[00:00:00] Emily Thompson:
Welcome to Being Boss podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And today I'm joined by Corey from the Being Boss team to chat about what's up with my retail company, Almanac Supply Co. Spoiler, we moved our physical storefront in the touristy destination of north shore Chattanooga, and I'm sharing why and how we moved more about the store and what I've learned along the way. You can find all the tools, books, and links we referenced on the show notes at www.Beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.
[00:00:43] All right bosses it's time for another podcast recommendation. And this one is a deep dive into all the unsexy industries that are often overlooked. The podcast is Unsexy hosted by Elaine Zelby brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. In each episode of Unsexy, Elaine explores industries, such as campsite booking and outdoor tropical agriculture, chemical industry.
[00:01:06] And more. And sure she claims her unsexy, but many of the episodes are exactly the kinds of businesses that I would love to know more about. And I feel like many of you will to learn more and listen to unsexy wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:01:25] Back again so soon, Corey?
[00:01:27] Corey Winter: I knew you couldn't keep me away.
[00:01:29] Emily Thompson: What?
[00:01:32] Corey Winter: You missed me, didn't you, I'm trying to think of something snarky is not working.
[00:01:38] Emily Thompson: Yeah, good job. Good job. Right. I have definitely found posts sort of, or like going back out pandemic that like, and everyone I talk to cause I've had plenty of people like respond back to me is no one knows how to converse anymore.
[00:01:52] Or just like, or, or God forbid banter. Like how does that even work? I'm gonna stumble and say dumb things.
[00:01:59] Corey Winter: I've never been good at that. So.
[00:02:02] Emily Thompson: So especially bad now, I feel like I used to be pretty good at banter. And this past weekend I went, rock shopping for Almanac and something weird was in the air. I'm just like I got hit on several times.
[00:02:16] Like plenty of people were just trying to banter and otherwise just engage and didn't know what to do. I did not know how to respond. I kept just saying dumb things or otherwise just like sure. Or indeed, or that's funny or whatever. And I kept walking away going like, God, do I not know how to converse anymore?
[00:02:38] And maybe not?
[00:02:38] Corey Winter: Well, that's also why I still avoid social gatherings at all costs because I do not want the banter and the smalltalk. Like it gives me anxiety
[00:02:47] Emily Thompson: I don't want small talk, but I do love a good banter. I'm not going to lie, but I've definitely, you know, I've always had a bit of, you know, delayed or like I'm going to come up with a really funny retort about 24 hours later.
[00:03:00] Let me tell you it's gonna be a real zinger. But like usually pretty okay. In the moment, but I feel like I've lost it. I've totally, I've lost my mojo.
[00:03:09] Corey Winter: Like you and I went to a conference last fall. Like lots of people, their first big gathering, we really had post pandemic or since the pandemic end.
[00:03:19] Emily Thompson: Actually in the pan did, we were still was August 20 21.
[00:03:22] Corey Winter: And that was just like all these people around me. I'm just like, don't talk to me. Don't don't talk to me.
[00:03:27] Emily Thompson: Yeah.
[00:03:30] Don't look at me. Don't talk to me. Well, I mean the, and I, it's still still introvert for sure, but like, I don't know. I used to could engage. So. So humorously and now I just, I know forwards words.
[00:03:44] That's all I got. Y'all indeed. Sure. And that's funny.
[00:03:53] That's all I got. That's all I got.
[00:03:55] Corey Winter: All right. So we're here today. Back at it again, to kind of continue on a conversation we had several months ago. I forget which episode it was. It'll be in the show notes. We were talking about you and Almanac opening a new retail space, and somehow we're back here again, talking about you and Almanack opening a new retail space again.
[00:04:17] What did you do?
[00:04:19] Emily Thompson: That's the official question. What did you do? Well, I opened it as a retail store.
[00:04:27] Corey Winter: And to clarify, this is not a second location, this is just a new location. You've just moved.
[00:04:32] Emily Thompson: We've moved. So yeah, whatever the episode was, it'll be in the show notes, feel free to go back and let's do it.
[00:04:39] It's like July ish of last year, because last July I opened almanacs first retail store. It was a. Tiny little store and I'm talking tiny little store in the north shore neighborhood of Chattanooga, just off sort of the main strip, the main like tourist strip in Chattanooga, or like one of, two of them, I guess.[00:05:00]
[00:05:00] And I was super excited about we, you know, open the store. It was sort of what we were moving towards the entire time we've had Almanac. It was, you know, it was in that moment in July last year to where like the pandemic was over, I say in air quotes, right? Like cases, loads went really down. We thought it was over before Delta hit.
[00:05:19] And so we opened it. It was a ton of fun. Opened it nine days and then, you know, Delta hit and it was the holidays. And so we've been in that space for, we were in that space for nine months, I think. And then fate was like, but that's not your last stop and morning. And I said, fine, let's see, what's next.
[00:05:39] So we just moved the store to a bigger location, less than a year after opening it originally.
[00:05:47] Corey Winter: And isn't this location like, literally right around the corner from the left.
[00:05:51] Emily Thompson: I mean, it's not even right around the corner, like totally legitimately within eyes. I like a keep joking that it's a Stone's throw, which is funny because it's a rock shop.
[00:06:02] It's a, Stone's throw away from the old job, but literally I could open the front door and probably chunk or rock and likely hit the front door of the new store.
[00:06:13] Corey Winter: So, I mean, that makes it sound like it was an easy move, but I know it was not,
[00:06:17] Emily Thompson: it was almost harder.
[00:06:19] Corey Winter: Yeah. And so we'll get into that, but why did you make this move?
[00:06:24] Emily Thompson: Fate fate told me too. So whenever we moved to Chattanooga, I've mentioned several times here on the podcast that I'm a bit of a real estate nerd. I'm, I'm all like residential and commercial, probably more commercial than residential. It's something that I'm always looking at. Always Lynn, just, I love looking at spaces.
