in the workshop
where fools rush in
Apr 14, 2018
for more than a dozen years, sarah and i have worked the store and built the business. along the way we've shared our thoughts and ideas with many people. we've listened, explored, debated, attempted, failed, dusted-ourselves-off, got up off the mat and continued on. we have learned a great deal about many things from wholesale distribution to what it's like to open new stores, businesses and add-on ventures. we have gained perspective and hopefully a bit of wisdom. the business choices we now make, based upon our shared experiences, are not always considered popular. but they are prudent with respect to the things we've experienced..
we consider ourselves fortunate with the requests we receive for collaboration. to be thought of for a partnership is an amazing thing. each opportunity is weighed with the same amount of interest. never a thought about the size. our desire to participate in any project is always measured by the devotion reserved exclusively for our stores (online and 13th street,) and to our customers. that may sound grandiose but nothing happens (or for that matter sustains this long) without a great deal of intention. scatter the intention in pursuit of cash and the whole thing goes to hell.
a note about money: sarah and i agree to see money as an energy rather than a tangible thing. money allows us to continue to come to work every day. to work for ourselves. to be creative. the more we live into our daily lives, connect and grow our vision while living into our dreams, the more money seems to present itself. in turn, we then use that energy to make our lives a bit sweeter, take a weekend trip or rent a bigger flat. we need money to grow the business into what we envision it to be. the energy we spend allows us to experience a life that is fuller. money creates opportunity, allows us to be philanthropic, look after the people we love and try new things. in and of itself, money doesn't exist.
find this a difficult concept to swallow? take a peek inside fort knox. our whole money system is based on the idea that it is backed by gold that no longer belong to us. our money is now backed by a concept. if we fail (the collapse of our monetary system) everyone fails. therefore no one fails and the magical world of nothing is what we call money. so, perhaps money as an energy is closer to the truth than it used to be.
if we see opportunity as an energy rather than simple dollars, it's easier to determine which choices are going to be in our best interest. which is why we sometimes experience the ire of those who we have refused. not because it doesn't make sense on paper, but because it doesn't make sense in relation to our lifestyle. the parable of the loaves and fishes is a wonderful story but it doesn't equate to feeding the brand selections on the shelves. when someone is unhappy that we don't make a particular scent in a particular product, they don't often care why so much as communicating their disappointment for not fulfilling a desire. a very human condition most of us share, and we do not take it personally. on a larger scale, we've experienced this with other businesses who wish to carry some iteration of our product. "we are big and this is an amazing opportunity for you" is the gist of most opening pitches. we get it. people have made a choice to reach out to our brand and we are most appreciative. however, that doesn't mean it's going to be a good fit. the store and how we show up in the world is the soul of our operation. i think this is why we treasure our current partnerships the way we do. it has been an amazing experience to work with people who do what they do so brilliantly. these partnerships dovetail nicely with our vision, and we couldn't be happier with the outcome.
thirteen years ago when we moved to 13th street, we were promised a neighborhood rich in mixed use space and diversity. there were quite a few retail shops that offered shoppers a variety of reason to visit our neighborhood. today retail in the hood is about 1/10 of what it was ten years ago. the most amazing restaurants surround us now, and we have learned to create as much of our own draw as possible. however, the current mayor does nothing to improve street life in the business district. to add insult to injury, WAWA, the mecca for all center city people with no where to go who wish to hang out on the street will be opening soon on 13th and chestnut. should be an interesting summer. the nature of 13th will continue to change. as buildings are going up and others being restored, there is much hope for our future as a neighborhood. ultimately, this should create opportunity for everyone. so next election, before you choose to pull a lever for some person because they think weed is cool, ask yourself what they've done to make your life better (other than weed). the people we choose to lead us in the next ten years will change the face of philadelphia for generations. the business life of the city effects us all. know who you're voting for. then vote.
recently we had a few people in the salon move on. no spin. this turned out to be the best thing for everyone involved. we are happy that life in our salon has settled into a new normal. it is by no means perfect, but i personally love the current energy. some former clients however have chosen to treat this transition as an opportunity to stir the pot. i get it. they love their stylist. i happily enjoyed the same closeness with my clients when i was a stylist. weirdly, i've gotten some calls and emails telling me what their stylist said about me, or the salon or the clients position on the whole matter (which is really none of my business). i would rather not know about something that we have all put behind us. maybe some people just don't like me which is perfectly normal. whatever. it's all good actually. if you know your stylist no longer works here and you called just to make some point, please don't.
as with all things D+L related, sarah treads more lightly than me. i stomp. entrepreneurship isn't a platitude poster on the wall. it is a gritty and exhausting and crazy business, and i wouldn't want it any other way. that includes the guano.