It’s a quiet still morning, day two of my new writing adventure. I’m excited to be back at the keyboard finding my way back to the place that has always felt the most comfortable for me and the sea of calm that appears when I do. We’ve opened a little storefront in the past weeks and in its space I’ve rediscovered the space to write. One of the first things we brought to the store to fill it after we finished painting, was a pair of comfy overstuffed armchairs. We positioned them facing outwards in the back corner of the store with the intent of creating a place for friends and family to sit and stay awhile, a place to gather for conversation.
In the short weeks that the door has been open for business, some of the most interesting conversations have already taken place. There have been bits of serendipity, friends popping in at the exact right moment to find our way around thoughts, feelings, and happenings in our life and new faces getting to know one another and make connections and ties from other parts of our lives. Having a store creates and unpredictable pattern of experiences and that bring forward a simple joy. When Kyle and I were exploring the idea of opening a storefront in South Berwick we left ourselves open to exactly what it would be that we would create for a business together. We had toyed for years with the idea of bringing back a bakery to Main Street even though neither of us had a ton of experience in creating confections and waking up at the crack of dawn to do so.
Then one quiet afternoon, sitting outside at Madison’s café, we saw an open storefront and began to wonder out loud with one another. We started speculating what it could be that we could do that would be something we could create and that would also fulfill a need of both our town, community, and would attract people from surrounding towns. We started joking at first, dreaming out loud of how we could transform the space across the street next to our friend’s law firm into a viable business that we could grow slowly and develop into a family business. I picked up my phone and smiled and said to Kyle, “let’s ask facebook.” I took a picture of the row of shops including the empty space and quickly posted the question, “What is South Berwick missing?” Kyle shook his head a bit.
We had talked about how fun it would be to have a gift shop for months in the making. One of our favorite pastimes has always been discovering new shops along the coast that showcase local artisans and carry funky antiques and pieces that were loved and used years ago but now were being repurposed and brought back for a second life instead of being thrown a way. I can’t remember the exact moment that we agreed to do it and actually move forward with a store or how we discovered that the space that used to be Curves was available but I know that it wasn’t a straight line. Even though it happened at the speed of the light there were moments when we decided on a space and quickly discovered it wasn’t available. The space across the street from Madison’s had quietly been secured by our friend to expand his law firm, the space formerly known as Curves was being looked at by two other interested parties, so for a few days we put our idea of opening a gift store on the back burner and switched our focus back to daily happenings which were full enough in their own right.
And then a few days later in Augusta I received a call asking if I was still interested in the space formerly known as Curves. It had been a heavy day at the State House and I was mentally and emotionally exhausted from the full day of testimonies. As I listened to the person calling out of the blue saying the space was ours if we still wanted it, I felt a sudden charge of energy. In the moment of possibility of starting something that would be ours to grow in a town we are raising our children, I felt a sense of homecoming and endless opportunity to be back developing a business in South Berwick with the man I have grown to love and cherish.
So here I am, starting a new business and writing about our journey doing so. It feels good like a place I would like to stay a while and grow some roots. Yet for those of you who know me and my story you never know where this will take us or where we might find ourselves in five years. We never know…only that anything is possible.