[00:06:42] I love knowing like the economics of it. I was just like, what's happening in the economy? Like what's the fluctuations, like, Learning new areas of town, that sort of thing. So always finger on the pulse and otherwise geographer. Right. So I have a degree in geography, AC space. I know what areas of town I want to be in.
[00:07:04] It's just, it's how my brain works. So there have always been literally only two storefronts in this entire city that I've desired only two. And this was one of them. This was one of them and it was more or less across the street from our previous store. And it just sort of landed in my lap. If you go back and listen to that first episode, you'll see how the first store opened.
[00:07:28] Very similar conditions where like, I didn't even try, just showed up and everything just sort of fell into place and it was open and there we were. And how did that even happen? And, you know, lots of manpower, I was there actually doing things, but in terms of like the doors opening and those sort of, it just all kind of happened in a way that I just, I just had to show up for.
[00:07:47] I didn't have to push it. Easily happened. And you know, if you listen to a lot of like, you know, creative process, things like that's, when you know, you've met some sort of flow that you're there doing what you should be doing, whatever it may be is when it just becomes easy and like a good kind of easy.
[00:08:03] And that's kind of what happened with the storefront. So it was probably February, we're recording this in may. I think this goes live in, it goes live in June, so we're recording in may. But in February of this year, I show up to a being Boston. And, one of our team members here was previously my team member at Almanac and she's like, Hey, did you hear about this store?
[00:08:26] This store that was inhabiting one of those two locations in town that I desired. And I was like, no, tell me. And she said that on Instagram, they had just posted that at the end of February, they would be closed. And I said,
[00:08:43] Corey Winter: shut up. So what was this location? Like? What was the story that
[00:08:47] Emily Thompson: in there before it was a jewelry store?
[00:08:50] It was a little jewelry store that I have shopped at for years. It had been there for about 10 years, I think. So it was there whenever we moved here and I remember shopping there before we moved here. So whenever I used to drive through here, you know, whenever we lived in the mountains of North Carolina, Stop and Chattanooga often and do a bit of shopping with a friend.
[00:09:07] And so I had been in there I'd bought jewelry there. I love the store. It had been on my list for a decade. And so, and there's been many times over the past couple of years that I, you know, been talking to David, just sort of not jokingly said, like, I wonder if we could just go in there and buy the whole store.
[00:09:22] Like, I wonder if I can like, acquire what is currently there and, so that I could have this space and we never did it because things happen. And I got literally two other businesses I'm running. I don't need a third. And so always coveted this space. But never enough to do anything about it. So.
[00:09:42] Whenever I hear that this business is closing down. I get David. I think David went over there that day. So he goes to work at the shop across the street, and I tell him, and he goes across the street to the shop and meets the owner of the store that was closing down and has a conversation with her. And she's just done.
[00:10:01] She opened, she acquired it from the previous owner at the very beginning of the pandemic, not thinking that the pandemic would last two years. And it was just burned out. And whenever I met her, I saw it. Like I saw my, I saw what I experienced in her. I saw past me. It was not future. I saw past me. I saw burnout Emily in her eyes.
[00:10:24] I even, I even said something to her at one point. And just like almost all her tearing up because like there was, I don't know, a resonance and you know, this understanding of sort of what she was going through in terms of burnout. And so she was closing the store. And I asked her if she would put us in touch with her landlord and she did, and we had a conversation with him, you know, a couple of days later.
[00:10:45] And he never even like put a sign in the window, we just signed a lease. So it happened incredibly easily. In a way that was really exciting. It was also incredibly terrifying. We've I've never signed a five-year lease for anything before two or three. Yes. But five was the longest. We also did it.
[00:11:09] We signed this lease literally the week that Russia invaded Ukraine, which fell. And I don't laugh because that's funny. I laugh because , but it was a sort of terrifying decision to. To sign a five-year lease, paying more rent than we've ever paid for my dream space, during that week.
[00:11:32] And so we did it. So the opportunity arose, we snatched it, even though the world was like, really? We did it. And. And it was, it felt very serendipitous as these things tend to keep showing up for me. And we decided, so we decided we would move the shop into a larger location and it was very exciting.
[00:11:56] Corey Winter: So real quick I did, I did look it up.
[00:11:58] If you want to learn more about just opening a retail store for the first time, the episode where we actually talked about Almanac opening, their first store was episode 264, titled opening retail store. Very straight to the point title paying me. So this is Almanac opening their second stores. Tell us a little bit about the space.
[00:12:17] Emily Thompson: It's beautiful. I mean, it's one of the two spaces I've ever wanted in the city. It is the sales floor is literally. Three times, plus the size of our previous little store. It also has a full basement. So our, our stock room, which was literally the size of a matchbox, we could stand in the middle and almost touch all four walls.
[00:12:39] It was so tiny is now the size of the sales floor. More or less. And it even has like a little office loft, which is super adorable. And I've been in that store dozens of times and never even realized that that was a loss that I was looking at, which is really sort of trippy and exciting. I mean, just like a half wall.
[00:12:59] The thing it also has like hardcore, like old in these spaces vibe, which like, if anyone's been around here for a long time, that's a funny thing. Corey used to work in that office space with me. So it's, it's a historic building on like the main tourist strip in Chattanooga on Frazier avenue. It backs to the river park, which is on the other side of the river park is literally the river.
[00:13:24] There's the main pedestrian walking bridge that goes across the Tennessee river. It's like two blocks away. So it's like in the most perfect location and as cute has incredibly high ceilings, we immediately got in there and painted everything like literally everything. So we painted the walls, white, we painted the ceilings black.
