So, you may know that we are in the process of opening our 5th store. January 19 is the sixth anniversary of our first shop’s opening day, so we’ve been very busy these last few years, to say the least. In any case, we stopped by the new shop on Christmas Eve (scheduled to open in the next few days) to find these SUPER cheap hoses and sprayers in all the tubs. We had provided commercial grade equipment to be installed. When we located the contractor he said, “Oh yeah. We could find the connectors so I went and got these.” WHAT?!? First of all, at our very first meeting and at every one since, we have said, “Our sprayers take a weird connector, so you’ll need to start looking for them now.” This was four months ago. Not to mention, we received no phone call to say, “Hey we can’t find the connectors. I know you have FOUR OTHER STORES so could you find out where you got them?” Whatever.
So I got up this morning and headed to the plumbing supply store, sprayer hose in hand. Fortunately for me, this is one of those places where 2-3 people are at your assistance immediately and are serious troubleshooters. 15 minutes later, I was walking out with the needed connectors. >>>Side note: if you live in Austin, Texas and ever need ANY plumbing part, you should head to Crump Plumbing Supply on 183 and Burnet. Mr. Crump was manning the front counter :)
After a quick stop at Best Buy to check out a computer for the shop, I headed to my business partner’s house to pick up a dolly so that we could move about 50 boxes of shampoo, that weigh about 40 lbs each, out of the middle of the new space (our new shop is INSIDE of a vet center and the boxes were in the lobby in front of the elevators, which by the way, is where the contractors told them to put it, instead of in our space). While she and I were huffing and puffing moving these boxes, about 5 people, 3 of which were guys, stood there and watched. In fact, two of them started using one of our dollies to push the each other around like 5 year olds. Again, whatever. Of course, when we were there, I tried on the new plumbing fittings, only to discover that I’d forgotten one piece.
So, we head out, stop off at one of the other shops to drop off some stuff and then back to the plumbing supply shop. Thankfully, “our guy” was still there so we were in and out in about 5 minutes. He even threw in some plumbing tape this time! It’s the little things…. Funny thing, while we were there, we ran into another female entreprenuer we know getting some plumbing stuff. She owns a salon down the street from one of our shops. Like the title says, GLAMORAMA….
Once I finally arrived home, all 5 dogs greeted me at the door as usual (barking, wrestling, etc…a very unpleasant way to enter your “retreat” (as Oprah says it should be)). Unfortunately, Sam had slipped on the tile and had an accident. So, I made my way through the dogs to get something to clean up the accident, only to find they had forced their way into my bedroom to torture the cat while I was gone. Then, while I was frantically looking for said cat, I heard kind of an explosion. I came running back out of my bedroom to find that Luke and Finley had hit the front door “just right” and burst through it (probably to chase some other poor cat). Fortunately, my brother had trained Finley to “heel” when he was young, so I could get him to come right back. Unfortunately, not only does Luke NOT come to you when called, he finds it HYSTERICAL to run as fast as he can, directly at you and at the last minute jig OR jag (depending on where you’re standing) and keep running at top speed–his version of chicken. Sooooo, I run back into my house to get my car keys, jump in my car to go chase him and it won’t start. Oh yeah, did I mention that I have a weak connection in my battery cable? It’s been fine for a year, and it chose THAT MOMENT to start being an issue again. Pop the hood, start the car and drive down the street. I can still see him “visiting” all the neighbor dogs. I stop 3 different times and he plays chicken with me three more times. By this point, I’m so tired and frustrated I’m on the verge of tears, so I just turn the car around and start heading back towards the house. My trick worked…when I pulled back into my driveway, Luke was sitting at the front door like, “What took you so long?” My final “whatever” for the day….
I always have an issue replying to “That’s so COOL that you own a business!” I know what they want me to say: “Yeah, it IS cool! You should do it too!” The thing is, it is cool–but it’s not for everyone. You see, we can’t afford to pay other people to move those boxes. My car is 10 years old and I have to (now) wiggle my battery cable on my car to get it to start. I haven’t had time to train my dog to come when called. I had to work on Christmas Day (fixing some leaking tubs) because it’s the only time the shops would be closed long enough for it to dry. Today was a “holiday” and I worked about 10 hours all in.
But I’m not complaining. By any means. I’m SO grateful that we have enough stores and business to be busy all the time. I think complaining about this stuff would be like when stars complain about their fans coming up to them at dinner….it’s just part of it, and you have to know that going in. But also know this: getting something started is NOT glamorous, it’s very hard work. You have to be able to “see the bigger picture” to get through some days.
However, if you have entrepreneurism in your blood, you won’t mind. In fact, you’ll find it kind of fun.