Shopkeeper Ponderings No. 2 / Work Life Balance

The past few months have been quite busy behind the scenes here at Mental Magie. Week after week I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude that this little shop o' mine grows steadily month after month. So often I look around our atelier and can't believe this is mine, I created this, I built this, I get to work here! What joy!

New AV Gals I recently brought on two more part time folks to AV (though one of our new hires is a fella, but he's charming and was so excited to officially become "An AV Gal".) I'm learning better and better ways to delegate and encourage my team and train them in all the things I know. Sometimes I can't believe I employ 5 people, 6 including myself I suppose. I'm sure down the road we'll need to add a 7th team member, but for now, we're all quite merry and getting to know one another. Having a team that feels like family is so important to me. You spend such a great deal of your life at work, that one should feel comfortable, happy, inspired, and supported by the people you surround yourself with both in personal and work settings. 

It is amazing to think just three years ago I was so nervous about changing lanes and shifting my focus from selling only vintage clothing to offering modern vintage inspired wares. I went into the decision with very little expectations of the success of that decision and month after month as we package up parcel after parcel I am humbled by your response to Mental Magie and speaking of packaging...

Pretty Packaging We're making a slow move to switching from our clear poly bags we ship your garments in to glassine envelopes that are 100% curbside recyclable and biodegradable. They're so stinking pretty!!! I used to ship out little glassine envelopes with dried flowers in them and I've always thought things wrapped in this opaque paper is so very lovely so I was very excited when I found large glassine envelopes big enough for garments! Expect to start receiving your orders soon in our new packaging! It's definitely more costly from a business budget viewpoint, but goodness, you deserve your pretty garments in equally pretty packaging! 

The Meaning of Success... I never set out to start a business to make money. Financially is Mental Magie successful? Yes, according to my accountant we're very healthy. We don't have any debt, we didn't take out any loans, and we continue to grow steadily and softly. I do not take on more than I can handle or know what my team can handle. Do I feel outside pressure sometimes to do more, be more, grow faster, spend more? ABSOLUTELY. I hear all the time "Your business has so much potential to BLOW UP! You're going to be HUGE!"  

And we're friends so I'll be quite honest with you. Blowing up and becoming huge really has no interest to me. What's the point of it!? Sounds stressful. I know people who own companies that have blown up, gotten huge, and they're some of the most miserable people I have ever met and they're always stressed about something or their relationships are falling apart. I don't want that life!

I go to work happy every single week. I love what I do. I'm proud of my company, it's my baby but now it's a teenager and I'm like "Yep, that's my girl!" I'm very proud of my team who all work so hard and also put up with me when I'm a total goober, suggest team outings and activities that are probably more enjoyable for 6 year olds (hey I was a dance teacher to elementary kids at one point, remember!), and they realize just like them I'm human and will fumble and make mistakes from time to time. I feel like sometimes I found some secret juice on how to run a successful, sustainably small company. It's simple. Do it because it makes you happy. Do it because it makes others happy. Though remember, you can't make everyone happy, so just take that pressure off yourself.

I feel so very fortunate that the work I do is my living and that the work I do is fulfilling and life giving. And it must be said that AV would not be the shop as it stands now if it were not for you. My deepest thanks and gratitude for your loyalty and steadfast support of Mental Magie.

Leave A Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published