Well if you haven't noticed by now with my many Instagram posts, Facebook shout outs and Snapchat stories, we have opened up our very own frock and mortar retail store! I'm finally writing about it now only because I've been so crazy busy (not complaining) and now I am finally settling into the groove of this whole "owning/operating a store" thing.
So. Here's the deal. We moved to Phoenix and I noticed there weren't many opportunities to sell. There are AMAZING fleas and markets here, but they are few and far between. Too far between for me to make any money. However, I didn't want to open up a store for a while. I didn't think we would open up a store before August of this year. I wanted to save up some money. I wanted to get everything perfect, to really figure it all out first. But, as fate would have it, this amazing space had a "for lease" sign on it one day and I couldn't not call....
I met the owner of the building. This particular building is over 70 years old, and he met his wife right here while her dad was the dentist around 50 years ago. Yes, this place was a house, a dentist office, retail space, all of it. This building is very special to this man and he didn't want just anyone coming in and leasing it. But, we hit it off and he thought I would be the perfect candidate to come in and join the Melrose District community. This is where I used to go vintage shopping growing up, and if I was going to open a store, it had to be in Melrose.
Then I looked at my finances, and let's be real, it wasn't, like, huge. So I talked with Michael about it, and I said, "I don't think we can really make this work, but I have to do it, so what do you think?" Hahah. Poor guy. He's so supportive, but he also has a level head about things. Naturally, he supported the decision as long as I could make sure we could do it without putting our own finances in debt.
Luckily the landlord wanted us in the store badly over the other candidates that he cut us a deal, at least for the first three months. I won't go into too many details, but we were able to afford the first three months with what Frockify had in the bank, and then we figured that we would need to get to work and make sure we can cover rent after the three months are up. So... We'll see. So far, so good. (And so scary).
The caveat was that we had to take care of any repairs and make sure to put fresh paint on the walls, and so on. To be honest, the store was in such bad shape, that this kind of scared me. Like, the walls were half grayish whiteish, half teal green. The floors had years and years of dust and dirt all over them. The ceiling was literally falling down. The toilet didn't work. The fans worked too well and would just spin without you turning them on. There were no lights where you needed them. Many outlets didn't work. It smelled (what's the word...) old. And so on.
But, hey. This was my store now, so I thought it was perfect. Well, that it was GOING to be perfect. We got to work. I don't even remember what we started with. I'm pretty sure I spent an entire day cleaning, and it was still filthy. Then a bunch of stuff happened; lots of shopping at Home Depot and Michaels, and cleaning, and breaking stuff, adding stuff, and calling the electricity company and plumber, etc. I wasn't eating well, I wasn't drinking enough water, I was getting overwhelmed with the whole process, and ended up in the ER.
I was only at the ER for about 7 hours just getting stuff you won't care to read about and filled with fluids. When I was finally able to go home, I still couldn't walk easily or eat well, or do much of anything. This set us back quite a bit, and I had to stay home and rest for a few days. (Stupid anxiety!)
This whole time my husband, who has a demanding enough job, went to my store after work and helped me out the whole time I was resting. Michael is the best. Finally I had some energy to get out of bed and get back to work. I had my parents come down and help with the landscaping one weekend. I'm not kidding when I say landscaping. There was this huge wall of bug-infested vines and dead twigs and so on growing on the side of the building where people can park. If you got out of your car, you would have to touch all those vines and stuff and it was gross. I had to remove it.
Here's the google street view so you can see what it looked like (pretty, but not practical):
After (cleaned up the front to make it more open and added pretty flowers):
So my mom chopped that all down for me, and helped trim my rose bushes and a few trees. It looks beautiful now. When my dad walked in, he was like, "Don't you want this place to look... nice?" Ha! Yes I do! He is a general contractor, so, lucky me, he got some guys in the store for a day to help us finish up the hardest stuff. Below are some before and after photos, but they really don't do it justice with the amount of work we did. Below the two before and after photos are how it looks now.
What do you think? Did we do ok?? We still have some work to do, but I'll keep you all updated.
We hope you come visit us soon. xox
All the good photos taken by Becca Young Photography