Yesterday, I turned in my keys to Nolan James Boutique’s first retail space that was just ours.  We started out going to markets and had booth spaces in shops.  I don’t think I’ve fully processed it yet but wanted to share a little backstory with you.

I signed the lease on the space in January of 2020. The business was legally started at the end of 2017, we didn’t really begin until the beginning of 2018.  I went to a market almost every weekend of 2018. Mind you Nolan & I had just moved to Indiana maybe a year before.  Just me, my tent, totes, and multiple ikea bags drove out to a different market every weekend.  Brad had just moved up from TN.  He and Nolan spent a lot of time together while I was at market. Towards the end of the year, I realized that me being gone constantly had taken a toll on all of us.  I was always gone plus I worked a day job during the week.  In 2019, I found booth spaces and focused more on family.  Brad and I got married, bought another house, moved, and NJ was really put on the back burner.  Beginning in 2020, this little space in town that I had thought about since we moved to Cicero, became available. The thought was, I could quit doing the booth spaces and just open this space for monthly pop-ups.  NJ had two booth spaces and a storage room… oh plus my house.  The thought of consolidating everything and only paying for one space sounded great.  Well, fast forward to days I was working on setting things up in the shop and friends would just pop into chat.  It really got me thinking that this could be something more.  That’s when I decided to quit my job and go in with both feet.  I did just that… quit my job on a wing and a prayer.  Filed paperwork with the city to open only to be hit with zoning issues and a month long wait to have the meeting.  Then we all know what happened next.  We became home-school teachers.  So, here I was, no job, I had taken down the website, no way to sell any of my inventory and completely lost.  On the other hand, I was thankful to be home with Nolan.  I am not a home-school teacher. To be honest, it was very rough.  Thankfully, we all made it through.

Fast forward to May 4th, the county could re-open. The doors of NJB opened. That first year was rough.  I am thankful that I had a great job prior to moving up here but that only lasts so long.  I am so thankful for you that dared walk into that little shop with hardly any inventory. Some of you have been with me since market days and others since the beginning of our little shop.  My family and I are so grateful for you and all of you that are here today! 

Then on April 30, 2023, I gave back those keys that I had received 3 years prior.  It’s such a bittersweet moment.  I’m still in disbelief that we have transitioned to a larger space.  However, for almost a year, I’ve had this feeling that something was going to change and it had to change.  I had the same feeling about the first space for quite a long time before it happened.  I had faith and knew it was in his timing.  You and I both know that it is hard when it’s not in our timing.  But we have to wait and just have the faith.  I am so thankful for this opportunity and don’t want to take a moment of it for granted.  However, I know going into this that I must be more present for my family.  I’ve missed so many Saturdays and Sundays for that matter. We only get so many with our kiddos before they grow up and leave us.  I plan on hiring someone else to help allow us all to rotate out. Hopefully that will allow us all to be more present with our families.  I’m so excited for all the changes that this new space will allow!  I don’t know what will change but I know HE does.  Stay tuned because it’s only going to get better! 

 I love you all and cannot thank you enough for being here on this journey with us!!



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