yeah, I was going to talk about our 4th of July--it was super crazy busy. And when I say the 4th, I really mean the 3rd and the 4th as that's when I'm there helping out. The selling season begins June 24th and ends midnight on the 4th....

So DD and I went down to the store Wednesday, the 3rd. It was 2:30ish by the time we arrived and had to pretty much jump right into the fray. DH had hired five other workers bees and they were busy selling, selling, selling. DD and I brought two more helpers besides ourselves.

By three p.m. we were all in and we didn't slow down until close to midnight, when we lock the doors for the night.

Our biggest competition used to be another indoor store just up the block on the corner, and because of the placement of the exit ramp, people would blow right by our store and see that one first. Then they'd stop in on their way back by and say, "I wish I had stopped here first, your prices are cheaper." ARGH!!

Two things conspired in our favor, beginning last season.

One: they guy on the corner had to sell quite a few of his stores after the fireworks ban (as opposed to a burn ban, though those were in effect too) in 2010. He buys/bought his inventory straight from China. Because of the ban no one could sell, and subsequently he didn't make the money needed either to pay off what he owed for inventory or to buy more inventory for the next season. The chances of the ban were very high and we bought only what we could pay for out of pocket and we buy locally. The other guy, however, has to buy nine months in advance. No way to know about a ban that far out.

Now I'm not happy for his unfortunate circumstance, I'm really not, but I can't help be glad for our change of same.

Two: because of all the road construction around the state and the fact that I-35, right off of which our store is located, is being widened, the exit was moved a mile or so south from its original location.
This means potential customers are going much slower by the time they reach us and can actually see us.

Last Christmas was our first season without competition. In addition, DH rented the billboard space right above the exit *and* took out a half page ad in the Thrift Nickel. We doubled our best Christmas season. Fast forward to 4th of July where we generally do 2/3 more business than at Christmas. Yikes!

Okay, I'm getting tired of my topic now, and I bet you are too, so let me just say there were people in the store on the 4th from about 9am until midnight. We had (and I'm not exaggerating) a 30 to 45 SECOND respite at about 11:30ish (pm). The remaining customer walked out and I looked at someone and said, "Can you believe there's no one in the store." And not but a moment later another customer walked in, and we had at least one customer in the store until midnight.

HOLY SMOKES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best summer season ever. And last season we were able to pay off the person we bought the store from, so that huge expense is finally gone!

If only we could use our profits for getting out of debt, however, we're being audited, so we need to save it all in case we have to pay. Ugh! But watch out next season! We'll be well on our way to becoming debt free!!

Here are some of our helpers:

 Osama--this was his first job ever! Poor kid.

 Praise on the left and Avian on the right.

 Sean, who's in the Navy.

 Dustin, a police officer.

 Jerry, on the left, has helped us out the last two seasons. (This one makes three.)
This was Hunter's (on the right) first job, too.

And of course my Sonshine.

There was a nice lady, too, but the camera died right before I was able to snap her picture. Darn. 'Cause she was really sweet and a hard worker and said wonderful things about my son. I was bragging on him, and she has been a teacher/school administrator for fourteen years, so we were talking about kids, and parents, and learning styles, etc. And I know I'm biased, but it's nice when people compliment your kids and the job you're doing as a parent. And coming from someone with a lot of experience in those areas, that means something and helps a parent feel confident.
I know I mentioned I miss the days of being participants in the festivities, so I told DH he has five years to find & train someone he trusts to run the store. (Or maybe two someones to trade off.) I want to shoot fireworks again.

So how was your 4th of July???


Regina Richards said...

Congrats on a great sales season!

For the 4th we went to a BBQ at a friend's house. All our children grew up together and are now attending or about to go off to various distant colleges. It was great visiting with my adult friends but even better watching those 10 kids, now young adults, sit out on a long table under the trees talking and laughing just like they did when they were 7, 10, 12, and 15 years old. I treasured the moment knowing that as their lives continue to head off in different directions, seeing them all together like that again will be rare.


After the BBQ, the entire group went to the fireworks show together and to a carnival afterwards. Really lovely 4th.

Jen FitzGerald said...

Sounds awesome, Regina! What a great memory.

Unknown said...

Glad you had such a successful holiday!

I went to the Concerts in the Garden in Fort Worth for their holiday show--it was a lot of fun! :)

Jen FitzGerald said...

What fun, Lara. I've been meaning to go to on of the Concerts in the Garden. One of these days!

Char Newcomb said...

Can I just say "Whew!" What an exciting, exhausting day!