November At Last...
“Those who cannot change their mind cannot change anything.” - George Bernard Shaw
Alas, I have changed my mind. As long as I can remember, I’ve touted that October is the best of the months. Don’t get me wrong, I love my birth-month of June as well but coming from a four-season climate in New Mexico, I’ve always loved the surprises of Fall that truly reveal themselves during October.
Without too much elaboration, I’m going to just say this October sucked! So much so that it’s made me reflect on the glory that is NOVEMBER! Maybe it’s the return of the “snowbirds” that gives way to a more bustling city or maybe it’s the brisk mornings Robin and I have been enjoying together over coffee. OR the fact that November holds some of my favorite things:
HOLIDAY PLANNING – Yes, I am that person that waits all year to fill our shelves with things that you’re going to love for gift giving. In essence, I’m carefully selecting gifts that you in turn can take the credit for giving. It’s a win/win because I’m doing what I love, and YOU are benefiting from it. What could be better than that?
HOLIDAY MUSIC – I’m a freak… I KNOW. But consider yourself lucky that I now start our holiday music mid-month rather than my former drop date of November 1st. YES, temps are still in the 80’s and YES, a lot of Christmas music blows BUT three things: 1) we only have to suffer it for about a month and a half and 2) this is the only time of year we get to hear some of the real treasures and 3) it puts you in the mood to buy the merch referenced above!
THANKSGIVING – I mean, a whole day dedicated to gratitude and FOOD? 100% YES!
Finally, SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY – At Ampersand, this is truly our favorite day of the year. Once, I was throwing myself a birthday party and when someone teased me about it, I said, “If you don’t celebrate yourself, who the hell else I going to?” And that is something I live by. While my inner voice says things like, “WHY isn’t everyday small business day?” My heart is thrilled beyond measure that we have an actual holiday to commemorate how hard we work all year. Did you know that 46% of Americans are employed by small businesses and 80% of small businesses don’t have any employees at all? Without doing the exact math, that translates to well over half of Americans that either work for or own a small business. We make the world go round, folks! HELL YES, we deserve a very special day!
Truth is, small business is all I’ve ever known. My parents were retailers, my grandparents were in retail and/or farming, and their parents were entrepreneurs as well. And, while I’d certainly like to sell one day in the distant future and retire (my bucket list is LONG), the thought that it somehow won’t make it ‘til then, brings me to my knees. If you are a fellow business owner, you know what I mean. If not, let me try and articulate it.
A small business, that you dream up and see to fruition, including everything from concept to design to execution, is like birthing a child. While I’ve only had one child… I’ve dreamt up dozens of businesses over the years. Most entrepreneurs have. And whether it’s a dentist office, auto shop, food service, accounting, massage studio, tattoos, whatever! RARE is the brainchild that becomes a reality! Why? Logistics. Money. Timing. Uncontrollable circumstance (i.e.: location availability). HOOTZPAH!!! Seriously! It takes some big cojones to gamble for your income! Think about it: our entire livelihood depends on YOU. Not you alone, thankfully, but the royal you, including: your friends and family and neighbors and acquaintances and even total strangers, who MIGHT walk in our door and make the choice to support our passion.
Luckily… we’re good at what we do! Our Tucson endeavor has been extremely well received and for that, you have our eternal gratitude. We LOVE our reinvented, relocated shop! We LOVE our new community! We LOVE the seemingly endless blue skies of Arizona and the history of this cool old town. WE LOVE MEETING AND GETTING TO KNOW YOU! And most of all, we wholeheartedly love what we do! We hope it shows. In the customer service you receive, in the relationships we nurture, in the atmosphere we create, in the inventory we curate, in the extra-mile we go. We are so happy and proud to have been welcomed into your big, small town and hope you honor us by allowing us to be here a long, long time.
Keep supporting small business because we don’t exist without YOU. And, Happy NOVEMBER! At last!