[00:13:45] So it was just like this very clean, beautiful space with big front windows. And. Door with a nice little like old door handle, which if you're me, you care about things like that. This dreamy beautiful old space, That we painted every surface of and have since filled it with rocks,
[00:14:13] yeah. We totally got a dump truck and just like here, fill it up. No, but like the beautiful crystals and smell good candles. It does smell weird.
[00:14:27] We do. And we keep a lot of them lit so that no one gets smell of. It's like old musty smell from the basement. So actually a bit about like getting in there. So the first thing we did was paint and I have mentioned, so actually, Several steps along this way. I've been recording episodes of the making a business podcast that is exclusive to the Being Boss clubhouse, which is the paid tier of the Being Boss community.
[00:14:48] So if you are interested in hearing so many pieces of this puzzle, literally as I'm going through it in that space, you can find them making a business podcast where I'm talking about several things. One thing that I do want to talk about here are the painters that we've. Who were amazing because these days, you know, hiring contractors, people to work on in your house, it's like notoriously awful out there.
[00:15:08] We found these really amazing painters who just showed up and did their job when they said they were going to so immediately moving into this space. So we signed the lease. Funny, I think we signed it with the last days of February. We moved in March 1st. We thought we were going to take a month to get everything finished up.
[00:15:31] Previously, we took nine days to open a store. We thought about taking a month. We ended up extending that to a whole two months to open the store because there were some things that we wanted to do in the space versus painting it. We painted every surface walls, ceiling downstairs. We painted wall, ceiling and floor because downstairs was a done.
[00:15:51] Legit. There was one room that we called the murder room because it looked like a murder had happened in there. The bathroom we called the tetanus bathroom, because if you used it, you were going to get tetanus and it was otherwise terrifying in that basement. And so I told David, we were going to pay everything.
[00:16:08] And we did, and it's so much better now, but there's still this like faint, weird basement smell that we're working on really getting out.
[00:16:16] Corey Winter: So there's probably a dead body in there.
[00:16:19] Emily Thompson: No, there was just like the cotton balls left. Right. Okay.
[00:16:25] Corey Winter: So the smoke was smell. I was picturing, but okay.
[00:16:29] Emily Thompson: No, I'm just the murder room had like cotton balls glued to the floor.
[00:16:32] It was really, really weird. And it was also just like a sign of how, like, I know what could that be used for? I have no idea. Some sort of murder I'm sure. Some sort of murder. It was like, it was weird. There was no light bulb in this back room. Like you literally could not see. It was terrifying. It was really terrifying.
[00:16:52] We painted every surface and now it like, it looks pretty dreamy. I think down there still has a sort of faint, weird smell
[00:16:59] Corey Winter: that lingering around or
[00:17:02] Emily Thompson: so the bathroom, we put a new sink in, we cleaned it up. We painted every surface, like literally night and day between what this basement looked like and what it now looks like.
[00:17:12] It just still kind of smells the same, but we're working. Working on that. So, we did a lot of painting and then we also did a couple of build-outs David and I built a platform to go under the windows so we could do window display. I told them that I told him as we were planning it, I was like, I want it to be a small deck.
[00:17:30] Like I literally want a baby elephant to be able to stand on this tiny deck, but we're building. And so we built it very strong, very excited about that. It was really fun to play carpenter. I have some friends who have been calling me Barb, the builder,
[00:17:45] because we literally built it. I had planned on hiring a woodworker to come in or a carpenter to come in and build it. And the more I thought about it. Exactly what I wanted to build. And it was simple enough that I felt I could build it. And so we did. And so now I'm Barb, the builder y'all can use all kinds of tools now, all kinds, right.
[00:18:05] And then we also built, built a really nice new crystal shelf across one. And this is like, this is my favorite story, because if you go back to that first episode that we did about opening the first store, I tell the story about the door. Do you remember the door that turned into the table and sort of quick recap, I had found a door on the side of the road years ago.
[00:18:26] I told David that it was going to be a table in our retail store when we weren't even like a retail store, it wasn't happening in the near future. We put it in this. We got the new space and I was immediately like, okay, time to use that door. And so we turned this old on the side of the road door into the most beautiful table and the retail store, similar story to that is these live Cedar live edge Cedar planks.
[00:18:51] So a year ago we were actually looking at a different space that has not panned out because it literally still is not even done yet. But we go [00:19:00] into this dilapidated building. Hearing from, you know, the sales guy about the vision for turning this sort of complex, this old boiler plant into a retail destination.
[00:19:10] We go into this small building there, like half the ceiling has gone. One of the balls, this is missing like this really not even still a building. And he's like looking up and I'm like, Ooh, ah, you know, all the things that I'm like, but what about this pile of wood? That's just like in the floor and he looks at it.
[00:19:25] He's like, I don't know. Because what no one is noticing is that this is impeccable pile of live edge. Cedar that has been laying there for God knows how long. And these planks are massive and by massive, not very wide, but incredibly long. And I'm like, can I buy this pile of wood? And he's like, I guess he was like, how much?
[00:19:49] And I was like, And he was like, okay, yeah, I'll take it. Because like, if to him, I was just a pile of wood to me. Holy cow, this was a really great pile of wood. And so we sort of count them. We look at them and they all look pretty kosher. So we bring in some cash the next day, have a friend with a truck, come pick it up.
[00:20:09] Talk to him into letting us keep it in his wood shop until we had a time and place that we could use it. So we've had this sort of pile of wood and a friend's wood shop hanging out there. And as soon as we sign this lease, I'm like, it's time to get that wood. And they was like, what would I'm like the wood, the wood that we've been saving for this moment to this particular.
[00:20:29] So we called up our woodworker friend, had him finish up a couple of pieces. He brought it in, dropped it off after the pagers were done. And we had this beautiful pile of probably 15 live edge Cedar planks that apparently had been sitting in this dilapidated building for probably 50 years. Like they'd been sitting there for decades and because it's Cedar though, they don't rot and they had.
