Friday, May 19, 2006

Closing a Store, Not a Friendship

Stamp Store
Originally uploaded by Buckeye.
This is Trela. She's the owner of a stamp store I absolutely love. Last Saturday, she called me to tell let me know that she's decided to close the store.

Now, the store is in a different state and is a 3 hour and 45 minute drive from my house. She called to see if I could come to the store, so that I can take advantage of the her closing sale before she announced the closing to the public. So, I took Wednesday off and went to Trela's.

I first met Trela two years ago when I somehow happened upon her store when I was visiting schools in her area. I was in the store for just 10 minutes and we were already fast friends. She told me to get in her car, she'd feed me dinner at her house, and then we'd have stamping class after that back at the store. Yes, that was just after knowing her for 10 minutes. Now I normally don't get into a stranger's car and go to a stranger's house, but she didn't feel like a stranger. My gut told me to trust her and I am so glad I did.

Her store is absolutely amazing. It is jammed pack with beautiful stamps and her beautiful work. But, her heart is even more packed. She's full of stories and smiles for all who enter, including me.

It is because of her that I pursued and had a breast reduction. She had shared her former size with me during that first evening that I spent with her, and it just happened to be my then size, exactly. Not to be weird, but I loved her "new girls" and got excited that maybe someday I could have little ones like that too. She gave me courage.

After that first trip to her store, I considered myself a rubber stamper. I had only played around a bit prior, but she helped me learn to love the hobby. She gave me a passion and a "release".

I visited the store every time I was on business in her town, which was about two times a year for the past couple years. She gave me something to look forward to, rather than an boring hotel room, after a grueling day of work at the schools.

The past two times I've driven the 3 3/4 hours just to be in her store, not for school business. She now insists I stay in her lovely home. She's given me a friendship I treasure.

I've always wanted to be Trela in a way. Beautiful house, beautiful family, beautiful store. If I'm honest with myself, I would love to open a stamp store. But, I think Trela's decision to close is teaching me that it is best to keep rubber stamping as a hobby rather than sign up for it to be a job.

The best rubber stamping store that I've ever been to is closing. However, the friendship will continue. I wish Trela nothing but the best. I support her decision, and thank her for the mysterious way she's influenced my life. Really, she's the role model for the person I'd like to be...not in a rubber stamp store owner, beautiful house owner sense, but in the kind-hearted sense.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Its sad to see a stamp store close but that is hard work. Good luck to your friend.