Wednesday, January 27, 2010

and the train keeps moving

it's been about 6 months now since i started the 'business' of little skips. before that, it was merely an idea floating around in my head, swirling around my life and my friends, who have become dear family. if fate exists, then maybe you can call it that. i never expected to be opening my own place this soon in my life. i say soon because it was only this past birthday that i woke up and realized i was 29 years old. i swore that just the other day i was 25! i think i was 25 for the last 4 years and no one bothered to tell me and i so conveniently forgot to add a year each birthday.

the last couple weeks we’ve shifted into high gear and are speeding towards the goal (at least the first one). each shift, at first, slows you down because you have to take those moments to decide, prepare, and finally perform the shifting. for a little while until the next shift, it’s smooth sailing. so now, finally, high gear. i really have henry to thank for the turbo boost. he’s brought to the table almost everything i was missing and essentially needed in order to succeed. this is what makes a good partnership in any situation in life. that and having aligned goals where both work together to achieve.

last week plumbing began and is suppose to finish this week. all of our coffee equipment has arrived and is now waiting patiently in their intricately packed boxes. I’m not afraid to go in our basement anymore. we have rooms built for storage and space to put our office. there’s been talk of a ‘speakeasy’ retail shoppe downstairs in order to fulfill our promise and share with everyone all the cool stuff we’ve found and love. but, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

today, henry and I went to our first auction at a restaurant going out of business. we got approached by our first scumbag auction hound that prays on newbies like us. I guess the deal is he uses his weight (literally, he was a big big guy) and experience in the auction biz to bid on stuff on our behalf. of course (joking) he always gets a better price with his skills and only charges us a 15% buyers fee and tax on each item we win, or better yet, he wins for us. it was a learning experience well worth the dollar I spent on parking for a half hour.

we also made out like bandits today at the salvation army which has been a gold mine for us. my idea originally was to make as minimal impact as I can with opening this business. I tried my best not to buy anything new if I didn’t absolutely have to. this made it a little more interesting since I had to find alternative ways get what we needed by reusing and recycling what we had and buying things ‘second hand’. this was hard with wood since most distributors I’ve found charge ridiculous prices for reclaimed or distressed wood. I basically bought some new and hit up a local woodshop in bushwick for their scraps as well and found scraps to pick up on craigslist. looking, back I realized after the fact that an alternative to buying new and that with the knowledge and resources I have now I could have made much less an impact. though I cannot go back and change what’s already happened and decisions already made, I can only move forward keeping the goal in mind. I feel like businesses cause the most detrimental waste impact on our planet. therefore, it is so important and necessary that business owners become aware of this and do their part to reduce waste and positively impact the community and ultimately the world around us. what makes it more tough is that if you are a small struggling business you really can’t afford to ‘go green’. this is where the decision has to start with the individual. this individual then carries it down to the business. not an easy task when you have to deal with government regulations while trying to stick to budget and producing minimal waste.

it was our second raid today and we got dishes, coffee mugs, sake cups (that henry had to have) colorful espresso cups, picture frames, pastry displays; basically, anything I could grab for a nominal fee. I love thrift stores so I was in heaven and having fun with it the whole time. I think I can call the nice lady that works there my friend now. she smiles at me real nice each time I’ve been in there. I think I’ll send her a ‘thank you’ card.

tomorrow. more plumbing work. the bar gets lifted up to prepare for the ‘taps’ that will flow golden goodness. we also need to find a single stainless steel sink which we’ve been trying so hard not to buy a new one but to no avail. this gets in the way of permits and signoffs and such. so again, there lies the dilemma in starting a business and trying to be ‘green’ when in business the unfortunate formula where time equals money, leaves us little room to play the game on our terms.

lastly, we still need a logo. I don’t want to settle for anything. I want it to be the right image to portray the idea of little skips. I’m thinking little monsters but I haven’t seen the right monster yet. so the search continues but I’d really like it to end soon where I’m smiling everytime I look at the logo, the little monster, the little skips monster.