[00:20:53] Away from the elements enough, there were a couple pieces had to be shaved off of some of them. You had to just get some Moss off of them, [00:21:00] but they were beautiful. And once they were like, what's it called? When you like, make them into planks? Once they were plank defied, there's a word for that. And it's not coming to me in this moment.
[00:21:13] Everyone's probably yelling this at the podcast right now, what this word is, but he like runs it through a planer once they got plained. Some of them could get planes. Cause they were narrow enough. They were incredibly beautiful. Some of them were like an engine, a half thick, which is wild and there's gorgeous.
[00:21:35] We brought them in and David and I had planned out and built a shelf to go along one wall that is sturdy enough because he, Cedar planks are so thick to hold a ton of rocks. Like maybe, literally, maybe not literally a ton, but like. So many pounds of rocks that regular shelves will not hold because rocks are incredibly heavy.
[00:21:58] Some of these planks are 16 feet long. They're gorgeous. So we sanded them. We finished them, we planned and built these beautiful shelves. But we bought some led lights from the Amazon and I learned to solder, which was a whole journey. And we built this really beautiful crystal shelf over the course of a week or two as well.
[00:22:22] So similar to the, that door that we like found and waited and finally found its home. We did the same thing with the Cedar planks. And now that my shelf is built, I still have a ton of wood that I can use for other projects. And so we have this literally custom built whole wall length of shelving for our crystals that I probably.
[00:22:46] Paid in all 600 bucks for all in, for this one. If I had gotten that custom made by anyone else, I would have paid thousands of dollars. And I made it with my own tune hands two hands, two, hands up my own tune hands.
[00:23:03] Corey Winter: So not only are you barb the builder you're also missing it's electric cars. Didn't you like, like make your own led lights.
[00:23:13] Emily Thompson: Yes. So that was a whole, so, you know, you can into these projects, any creative knows, you know, you're like, you know what, I'm going to do this thing. And it ends up having 14 more steps than you imagined. Same thing happened with these led lights. We knew we wanted to light the shelves, right? You know, 16 feet long I'll, I'll post a, an image to the Almanac Instagram around this time.
[00:23:35] I'll try to remember to, if not scroll back I'll, I'll put one on there of our crystal wall. You can see this sort of shelving unit that we, that we built Almanac. On the instance. So we built this, built this very long shelf. We knew we wanted to light it. So I went and I bought, I get on Amazon. I bought all the pieces that I need.
[00:23:53] I say in air quotes to put together this Ellie, the single led strip that would light four different shells. Three or four different shelves and I get it in and none of the pieces actually go together. Like this is the most useless pack of led light stuff ever. And I'm pissed because I did so much research.
[00:24:11] I'd like, quote, unquote, figured it out and thought I bought the perfect solution. Only to not be able to have any sort of, any significant amount of non light space between the light strips. And it was so mad that day. I, we were on a Being Boss huddle and I, I messaged you Corey or like Corey stay Haftar a second.
[00:24:34] And I was like, do you know what to do about these led lights? And you were like, no, no. What do I do? So I did what. Boss does I got on YouTube, I got on a YouTube and learned that I needed to like solder these pieces together. And I made jewelry back in the day. I used to like do a little bit of silver smithing, so I understand.
[00:24:56] The basics. So I sent David to the hardware store to get a couple of things and he came back and I spent two days soldering, a custom series of led lights, that now work perfectly. And so that was fun. Right?
[00:25:15] Corey Winter: Thanks at some point,
[00:25:18] Emily Thompson: there's a good bit of electrical tape on there. I'm not going to lie. I feel like we did.
[00:25:25] Okay. I feel like we did. Okay. So we did spend two months doing the quote unquote build out of this space. We were able to keep the old store. While we did all of these things. We, you know, we get the painters in there. We built the shelf, we built this, this sort of mini elephant deck underneath the window.
[00:25:46] We started moving things downstairs or our backstock and our shipping station, because we were able to consolidate all of our shipping from. What was the warehouse space and the small shop into one space. And that is the downstairs of the new shops. So we moved all of that stuff. We were able to get a lot of things set up and ready before we closed down the old store to move into the new store.
[00:26:09] And we took things kind of slowly and tried to do things well and otherwise just like not kill ourselves along the way. And so we spent a month and a half doing a lot of behind the scenes things and that mid April, we shut down the store. The small store is what we're currently calling it and the small store to move everything into the old or the new store.
[00:26:32] And which literally meant us wheeling. Box after box after box of rocks. From this tiny store across the street, we let down the sidewalk, wait for the light to change. We'll over the very bumpy, like little ramp up and down the sidewalks, onto the street, run it across the street and into the door of the new shop and immediately unpack all of the rocks that we just spent.
[00:27:05] All of that time packing. As he moved from one store to the other. And over the course of two weeks, we moved, we packed, moved, unpacked and rearranged to finally get to openning.
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[00:28:11] Corey Winter: So you weren't completely closed for, it sounds like two weeks.
[00:28:13] Emily Thompson: Completely closed for two weeks.
[00:28:15] Corey Winter: How does traffic been? How has customer been, was there a falloff after having been closed for two weeks or as like your traffic's still good?
[00:28:24] Emily Thompson: Traffic's still good. So it's been an interesting transition. I think if you, maybe if you go back to that episode where we talk about the first time I talk about how I did not want to be on the main strip, right?
[00:28:34] Like, I didn't want all the foot traffic. I wanted people who were going to like, come find us. I mean, but immediately when I saw all those people walking down the street, I was like, well, why aren't I over there? Who, whose dumb idea was this? It was mine that I didn't want all this foot track traffic. Of course I want the foot traffic.
