I posted the above photo on Instagram three-ish years ago, right after I picked up the keys to Lycette Palm Beach. I was extremely anxious and extremely exhilarated. I had been in the needlepoint industry for a few years selling designs wholesale to local needlepoint shops. Right before I signed the lease, Lycette had been featured on the back page of House Beautiful (Thank you Sophie Donelson and Emma Bazilian), which I used to show my future landlord that yes, needlepoint could be fruitful. I remember signing my lease for only three years because at 27 I figured, "well if this doesn't work out then I can do a career change at 30." Luckily, it did work out and thankfully, y'all believed in me and Lycette. However, there have been moments where I felt there was little support, or where, more accurately, the noise of individuals who wanted Lycette to fail felt louder than those who were cheering. The week before I announced that I was opening a needlepoint shop I posted that I would be selling directly to consumers through Lycette's website. This was in an effort to pay rent before the store opened (there were lots of improvements to make to a space that had previously been a flower shop). A few orders came through and I was feeling confident, but by that evening I was in tears. A thread had started on a "To the Trade" Facebook group bashing Lycette and my decision to sell direct. I received countless emails from furious shop owners demanding explanations for why I decided to sell direct to customers, most of these emails were from stores who had never purchased from Lycette. Yet, amongst the "noise" of angry and scared shop owners were those who wrote thoughtful and raw emails, who explained why they were nervous and how the recent surge of online stores had threatened their brick and mortar stores. There were also shop owners who stood up for Lycette, who sent emails apologizing for the reactions of fellow shop owners. I appreciated the courage and vulnerability in these emails, because both admitting you are scared and standing up for others takes immense virtue. This isn't a post about LNS vs. online, but rather how in order to succeed I needed *both* those who doubted me AND those who undoubtedly believed in me. When I launched Lycette Palm Beach I was simultaneously filled with a fierce desire to show those who had written me nasty emails that I could run a successful needlepoint shop, AND a dedication to make those who had supported me proud. Building a business from the ground up is tough. It takes dedication, grit, and, yes, a few tears. I learn everyday, and everyday I make mistakes. I am grateful for those who doubt me because in the end it drives me forward, and forces me to innovate and think bigger. Yet, I am more grateful for those who support me, because without them I would have never begun to learn how to "block" out negativity. This Thursday Lycette opens its second location in Newport, RI. I am proud of how Lycette has grown and matured. I am immensely grateful for all of you, but more than anything I am thrilled for what the future holds.
PS if you are a new business, just keep going. I promise it gets better!