November 30, 2009.
Earlier this year my husband turned 40. Having never joined a fraternity in college, he thought a Toga Party would be a fitting way to ring in his big day. Not just any old Toga Party, an "Animal House Toga Party". He thinks we are having one every year now - it was that much fun.
We instructed everyone to wear togas made from sheets, or dress as a character from the movie. I decorated the house like a Frat House and decked out the walls with Delta Crests, Road signs and some lovely beer cans on the front lawn. It was a memorable party to say the least.
It's Not Over Till We Say It's Over!
While preparing for the party we watched Animal House over and over. We rented the movie, I spent a lot of time on YouTube trying to see what the house should look like and what music to play. One of my favorite scenes is Bluto's inspirational speech about their revenge on their University for kicking their fraternity off campus and out of school. The best motivational speech ever;
Bluto, "WHAT? OVER? NOTHING IS OVER UNTIL WE DECIDE IT IS! WAS IT OVER WHEN THE GERMANS BOMBED PEARL HARBOR? HELL NO!"
Otto "Forget it, he's rolling."
"IT AIN'T' OVER NOW, CUZ WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH..................THE TOUGH GETS GOING! WHO'S WITH ME? LET'S GO! COME ON..........AHHHHHHH!!!!!!"
The Tough get Going.....and hopefully Shopping
I realize my last post had people thinking maybe I was going somewhere like away. That speech alone keeps me going - not leaving. There was speculations that the "Change" I was referring to was me riding off into the sunset. Could I make a dignified, graceful exit in the near future? I say.....Nah! I don't do things like that - I go out with a bang! I will take everyone with me. I will drag it out for months, I will share the deepest darkest secrets about the entire industry and everyone I know. I will give names. I will throw everyone under the bus........and then after I have exhausted that, only then will I go away. Well, if I were to go that is - I would go down in flames I tell you, big flames, BIG flames.
We still have our lease until March of 2011, so going away would have to mean declaring bankruptcy right now - which we are not doing. Instead we have been working really hard (all Thanksgiving weekend in fact) on all the orders we have. Though, it is not normal we have gotten really, really busy - especially today. This is all good. I am not debating the logistics of whether the Recession is over or not - retail sales are slow still. But slow sales are better than no sales - you can quote me on that.
We are taking a big risk this year, we put our entire site on sale for one week. I am hoping to drum up some sales for the end of the year. I sent out a newsletter, posted on Facebook, Tweeted it.....we will see what happens. I just wanted to get us out there, get JPD back on people's radar system. It's a risk, and it may make me look desperate - I feel it is more like a great opportunity for our customers. Once a year - one time only - we decided to have a sale.
I got an email a couple of weeks ago from an old timer, I say that kindly she was just like me. She was someone who has been around more than 5 years. She had this really cute website I found years ago - I was a brand spanking newbie and eeking out a living. She sent me an email to tell me she had she had closed the business beginning of November. As a business woman I appreciated the email, since most of the time I find out when a bill goes unpaid or an email bounces back. As another entrepreneur my heart ached for her, I felt her pain.
What struck me about her email was describing her daughters reaction to her closing the business, she said they almost cried. She had not realized how much of her identity had been wrapped up in her business. Her email made me cry, even writing that makes me shudder. When I read that about her daughters I gasped - what a real an honest reaction - and I know just how she, and her daughters feel. If I ever closed our doors, I would imagine my children's reaction would be the same.......along with me.
With some of our sales accounts being strangely quiet at this time of year I fear that more business will close their doors. I hope I am wrong - but I doubt it. They keep telling me the Recession is over, whom ever they are. They don't own small businesses, they are not in retail and they are only talking about the Economy - not consumer spending. What they don't know is that it may be over, but it will take years to repair the damage. It will take time to get consumers confidence back up. I know my friend who closed her business doesn't care if the recession is over or not - her business is gone.