[00:28:54] So we're getting all the foot traffic. Now. We're definitely getting more people into the store, but fewer of those people are warm leads, right? More of them are cold leads. Whereas before very few cold leads like people were like walking that house a walk or like fate was drawing them near or whatever
[00:29:13] it may be in a way that now just any and everyone who walks by is coming in. So we are getting more people. And it's been an interesting thing to watch getting more people, shorter, smaller, smaller, not shorter, smaller conversion rates. So as before almost everyone who came into the shop bought something.
[00:29:34] Now we're having more people not buying something because more cold leads, more people just wandering in off the street, which is also fine. But we are also like more. Because there's also more cold leads. Like some of those are converting in a way that we weren't getting those people before. So we're definitely getting more people in.
[00:29:55] It's definitely making us more revenue, which I'm very excited about. But there just generally is more traffic for better or worse.
[00:30:04] Corey Winter: And one more question before we move on. So you were only in that last space for nine months. How did you get out of that?
[00:30:12] Emily Thompson: We're not, we're not right. So here's a little sneaky thing.
[00:30:17] I love that space. Are you kidding me? And just, and I'm not letting it go. At least not in this moment. No intention of getting out of that lease because it was only a one year lease. So we have it until like through the end of June, which you know, is two-ish weeks after this goes live, which is only a month and a half.
[00:30:38] We only have it, like, we were only going to be out of that space for two butts. So if we do decide that we don't want to keep the space at the end of the lease, we can just let it go. It'll be fine. However, we have plans. One of the things that we keep getting asked. Well, one, we've done workshops in the past, but because pandemic they've all been virtual.
[00:30:59] I love the idea of having a space to hold workshops again. So crystals, crystal grids, those sorts of things. It is a small space. They won't be big workshops. We can definitely do workshops and we're getting tons of people who are requesting tarot readings and the like, so our current plan, and we'll sort of see how this pans out is to turn it into sort of an auxiliary events space for
[00:31:22] Almanac that's a little bit off the beaten, beaten path. And otherwise just like a quieter office space for Almanac that is just right across the street so that David in particular could be there working. But if they need support at the store, it's nothing for him to run a run across the street and help, in a way that we can't really do downstairs.
[00:31:43] But I'm also down to let it go. So all that to say, I'm not letting it go yet. We still have it. And I got plans for it.
[00:31:52] Corey Winter: I have another question before we move on. So Being Boss, so when Almanac started, you were just in this little like office space where being crossed also had an office just as like office building, just Almanac, still have that space.
[00:32:05] Emily Thompson: Yes. So we, so I hold four commercial leases moment. I know we still have our maker space slash warehouse for Almanac, which is down the hall was the first space that we got here in this building that I'm currently in. And we, we used it to make candles and is still our candle making space. It's also where we bringing in product to process it.
[00:32:29] So we, I did rock shopping this past weekend and we brought it all to this space is currently down the hall being processed. Weighed and measured and cleaned and like put on our website, et cetera. So we still have that space. We've had that space for over three years. Now, love that space in the same building.
[00:32:45] I have my office, which is sort of a two room situation. I have like my office office and there's like the sort of common area where, you know, I'll, I'll do my training out there. I was recently onboarding a new employee and we sat out there and did our training on the TV. There's a couch in here.
[00:33:03] Before we had the small shop. This is where people were doing their shot by appointments. And in this space, I'm so used to be set up with candles and crystals and it was lovely. And I loved it. If you want to go to our YouTube and check out some of those old videos, you can see what that space looked like whenever Almanac was in here, but now it's just like, it's just a general use office for me and the team as needed.
[00:33:25] So that's space number two, and then we have the small shop, which currently doesn't have any, oh, we're going to do tarot readings and stuff. But really, really, really what we plan on using that space for is our YouTube live streams right in the past. So since we opened the new shop or the sorry, the small shop, and this is literally what David and I do all the time, relate bumbling over what shop we're talking about.
[00:33:46] We're going to name it something different soon, but in the old shop. We were doing crystal parties before we opened on Fridays. And it was very early and like our west coast people couldn't show up and I had to like, get it set up that day, take it down immediately after so we could open the doors and it was, it was fine, especially for virtual shopping, but not really great for time or like many things.
[00:34:08] It was very difficult to do. Now we're going to set up the small shop, the old job, small job, old job as a pretty constant YouTube. So that we can set up and do more ongoing crystal parties and just like pop up and do stuff as opposed to like, when's the shop going to be open? Who's going to be there or are we going to be able to get it done in time?
[00:34:29] Whatever it may be, it can just be our YouTube space. So we're going to keep that space open for our crystal parties on YouTube and sign up for those over on the Almanac supply co website. There are a ton of fun and I'm excited to do them. And then we have the new large shop, which is Salesforce and complete basement.
[00:34:47] So we are spread yall for sure. I do think David and I are very conscious that this may be too much space, but also it's kinda not. We are going to be in the shop for another, you know, couple of weeks before making a decision either about the small shop, whether it really is right for us to keep it.
[00:35:07] Or maybe my office space which I also don't think it's going to happen, but we are open to adjusting things as needed, but currently we are in four spaces.
[00:35:18] Corey Winter: Well, just like the Jeffersons you're moving on up.
[00:35:21] Emily Thompson: Oh, that's cute.
[00:35:24] Corey Winter: All right. Let's move on. To what did you learn along the way? And I thought that's a lot of things.
[00:35:31] And I will say, while you were doing this whole move to this brand new space and getting it all fixed up, you were basically like missing in action or the Being Boss side of things. Like you were, you were in it. And I was proud of you, but also I missed you. And I feel like things that there was a lot going on.
[00:35:49] So tell me about it. What'd you learn?
[00:35:52] Emily Thompson: Oh, I missed you too. Just the whole Being Bossy. I miss Being Boss for sure. I did unplug. And that's one thing. I was so grateful for that, you know, what we have done at Being Boss as a team and like with our processes and things that I was really allowed the ability to just be like, y'all, I'm going to be Mia for a minute.
