When I first opened 3 years ago, I did these little updates, sort of like a baby book; Calliope at 3 months, Calliope at 6 months. I just re-read the 3 month one. I remember writing it. I remember those feelings of fear, doubt, and more fear. I remember going home exhausted or crying. Driving straight to my mom’s house in tears for a hug.
Those days are gone. There aren’t many tears these days. There has been fear. You guys have been with me for all of it and here we are THREE YEARS LATER! I can’t believe it. They say the first 2 are the worst. (No shit.) And by 5 you can breathe. well I’m right in the middle and I feel ok. Pretty damn good, actually. So let’s look back a little, yeah?
The pop-up that started it all! Here’s my one-week tiny store in Inman Square, November of 2015; 8 months before Calliope opened! Those free-standing pegboard panels are the same ones holding my cards in Natick!
OMG YOU GUYS how awful is this?? That green paint! The black shelves! CARPET!!! Blerg! and YES I was going to name my store Crumple & Toss up until almost the last minute!
PHEW! And here is what Calliope looked like when I opened in June of 2016. That light, ammiright?? The mint door, seat by the window, and most of the shelves are gone now…
Because of this. We all remember THAT day. Well, I do, anyway and there’s always someone coming in asking me about it or making a dumb drive-thru joke.
Damn I did really love my board-up though! I was holed up at the art studio at 3 Adams St for about 3 or so months while the store was renovated and I will always be thankful for how supportive the residents of Natick are.
I was DYING to get back in there. I watched them like hawks, called my landlord more and more as it looked more and more done, and FINALLY they put in my new window and took down the board-up!
A gorgeous new white facade, ready to get filled with cards!
CAN YOU EVEN??
I reopened in July on 2017 and been rockin’ and rollin’ ever since. In the fall of 2017 I signed a short-term lease on a second location at Bow Market in Somerville.
That was a fun adventure and I learned a lot. Like, I didn’t want 2 stores. HA!
And now here we are! 3 years have passed; a crash, a second location open and closed, and I’m right back where I started; just me, behind my desk. But not really. Things aren’t the same. I have customers that have become regulars that have become friends. Now that I have the Pencil Factory, I don’t notice if 6 hours go by and no one comes in. Also, that rarely happens anymore. So many cards have come and gone and returned.
Natick itself is changing but I am still here, on The Dirty Corner, with a questionable massage parlor to my right and good ol’ Pizza Plus across the way (if you can make it across alive!)
Thanks for sticking with me, for coming back again and again. Thank you for your support, your love, your encouragement. I literally would not be here without it. You guys are the total tits.
Love you, mean it!