What's Ahead for 2024!

To say I'm glad 2023 is in the books is an understatement. It was the toughest year so far out of the past 6 years (can you believe it's been 6 years????). Yes, 2023 was worse than dealing with the pandemic. If I'm being honest, by the time fall hit I had pretty much decided I would be closing after the holidays. Things were that concerning.  Then the City of Eureka announced the plans for the baseball fields, and it gives me a little glimmer of hope to at least try to get through 2024. So as of this email, the plan is to keep trucking forward. But what does that look like?
There's been a lot of analyzing top categories, top items, worst categories, and worst items in the store.  Data and numbers give a clear picture of what's working and what's not so this past year I've been shifting gears to focus on top categories without so much "extra" in the store. 2024 will see categories like candy, greeting cards, puzzles, spiritwear, and novelty gifts grow while there will be less home decor.
Classes will not be offered on a regular basis in 2024.  I've tried wearing too many hats and doing all the things and not doing any of it well. I need to take a step back and get better systems and procedures in place for the things that do work before adding more to my plate.
Those that have been in the store in the past 6 months have seen that retail is on one half and the other half has become my production/workspace.  Shirts are the top product over and over and it's time I give myself the actual space to work and get organized to be more efficient for YOU!
Which brings me to what I'm personally working on for 2024. When I first opened in 2017, I had no clue how hard owning a gift shop would be. Any skills I thought I was bringing to the table (organization, timeliness, planning, etc.) went out the window very quickly. I was overwhelmed and unable to get to the root of the problem. Instead, I added more to my plate and made things much worse for all of us. They say women with ADHD can mask it and hold it all together until they can't anymore and I can truly say that opening a brick & mortar absolutely broke me. 
It's taken a lot of time to understand what I've been battling within myself and get to a point where I can recognize when the neurospicy-ness brain is trying to control things. I've still got a lot of work to do but my goals are to focus on better communication, put in place policies for shirt orders, better turnaround for shirt orders and get product on the floor quicker.
If you've made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read. I appreciate all my customers whether you come in weekly, come in over the holidays, and anything in-between. I love hearing the laughter over the sassy coasters or pen sets. It makes me proud when I see somebody wearing a shirt I made at the grocery store. It feels good knowing you found the perfect gift for a friend. There are so many reasons I want to keep improving and I'm thankful so many of you have stayed on the journey with me. 
Here's to a more focused, organized, and fun 2024! Will see you soon!

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