[00:36:11] And I was here, here, still here for the huddles, but I had really sort of. Really into just the CEO role here, which is funny because for years prior, I was really just in the CEO role at Almanac. Right. And then we made this sort of shift and I had to like go very fully into Almanac and was able to really just being the CEO role here at Being Boss.
[00:36:32] So, what did I learn? I'm a risky bitch, at least a little bit, at least a little bit, signing that five-year lease, especially that week in particular.
[00:36:45] Corey Winter: So did you, did timeline-wise did you sign the lease and then the war broke out? No. Oh,
[00:36:52] Emily Thompson: okay. Yeah. It broke out what, you know, earlier in the week. And I signed it later in the weekend.
[00:36:57] So I had, I probably had a good 48 hours of going, am I really going to do this? Right.
[00:37:02] Corey Winter: So the state of the world changed before you signed a lease.
[00:37:07] Emily Thompson: Yeah, like smart as right. So and so funny, I even, I got on Twitter and was like, would yo sign a five-year lease this week? And 70% said, no,
[00:37:25] But I did it anyway. And like, and no regrets, at least not yet. So like, it felt like a really risky move. And, and really, it was probably like risk is I do it. I'm an entrepreneur. It's what I'm here doing David on the other hand is not a risky person, especially when it comes to big things like this.
[00:37:45] And he did it easily, like relatively easily. So I was like his like threshold for risk, like definitely exceeded. With this situation. So I felt like, I felt like we both, I don't know, we posted a big thing in terms of expanding our capacity for risk. We also have the opportunity weirdly and again, all these things just align for me the most ridiculous way we have the opportunity to expand our, our like COVID relief loan.
[00:38:16] Well, the SBA, which we got just a little piece of wine, like less than $10,000 whenever they released it, what in 20 20, 20 21 or whatever. But then they expanded availability. And so we maxed it out then and we're able to have a bit of funding, which is something that I talk about at length on the, making a business podcast, which is exclusive in the community, or excuse me in the clubhouse.
[00:38:39] So I do talk about. What at what we did without what our plans were for that, why we, why I decided to do, to take out that loan. But we took out a loan, I mean, as the world's going to shit as well. And then we also mostly use that loan as just like a firm foundation from which to expand our team. So in the past couple of weeks, we've literally doubled our team size at Almanac, which also felt really big and risky.
[00:39:05] So mostly, The thing I learned is that my capacity for doing. Things is bigger.
[00:39:12] Corey Winter: Now, how has your anxiety after all of that?
[00:39:16] Emily Thompson: Fine, honestly, like, and that's it, like I recognize all of this is just the moves I need to make next, like the, the fraudy feelings around the sword. I mean, sure. They come like, am I being dumb?
[00:39:27] I asked myself that all the time. It's a good thing to ask yourself. Occasionally develop some self-awareness around your own dumbness. So, you know, I'm still like the question. Smartly, I think, myself and making sure I am making the right decisions, but Yolo, you know, like I'm here to do this thing.
[00:39:49] The opportunities are arising. It feels good. It doesn't feel like I'm being dumb. Though, you know, does it ever really, sometimes. My anxiety is fine. Thanks for asking.
[00:40:04] Another thing that we did this time, that I'm really glad we did, and it is not like me normally is that we did not rush this. I mean, granted.
[00:40:15] Corey Winter: I mean, literally said you jumped on the opportunity.
[00:40:19] Emily Thompson: It happened quickly. It fell into place quickly, but I did not push it. I did not rush it.
[00:40:26] Corey Winter: You made sure you were. In a good place to make this decision.
[00:40:32] Emily Thompson: And I was so, and even if you go back, you know, there are a couple of episodes ago. I talk about rest and I talk about how I spent, especially December in January, just like resting so much. I started to question if I was late, Like I remember asking David one day, I was like, am I lazy?
[00:40:48] And he's like, why, why are you asking me that? I was like, cause I feel lazy. Like, I feel like I'm just like sitting around on my ass, not doing anything. And it sparked conversation of like, I know I'm resting. I even tweeted this there's proof. There's a tweet out there. Where I talk about how I'm wanting no productivity awards over here.
[00:41:08] This is like January. Like I am being lazy AF because I feel like something big has come. Right. I literally say that, just to have something big comes. So I was prepared like energetically for this thing to happen for it to just fall into place. And for me to be there, to pick it up and cure.
[00:41:28] Basically, and I didn't rush anything. So, and even, you know, whenever we signed the lease, we were like, okay, we're going to open up by, I think we were planning on opening it in three weeks and we got about a week into it and we realized, okay, we're not, let's push it another two weeks. And then we got a couple a week or two more into it.
[00:41:44] You were like, you know, Let's just go ahead and give it a solid two months of like, and not showing up and pushing, but really just letting it happen in the time that it needed to happen and really taking time to build out what we wanted to build out, to stock up on things we needed to restock to make sure we had a couple of team members in place so that David and I were not opening the store all by our lonesomes.
[00:42:06] But to really just do everything you need to be done. I learned in a sort of a, in a way that I had not tested or proved to myself before how things can happen really, really nicely. If you just let them happen in their own time and not rush them because I'm a rusher. Like I, I have ideas and we make it happen immediately.
[00:42:24] But this was one that we did not do that with them. That was nice. We did gut checks, we ran numbers. We did everything we needed to do and made decisions. We were afforded even. And that's a funny thing to think about, right? The more time you waste making a decision, the more time you're screwing yourself out of, in terms of execution.
[00:42:40] Corey Winter: And also just the longer you take to make the decision, the easier it is, or the more time you give yourself to talk yourself out of it.
[00:42:46] Emily Thompson: Amen. Oh, that was a really a thing, especially as the world's going.
