Opening a Retail Shop- A New Age Romance

To me, there is nothing romantic about starting a retail shop. I grew up working in retail and then moved into the service industry waiting tables and bartending throughout college. The hours, the complaints, the demands- it never stopped. Greg has worked retail too, but he looks at things much differently; we don’t share the same fears. However, one thing that I know is true, while both of us have been working full time and then around-the-clock opening our brick and mortar shop while building a website simultaneously, is that we have found a new romance—with each other.

I should back up slightly. We have only been married for two and a half years so we aren’t in the romance-rekindling phase of our relationship just yet. Our story began about eight years ago and our journey brought us to Asheville, where we were both laid off right before we were married (the Asheville curse maybe?) Greg had spent 20 years in the apparel industry and I in recruiting and sales, so we looked to somehow reinvent ourselves in our new marriage. The retail shop had always been something Greg was drawn to here in town and after talking about it for a few years, the timing was all of a sudden, right.

So here we are, in the thick of it, picking products, paint colors, inventory systems, photographers, designers and hiring new employees for the store. Meanwhile, the “did you feed the dog?” “holy crap, why is there water coming through the ceiling?” “where is Cash?” and the “did you eat today?” conversations continue.

Do you know what I realized? While I have almost none of the same key skills as my husband, we are alike in so many ways. We’re both outgoing, gregarious, fun, loving, hardworking, and maybe a bit brash at times, too. But he is my best friend. And without trying to sound cliché, I don’t know if I ever fully understood just how great he is at what he does – and I may have never known had we had not started this business. I didn’t give him half the credit I should have (and do now) and no matter what happens, I know that I will never look at him the same again. Now that I know what he is capable of, on top of being the man I married and love, I am certain we will be successful and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of this journey as a team- husband and wife.


-Danielle Vaeth

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