It’s hard to believe a year’s worth of business plan writing and tweaking, brick-and-mortar design and renovation, inventory purchasing, and website and social media building is all culminating to the grand opening of Fishes and Loaves in just a few short weeks! Now that our ideas are actually becoming tangible, I am asked quite often, “Has it always been your dream to have a shop like this?" My answer, usually something along the lines of “...Well, sort of…” catches most inquisitors off guard, as I’m sure they’re expecting a giddy, enthusiastic, “OMG, yes, I’ve been dreaming of opening my own retail store since I was ten years old!”
While I truly am ecstatic about opening a brick-and-mortar kitchen and homewares retail store, my “dream” is a little more complicated than it may seem on the surface. As we celebrate America’s Independence this week, I’m reminded of our Founding Fathers and the American Dream they envisioned and fought for two-hundred and forty-two years ago and how it can inspire all of us to continue to pursue our American dreams.
The “original” American Dream was a little different than our modern, stereotypical vision (home ownership, a nice car, a high-paying job). When fighting for independence from British rule, our Founders and many Americans pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for a different dream – the idea that every American has a right to use their God-given abilities to pursue happiness and achieve their highest potential without being ruled and taxed by a tyrannical monarchy. Despite many differences, America’s patriots came together in the summer of 1776 to produce the Declaration of Independence.
While modern-day America has veered away from our Founder’s vision, we still live in the freest, most productive country on Earth. A place where all people (including my husband and me) are free to live and aspire to a better life. A place where we can use our God-given abilities to provide goods and services that make life better for others.
My husband and I are different in many ways, but one common trait is our entrepreneurial spirit. As described by Inc.com, “Entrepreneurs demonstrate a true passion for building something great from nothing. They are willing to push themselves to limits to achieve big goals.” Over the past ten years, my husband and I have had the freedom to take risks together, to fail, to pray, to get back up again, and literally push ourselves to our limits to improve our life. In fact, these are just a few of the continual tests and motivators we’ve experienced on our entrepreneurial journey:
- Personal Responsibility
Coupled with our Founders vision of the American Dream, entrepreneurs can change our country and the world! And while our little venture may not change the world, we do seek to make a difference in our community.
Our vision for Fishes and Loaves goes way beyond retail. We hope our products encourage families to slow down and meet for meals around the table again. I am excited to extend my blog writing to our website. I'll be sharing recipes, tips, and imagery that encourages healthy, conscious eating and meal-planning, and inspiration that helps make a house a home- a place filled with quality pieces that are useful beautiful, and sentimental, not just a space filled with more stuff. We also designed our shop to be a community-gathering space, with a large workshop area perfect for demonstrations, “how-to” classes, parties, and social gatherings.
Most importantly, creating this business allows us to contribute and further the development of a vibrant local economy. We love living in a dynamic, bustling, and growing community that still maintains a small town feel. As small business owners, we have the opportunity to encourage the “shop local” movement, build real relationships with our customers, create jobs, mentor others, and give back through charitable contributions. This is the true essence of our American dream.
The road to our grand opening has been arduous as times, but we press on because our accomplishments will far outweigh the trials. We know this is just the beginning and will most likely face many of those tests listed above. The key is not seeing them as adversities, but as inspiration to never stop learning and growing.
Thank you for sharing in this journey with us and supporting our dream!