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[00:43:34] Another thing that I did learn though, like all of that, yes, I am built for this. Because I do feel pretty good in this moment. Did you guys know burnout is a thing I'm by fingers, always in the polls of like, am I okay? And there's been a couple of times along the way that I'm like, okay, maybe I'm pushing myself too far, but like overall, okay.
[00:43:54] Like, overall, I'm okay.
[00:43:58] Corey Winter: I feel like in [00:44:00] this instance, it's not so much your mental capacity that was being pushed. It was your physical capacity.
[00:44:05] Emily Thompson: For sure, y'all I carried rocks days and like I built shit and carried lumber and like, oh for sure. My body has been doing things the past couple of months that like my body does not do.
[00:44:16] And I sit at the. I'm a computer boss, you know, but I have not been at the computer when there's something else I talk about and making a business, I, you know, go to a massage therapist and she's always like, you know, oh, you need to get off the computer. Cause like all of my computer muscles are jacked up or whatever. And then I was, we were moving, I went to her and she was like, oh my God, what have you been doing?
[00:44:35] And I was like, I got off of my computer and like that has the rest of my body and not, so anyway, I definitely, I definitely have not. Right. I feel like entrepreneurs often think like, you know, endless, endless amounts of energy and all these things. Like I'm not, and I've, I've definitely like reached the end of my capacity, I think more or less.
[00:44:56] And I still have a bit to go, but like I'm on my last, my last threads. And having that self-awareness I think is always invaluable. I will also say one of the things that, and this isn't what I've learned, but it's something that has been punctuated is that to your values and business are the most important thing that you can define for yourself.
[00:45:16] Period. As we have moved and like Almanac has changed so much in the past two buttons, two and a half months, so much. I mean like our revenue stream, like our team size, how we're picking products, like everything, most things in this business have changed. If I didn't have my values clearly defined, I'd be a hot mess of not being able to make decisions right now.
[00:45:43] Right. But because our values have been in place, it's been incredibly easy along the way for David and I sit down and be like, okay, based on what's important to us in this company, based on our values, our business values here are the obvious answers to all of these questions and decisions. Been able to use that to make fast decisions so that we do have plenty of time to execute and implement, and whether that's hiring or training or choosing products or, so many things being very centered in our values has this able to move very quickly and feel incredibly good about what we've done thus far.
[00:46:24] Corey Winter: And you learn how to woodwork.
[00:46:26] Emily Thompson: Dude, I'm a carpenter. Didn't, you know, I've added a whole, like literally tools in my tool belt. I actually almost bought myself a tool belt, legit, cause we were doing so much woodworking and I was like, I just need to be able to access my hammer faster. So yeah, I learned, I learned how to build things and I've
[00:46:48] built some things before, but did you hurt yourself? No safety goggles and things. I literally use tools I've never used before we bought like a [00:47:00] different kind of saw I, oh my God. I found the joy of a jigsaw so much mine. I built sandwich boards for outside the store. I did some really, really fun stuff with what I felt like a maker again.
[00:47:18] And I was telling a friend about, you know, all the things that I was making. She was like, you know, what I love most about this store is you've made it. Like you legit. Like if people come in, we actually had someone come in the other day, I was in the back room and, one of the girls that worked for us was in the front and someone walked in and they were all going over this like wall length crystal shelf that we have.
[00:47:38] And they were like, oh my God, where'd you get this? And she was like, the owners made it. I was like, fuck. Yeah. Did hear me yelling from the back. Except I didn't. But yeah, I learned how to be a carpenter. Basically. I was literally calculating angles and stuff like that, which was a ton of fun to use my hands to very practically build something.
[00:48:01] And then I also literally learned how to solder electronics. Yeah, I did it. I did it. I've done like some weird things. I don't mind taking things apart and learning how to put them together or whatever it may be. And it was really fun to sort of gain or like a just a skill I previously had. So I literally learned some practical like skills.
[00:48:25] I mean, if you can say soldering LEDs once or building two or three, things is like, but I dabbled. Right. I feel like I can. Move forth and do some things. David and I are literally planning on rebuilding our batch board, our back porch, ourselves. This fall. Doing what we did in the shop and feeling so confident and good about it.
[00:48:47] He needs to hire some self says me. We can do an episode on my back porch later if we need to Emily's maker fails. Do I think I would totally think about building a shed. Or maybe a small cabin. I don't. And that that's very, very ambitious, but let me get that pack that back porch under my belt. And we've talked about.
[00:49:13] Corey Winter: I mean, there's like building codes.
[00:49:14] You have to follow when building
[00:49:20] Emily Thompson: we'll figure it out.
[00:49:21] Corey Winter: So coming out of this, it sounds like you're actually feeling pretty good about where Almanac is and this whole move. Am I correct about that? Do you feel good? How are you feeling?
[00:49:31] Emily Thompson: Maybe the most boss I've ever felt. I think I can like wholehearted. Oh, that's feels really good to say that.
[00:49:39] I think I might cry.
[00:49:41] Corey Winter: Hold on. Wait, let me rephrase. What's making you feel most boss?
[00:49:48] Emily Thompson: Me and everything we did. For sure. I mean, I feel like Almanac, Almanac is four and a half years old, I guess not even four and a half. And I feel like it has, we have been trying to build this business for four and a half years. Right. We started it. I hit burnout and just like kept it afloat. Then pandemic hit same, except pandemic was not bad for Almanac.
[00:50:17] Almanac grew over those two years, to like open the small store and immediately feel like. To squinched, right? Like it wasn't quite it to be in to now be in one of the two places I've ever wanted in the city. So like, I feel like this is, this is what we've been growing for this entire time. It doesn't mean that I'm done.
