When I first started on the adventure of opening a store on Nantucket I told myself it was going to be a three year experiment. As I reach the end of my third season as a shop owner on Nantucket I can’t help but reflect and know that I have learned so much about myself, about business, about fashion versus style and about people and friendship. As an independent woman working to support my children, I have grown so much personally, professionally and emotionally in the last three years that it feels like three lifetimes!
I started my first year completely alone other than the support of my parents, some amazing friends, and most importantly the support of my children. Some moments have been extremely difficult and heart wrenching for me. Those particular moments have involved my children and the fact that because I need to work so many hours it often means I am physically away from them. I have missed being there for my son mostly because he hasn’t lived at home consistently in a few years. Between school and summers when I am working on an island he wants to work on another island. My son has found an independence and autonomy that is admirable but still difficult for a mother to let go. Missing special moments and the opportunity to continue to guide him into adulthood frankly stink. I am so proud of him and that he has given me the freedom and permission to pursue my own dreams while it meant we weren’t together more, is a gift I’m not even sure he knows he gave. If I could have waited two more years to start this adventure and be with my kids more, I would have. But when is life that predictable and cooperative? Thankfully my daughter works and lives with me so she’s stuck with me, for now.
I also started my first year not knowing what it took to run a retail store, hiring and managing employees, managing inventory – too much and too little, etc. While I look back now I can say I’ve loved every minute even though I may not have loved every minute while I was living it. When I first opened the store I was often asked if owning a store was a lifelong dream. My answer was always, “absolutely not”. I didn’t dream about opening a store. I did however dream about designing things that brought others as much happiness and excitement as they brought me while designing them. Corny, I know, but the greatest reward for me has been when customers say they love my designs, wear them and receive compliments on them, and also that they love the aesthetics of my shop. Dreams have a way of evolving and mine has evolved into having a full line called REMY, that I can expand in the next few years with more items and everything else my head and heart think of.
I’ve said it previously but the favorite part of owning a shop for me has been meeting so many amazing individuals. I used to hear that bartenders are like therapists listening to patrons stories and woes. I’ve learned that being a shop owner and sharing so much of myself with others has allowed customers to open up and talk to me as well. We’ve shared life stories, life struggles and some of the funniest moments of our lives, our frustrations, heartaches and love.
To every person who has walked into my store and, therefore, into my life – THANK YOU! Whether you bought something or not, you have changed me, taught me, shared with me, and helped me to truly love who I am and my talent. I can’t wait to share with you my new adventures and especially the S/S19 designs that are coming out soon.