Next week, on July 21st, is our store anniversary party. I have been running this business for 9 years! This picture was taken for our first website, 9 years ago, just before we started. Our oldest was 2.5 and the youngest was 6 months.
It's hard for me not to get at least a little emotional when I share about my business, as it has been a more personal ride than I thought it would be. 9 years ago I was a mom who was let go of her job when I was 9 months pregnant with our second. I felt defeated and scared. I thought my job was stable and then it wasn't. I realized then that not much is stable, so maybe I should try and turn this idea I had into a reality. 1 month later I met with a business counselor to share my idea for a business. After 6 months of planning, I reached a point where I just had to go for it. Though I was scared, and wasn't sure if I could do it without kids and even more so with two little ones, I started. This business is like my 3rd kid (so that would mean I have 5 kids, and the business being right in the middle!). I guess the business was born out of necessity mixed with a desire to see an idea come to life.
It's been quite the ride over the years. Many ups and downs, sleepless nights, feeling insecure in what I set out to do, nervous about an unstable future (which is just part of running a business), however, I wouldn't change it. We have made friends because of our business. We have become a part of our community here in West Duluth. Plus, my kids have been raised in Little Neetchers. They work here with me (or against me sometimes), package & ship boxes, sweep, mop, play, they got nursed here, they watch me working hard, they see the labor of love, and some how they seem to understand the importance of it for our family. It's OUR thing, it's our livelihood, and they are a part of it!
Our store has never really been about making money and selling stuff, though that does keep us here. It's been about providing something unique for families in the Twin Ports. Something more personal and soulful than a big box store. A store that is simple, carries stuff we as parents love and use, and that actually cares about you and your little ones when you stop in.
Photo from opening our Grand Ave Location 5+ years ago.
We want people to want to shop local, keep their money going into our community and into the families that live here, so we try to make shopping with us special.
If you stop in and you are feeling overwhelmed at the whole first time parent thing and need a shoulder, we're here. If your little one is driving you bonkers and you come in worried that we will be annoyed at your small human, don't worry, we won't! We GET IT. If you need to nurse while you're here, you are more than welcome to! If you need just one more hand, we are here to hold your baby. Or watch your infant as you carry your screaming toddler to the car. We GET IT! Do you need to just get out of the house for a while and have adult conversation? We are more than happy to oblige.
I really didn't know, at the time, how our family business would affect our lives and those around us. That has been a very happy surprise! I do so hope you continue to choose to shop here, play here, meet other parents here, hangout, let me hold your babies, offer suggestions, and become friends. That's why we are here!
ok, just one more picture, this is my youngest working with me:
To Celebrate our 9th, here's what we are doing:
- 9% off store WIDE (in store or online)
- Coffee & Snacks
- FREEBIES if you bring a friend new to our store
- Every 9th customer will get a FREE snack bag
- FREE skip hop snack cups with any order over $50 (while they last).
- FREE Britax car seat cup holder to the first 9 customers
For kids we have a flat $4 play time, homemade play dough, snacks, and crafts inside the play space! Stop in, celebrate with us, enjoy some deals, meet our whole family, and have fun! Please help spread the word :) Here's a link to our Facebook event.