My beloved blog has been rather silent this year, not for my lack of wanting to write new content, and today I want to briefly update here why posting has been irregular. Last year was not a good year. Between chronic illness and then my brother’s attack in September, the store truly suffered from closures, inconsistent hours, and order delays. We managed to keep our doors open and to even eek out a minuscule growth rate, but there were many times I questioned my decision to continue forward with A Sophisticated Pair. This year, however, has really seen an explosion for us. It feels like we are back on track with our customers and with our plans for expansion, and I cannot be happier. However, busy days, last minute appointments, and all the added responsibilities involved in strengthening our business have tested my time management skills to the limit. Blogging, despite being an outlet for my writing passion, was continually bumped to the bottom of my ever-expanding “To Do” list, along with posting updates on Facebook and Instagram, developing a new fit tool, dying my hair, and cleaning out my shed.
Last week, I made the decision that I would be treating the blog less like a business endeavor and more like a personal one. Instead of using store hours to squeeze in posts, I will be dedicating personal time to blog upkeep and development. I love to write, and many of you flatter me to think I am good at it so it’s not something I want to give up, even as we become more successful. With this in mind, I have some great posts on the agenda for the coming weeks including a discussion of Minimum Advertised Price policies, a round-up of sleepwear recommendations, and reviews for Bolero, Samanta, Panache, Freya, and Tia Lyn. I also worked on a collaborative post with the fabulous Jeanna of Bluestockings Boutique which you can find here. It’s one of the posts of which I am most proud, and I really poured my heart and soul into it.
As if I were not stressed and stretched thin enough, the time has also come for me to refinance my home, prompting me to take stock of my future, and while I am pursuing a refinancing option, I am also considering selling and moving onto something new. Small business management, while a rewarding experience, has also been a detriment to the time I have to work on projects around my house (like that whole aforementioned shed thing), and regardless of whether I move or stay, I need to start reclaiming some time to tackle my backlog of personal projects. If I decide to move, I know I will not be able to successfully manage our current store hours, appointment commitments, and the increasing demands we stay later while also cleaning, packing, making repairs, and then unpacking. Obviously, many factors interplay with a decision like this, and I only mention it at this time because either direction will undoubtedly have some impact on store hours. If I decide to move, we may temporarily shift our opening and closing times, and there has already been at least one instance where I needed to leave the shop in the afternoon unexpectedly. As a result, please please please call or check our Facebook page before coming to the store as I will always update both places for changes in our hours or potential store closings.
Finally, I want to personally thank everyone for the ongoing support and well-wishes sent to me after my brother’s attack. He has residual pain issues with scar tissue, and his doctor believes he needs an additional surgery to put a plate into his jaw. Otherwise, he is healing well and getting back to his usual ornery self just in time for his 27th birthday on April 14th. Thanks again, and happy spring everyone!