[00:50:41] Like there's still things that I want to do is I need to go back into, you know, doing some online stuff. And there's some, some bridging between online and offline that I have some really great ideas for. And I really can't wait to sort of. To sort of bring the business together, but in terms of growing it in terms well, in terms of pushing it to its next thing, at least at the moment we did it, like in a way that
[00:51:05] didn't really feel it with the last door, but really feel it with this one. Like, I don't feel the need to like, take another big step at Almanac for the foreseeable future, unless fate has some other plan for us, but like, I feel like, I feel like we did it. This, this was the goal. And so it feels really good to be there.
[00:51:24] I also, so we opened the store on May 1st, which is just over two weeks ago as of recording this, the first weekend, I had to leave town. I had a family emergency and I had to leave. And so our first weekend, I wasn't even there to run it and I didn't need to be, which was so like, imagine everyone opening a store and within five days of opening it, you don't need to be there.
[00:51:54] I was in that, like, it was not lost on me, how effing boss that was to be able to deal with a family emergency, no questions asked and know that my business, that I have been like that just took the biggest leap of leap of its life was totally fine. And in good hands, because we had done some things along the way. I do
[00:52:14] also, we did a hiring fair, which is like a whole other conversation that I do talk about and making a business as well. If that's something you want know more about that episode is in the clubhouse as well. But we had team members in place so that I could leave its first full weekend. I didn't even have to be there.
[00:52:32] It's second weekend, which was this past weekend. I had a buying trip that I had to go buy rocks. The store has been open for two weeks and I haven't had to work it.
[00:52:39] Corey Winter: So as David's still there, like, is he still doing things.
[00:52:41] Emily Thompson: David's still there, he's working it, he's working at the store and dealing with a lot of stock stuff, because we're working out some systems for onboarding a new stock person and we've been training.
[00:52:55] I have worked at the store a couple of times. Well, I will say I haven't had to work at it yet. I have worked to train a couple of times, but in terms of being in the store by myself, because no one else is there hasn't had to happen. And it has been open to full weekends and I haven't been here for either of them.
[00:53:10] So it has been really amazing to know that, even though I went whole hog into Almanac face first. I, was very easily able to just immediately pull back out and have the business run, which has been really amazing. Long-term no for family emergency. Yeah. I was able to do it. And we're, we have a path map forward for.
[00:53:37] Doing some more training, doing a bit more hiring and otherwise having everything in place so that I can make that transition back into that CEO role. Which may brings me more into Being Boss, which I have been able to do over the past couple or past really week or so. I feel myself like being here a little bit more, but, but it has been incredibly Boston know that I did this big thing and immediately have the support that I need.
[00:54:06] I put in place, the support that I need for me to take care of the things that I needed to take care of.
[00:54:11] Corey Winter: And, for our audience out there stay tuned for the third part of this series coming out next year, where Almanac moves again.
[00:54:20] Emily Thompson: We opened our 18th location, right. All the way across the globe, who knows.
[00:54:27] I will tell you. I hope not. I really do have not. I mean, we're in this space for five years, right? Five-year lease. Except for in the event of a government occupation, which that in the lease, it literally was never in my life. It was the longest. Ever ever, ever signed. And especially during that week reading a lease about some government occupation.
[00:54:50] I was like, oh my God. So I negotiated that if that happens, I just get out of the lease. Like I'm not, I'm not dealing with none of that. Y'all none of that. We are not turning our candle, making spot into an ammunition production, and then dealing with that. Absolutely not. All jokes aside. I'm glad we did it, and I hope that this is just what Almanac looks like for a minute.
[00:55:18] Again, I do, we're going to be hiring a couple more people, so pleased, so pleased with what is currently happening with the Almanac team I've voiced at Being Boss in the huddle. A couple of times that my goal for Almanac is that I can create the kind of team that we have at Being Boss when we're like.
[00:55:35] Everyone works so well together. Everyone knows what they're doing. We have the processes in place, so that it's really easy for everyone to do their job. And it just like, it feels like we're doing something and we're doing it easily and, and collaborating together. I've loved having this so much at Being Boss for so long.
[00:55:52] And I've really struggled with really building that at Almanac. But I feel like with this last bit of hiring that I did, and just what we're currently doing at the store, it feels like, it feels like it might like may, may, may intentions are manifesting in terms of building the team at Almanac as well.
[00:56:10] That's something that we'll continue doing. So overall. I'm feeling amazing, really amazing. And I hope that I don't have to come to one of these episodes and get in the near future though, that space that we were looking at, where I found that pile of wood, if it finishes and it's not, it's not going to finish even in the next year, I don't think.
[00:56:32] But I could imagine maybe if they, like it was supposed to have opened last spring and it still kind of looks the same as it did last spring, they just took the trees down. Makes me angry on itself. But if it does happen, I'd give it a timeline of 12 to 18 months. I could see that being a second location, but otherwise there's nowhere else.
[00:56:53] I want to go. I did the thing and I'm really excited to work on optimizing this to be the best that it can be, which is my priority before expanding in any. You did it, did it. I'm so excited. You're gonna have to come rock shopping. Everyone should come. Rock shopping, everyone, playing yourself a little trip somewhere.
[00:57:19] If you need to come straight to Chattanooga, love that for you. If you wanted stop in on your way to somewhere else, love that for you. Come by Almanac. North shore area is adorable. You're gonna have to go get yourself some ice cream at down the block. Go walk across the walking bridge. The bluff you art district is one of my favorites and stop
[00:57:39] and buy yourself a crystal or two. You too. Corey, let me get you a rock. That's what you're going to get your for your birthday a rock.
[00:57:49] Corey Winter: I still want my name tag.
[00:57:51] Emily Thompson: Oh, well, you'll get that to get a rock in your name tag. I love that for you.
[00:57:55] Corey Winter: Oh my God. Can the main tag, be a rock with my name, etched in it. [00:58:00]
[00:58:00] Emily Thompson: Oh my God. Do I now have to learn how to etch? Maybe so, maybe so.
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[00:58:51] Now until next time, do the, work be boss.[00:59:00]