Do y’all remember when I bought this shop and Hailey was a tiny little two and a half year old? At three, she would put on her princess dress (we had every princess to choose from) and announce she was ready to go to work. She has literally grown up with me at the shop. When we first started, she loved putting up the open sign and turning the lights on. Holy wow, would she give me a look if I put up the open sign before she got to it!!
Over the years, she learned to do every job, from baking to serving customers. For years, she begged me to let her help the customers. And a lot of times she did! Every once in a while there would be a customer that didn’t want her to help them because of her age, and she would get so frustrated. We both know she could have done it just fine, but some people just aren’t comfortable with that, and that’s ok. She became my right hand girl at the festivals, keeping track of what needed to be done and making sure we were organized and on schedule. This girl is an organizing master … she loves getting everything in perfect order.
Every summer, she’s been in the shop, helping in any way she could. Still pressing against those age boundaries, still wanting to be given more responsibility, still learning the ins and outs. Now she’s a teenager, so naturally she’s learning to help with responding to emails and creating social media posts. Her talents and gifts have grown with her, and it’s really been amazing to watch her. She knows what I’m thinking almost before I even finish a sentence, and she reminds me when I get busy and lose track of a timeline.
This summer, though, has been her year to shine. She’s the first to greet a customer when they walk in the door, ready to offer them their selection in a cutely wrapped package, just because she, like me, loves to see their smile of appreciation. She has a routine when we get to the shop, and she executes that routine flawlessly. She’s in the kitchen baking right alongside me, and handling so many aspects of the shop with knowledge and tenacity. I see her work ethic blossoming and growing, and it makes me teary eyed with pride.
When I bought this shop almost twelve years ago, I hoped that Hailey would grow to love it as I did. I loved having this thing that we shared, that was just always part of us. It brings me so much joy that many of the memories we share revolve around this business that has come so far.
Last week, she got to be in charge while I ran to an appointment. I did what I think all business owners do when they leave their business in someone else’s hands for the first time. I made lists, I reviewed everything, and then did it again. I tried to think of every scenario that may come up and walk her through it. Not surprisingly, she hit it out of the park. Like I mean she really, really did great. I got texts and pictures while I was gone of all the stuff she was handing.
And that was the thing. She was handling it. She DID handle it. She was so proud of herself, for good reason. I am so proud. That little princess from eleven years ago would make any woman entrepreneur stop and take notice. That’s my girl, and this is our shop. I, for one, will be eternally grateful for this time we’ve had together. I hope it defines her life just a fraction of how it has defined mine.