Thursday, September 26, 2013
VIEW FROM THE CORN FIELD
Well, here we are in the great state of Iowa. It has been nearly a year since we packed up and moved ourselves, 2 dogs and a kitty cat from our dream home in Alabama some 950 miles to Davenport, Iowa. I must say, I was not exactly thrilled to leave the south. I had after all, lived in the southern culture for almost 30 years. I had grown accustomed to macaroni and cheese as a vegetable.
In October, 2012 we arrived in front of our little house, the weather was quite warm. Of coarse, I knew that would change. By late November I began to remember why I left the Midwest 28 years prior. I just keep telling myself that shoveling snow is great exercise!
When I closed up my beloved little shop in Centre, Alabama my husband promised me that we would find another spot to open in our new area. I had even looked into opening in Le Claire-- home of the American Pickers. Never did I allow myself to think that not only would I have a small shop there, but be right in the heart of the best shopping and restaurants.
As we explored in all directions and visited several cities within a reasonable radius. We found the rental rates in the city of Davenport to be far too high. Moline and East Moline had reasonable rents, but not much traffic. We took a day to visit Le Claire and spoke to several shop owners and posed the question of a vintage clothing shop. Most were very positive. By the time we made our second trip, one of the shop owners was planning on renting her space (next to where we are located now) for a very reasonable price. It seemed to be happening very quickly and I generally do not like to rush into decisions, I prefer to explore options. By the time we had gotten back with her, a few weeks later, she had the space rented. However, the building next door was coming up for rent as the current shopkeeper was moving to a larger space. I could not believe my good fortune when I received a pm on facebook from her telling me that the other shop was up for grabs! I called the owner immediately and made an appointment to look at the space. The only drawback was that it was quite small at about 500 sq feet. But a darling space right in the heart of everything. Of coarse, we were not the only potential renters. In fact, there were probably 15 businesses that applied for this particular spot. I am glad we were chosen. We are enjoying the area very much.
Of coarse, my Bear built fitting rooms (trimmed in cedar) and fixtures, painted the walls and even installed some additional lighting. Naturally, he is a great support in many other ways.
As some of you may know, I did have a bit of a rough time this summer. I was dealing with diverticulitis and shingles. It took a toll on me and on sales. Now, I am back at it and planning lots of activities. We also involved with our Etsy shop, also named Cedar Closet.
We sell what I call “previously loved”, vintage and handmade. Again I have tried to involve local artists. I also do consignment on classic items and vintage. We have a large selection of vintage and handmade jewelry as well. I love that we get visitors from all over the country. As well as locals from surrounding cities.
We opened our shop on July 1st of this year. We are located in a lovely building that is over 100 years old. Although it is quite small it has a charming courtyard outside and is topped off with a cheery blue and white striped awning. If I peer closely between the buildings I can actually see the Mississippi river. It is hard for me to believe that it has been less than a year and Cedar Closet is back up and in full swing! If you ever find yourself in Le Claire, Iowa stop by and say, “Hello!”