The whole truth, and nothing but the truth...
So, we've decided to close our doors because it has proven to not be financially viable, particularly in the upcoming downturn of Alaska Cruise tourism that is headed our way next year (and perhaps beyond). In addition, it is a ton of work for little or no (financial) reward. Granted, it has had it's reward...we have obtained amazing on-the-job business training and experience, and we have watched ourselves grow and learn in the process.
To think we started like this:
And ended more like this!
It is a really neat experience to grow a business, and learn so many new things.
Our summer workdays are certainly more than a normal workload should be. While most people work 9-5 jobs year-round with a few weeks vacation, we put in approximately the same hours, but squeeze them into 6 months, instead. Not to mention the additional work required the remainder of the year (accounting, orders, etc). It doesn't allow for a very good family life in the summers, and without extra time off, we haven't been able to truly enjoy Alaska in years!!
So, you're wondering what the new plan is?
If we are blessed enough to sell off our business displays, all of our product, an extra car, and TWO TRAILERS (including our beautiful new home!), then we will head out of Alaska with our van, cargo trailer, and just what we need to live comfortably.
We have agreed to be sales reps for the Wood Watch company line that we currently carry (see our website http://www.northstar-treasures.com/wood-watches-c-336.html) in Southeast Alaska, and the states of Montana, Utah, and Hawaii. This means that we must travel to all of these areas and find stores like ours that might be able to successfully display and sell these wood watches. They are the best sellers in our store, so we are very confident of the product line, and the comission is very promising.
We plan to travel to all of these states by mid November, and then we will drive East to Atlanta. My sister, Lara, lives just south of there in Peach Tree City, and has generously extended us an invitation to stay with her for an undetermined amount of time. When we have all of our ducks in a row, we have the end goal of living in Mexico in our sweet town that we found. We will likely have to come to the states for 6-8 weeks each year to check on wood watch accounts, and also hopefully start a wholesale business with some products we have found in Mexico that look promising. The trick is learning enough Spanish so that we can track down the sources, and communicate our needs well enough!
So, that's us in a nut shell. Your prayers would be much appreciated, because this month will be very overwhelming. But there is something very refreshing about knowing that this is the last month of working ourselves to death!
Alas, there is a time and season for all things, and we are now excited about the unavoidable change of scene. An ad popped up on the Facebook last week, and struck me. It said:
"Because change drives opportunity."
Wow. Perfectly put!