"April showers bring May flowers" - we hear it every spring as the rains pour down and we wonder if we'll ever get a sunny day again. While it may seem like too much for us humans, apparently it's fabulous for the trees, bushes and flowers growing as, indeed, we do get happy healthy botanicals in May.
But what happens when you feel like it has been raining nonstop and you're going to drown? There are no flowers on the horizon and you don't understand why the storms keep coming.
Kendall, myself & Josey at an Open House in our first space
It was January of 2019. I had signed the lease on a new space - our first official space! - for Erin's Faces. To say it was a huge undertaking, emotionally/financially/physically, is an understatement. I was so excited! There were speed bumps along the way (which I now view as red flags) but I was so happy to have found the space and finally, after a few false starts due to construction, get to move in.
There were issues from the start. Poor workmanship that had to be redone, promises made by our landlord that went ignored, being yelled at repeatedly by our landlord to the point that while it initially shocked me, I became immune to it. And then it was April and the rains came. Literally. And the basement flooded. Any dry goods we had were ruined. Fortunately we stored everything for products upstairs on the first floor so none of those were affected. We cleaned it all up and I thought we were in the clear. A month or so passed and it became obvious we couldn't stay as the leaks continued.
I didn't feel like I was treading water, I felt like I was drowning and someone had a firehose on me at the same time.
I decided I had to move and I had to move now.
Ladies working at our South Orange spot
Monday and Tuesday I called everyone I knew and looked at every property that was for rent. Nothing would work. Feeling armed with an expectation of good, Wednesday I called my friend Deb and everything took off like a rocket from there. She called a local landlord who had an empty building - it wouldn't work for us long term but could work for a few months while we found our permanent house. He agreed to a three month lease at a rental rate well below his asking price. Deb then walked me into the township office of South Orange, NJ and said "we need to get Erin into this building with an approved Certificate of Occupancy by Friday." They laughed (it had taken months to do this in our previous space). I broke down in tears and explained what was happening. They rallied. The township and the fire department were incredible and got me approved in two days and Friday we were moving in.
I paid to get out of my lease early (my Dad called it an "expensive lesson"), and exhaled that Saturday for what felt like the first time that week.
And the flowers came. We had what we needed, we were provided for and within two months I was led to a beautiful new space that we're still in today with an incredible landlord who is kind, honest and responsive. Flowers.
So while April showers can bring May flowers, sometimes the flowers don't show up until October. And sometimes those showers are clearing away things that need to be uncovered, even if makes things harder in the interim. But the flowers will come.