Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place. Rumi
Three years ago today the Coop de Ville officially opened its doors for business. I remember this because I worked that day. With every day a step in one's journey, what a difference 1,095 days make.
My best friend told me about the FB post, they were opening and looking for vendors. Scared I was but I called. I will never forget the first time meeting Ron. How nervous, intimidated, all those words....I had to tell him that all I had were bins of things I'd brought up from California and the paltry experience of selling at two antique faires. Still he encouraged me to fill out an application and the meeting ended with, if any of you know Ron, a hug.
And then, in the bare bones of the Coop, when it was still being made to be beautiful, I met Shelly and learned, to my surprise, that I was going to be a vendor. That they were, in my view, willing to take a chance on me. Me, in the junking world, a nobody with nothing. For this, and so much else, I will be eternally grateful to Ron and Shelly.
The universe in its way, made it clear, after many, many attempts, that time and experience did not count. I was not meant to return to Corporate America. That place where I was comfortably uncomfortable. It's taken these three years, some darkness, some light...I'm finally figuring out, I am meant, at least partly, to be one of those heart filled entrepreneurs I admire here in the valley. I'm getting there.
Doing something I love, how can I not.
And I love being here at the Coop. I love all the customers, the familiar faces, the friends... I love the creativity and the pictures and stories that are shared about things made with Coop finds. I love the history told as strolls are taken down memory lane. I love hearing parents with their kids, "that's the kind of phone we used to use". I love all the laughs and the peace people say they feel when here.
For anyone stepping inside, I see the Coop de Ville not just as an amazing store but also as an experience. A joyful one. A learning one. Where I have learned. About life, the lives of many others and my own. And where, with many more steps I hope to learn so much more.