You've got to jump
On any given day in the store, people will ask the question “how long have you been here?” and many are surprised to know that before we settled in the Countryside Village Shopping Center, The Simple Man’s first location was in a part of Omaha called Benson.
Following that revelation, the next question is always “so how long have you been in existence”?
Well, the great news is, The Simple Man is celebrating its 3rd anniversary this month!
Wow – three years. In retail land, I’m told that is an accomplishment in a world where online retailers are growing and large retail stores are closing in order to become Halloween superstores.
All kidding aside, it seems just as crazy to us, sometimes, that it has been over three years since this little idea of mine manifested into an actual brick-and-mortar store.
I look at the pictures and can’t believe how empty the shelves and walls look when we had little inventory.
I look at the pictures and can’t believe how much my beard and hair has changed over the years.
I think of how scared Emily and I were to make the change to the new, bigger location. Would people follow? Would it be more than we can handle?
Then, my brother Sean sent me this. It is a video of Steve Harvey that has been shared often on social media.
YOU’VE GOT TO JUMP.
Ok yes, it was safe to stay and grow slowly in Benson, but the opportunity seemed too good to pass.
- People followed - WHEW.
- New partnerships were developed with Dennison Dahlman and Inkwell.
- Dreams of developing a grooming line (Gentleman’s Nod) came to be.
- New customers became friends.
Oh don’t get me wrong, we have had bumps and bruises along the way.
- At times I doubted myself (has my experience in the past been enough?)
- Risks I maybe shouldn’t have taken (social media can be a bitch)
- It is true – you will be working all the time (I have to schedule family nights to ensure they happen ☹)
- Thoughts of “if I knew now…” (some shoes are just too coastal for Midwesterners)
- Lessons learned (when ordering inventory, make sure you order 2 boxes, not 12)
Anyone need a mug?
All in all, in the past three years, my goal has been to provide an experience for our customers, figure out what the hell I’m doing, and teach my kids that hard work pays off.
And when we hear customers say:
- “My friend told me to come here.”
- “This is cool.”
- “Now I know where to find gifts for my man.”
- “Oh my gosh, this is hilarious!”
- “This is perfect for…”
- “I’ve never seen anything like this!”
Our parachute opened, and we’ve got a taste for this jumping thing. Here’s to year four!
It’s simple (sometimes)!
Also in News
I’ve realized a few things about myself in the last two months.
First, teachers need to be paid $300,000 a month. Seriously, a month.
Second, one of the biggest benefits and things I love about having a small shop is the conversations and connections I have with customers.