You know those dreams that are so crazy and unrealistic that you don't even dare to dream them. Well, that was how I felt about ever opening a store in the French Quarter. The idea of it was ludicrous. We don't have the money, the connections, or the know-how to ever pull off such a thing. But somehow, we did. A friend who is retiring offered up his storefront to us in a prime little corner of the French Quarter. Miraculously, the rent was in our budget, the stars aligned, and we worked our asses off to make it happen. We got the keys on April 3rd and opened our doors on April 7th. Yup, we went from a bare bones former woodworking shop to a pretty cool little boutique in 4 days!
Obviously, the time frame we gave ourselves to open was ridiculous. We needed to paint, install lighting, BUILD ALL OF OUR FURNITURE FROM SCRATCH (no Ikea, no sir!) pull together a lot of inventory and do about a hundred other things. Then, the second miracle happened. Our friends just started appearing, many bringing their own tools, offering to help us. We had friends, partners, friends-of-friends, and in one case a Facebook friend we'd never previously met face-to-face show up and pitch in. After a week of watching people generously donate their time and labor, I have more love for the New Orleans community then ever before.
After four long and intense days, we opened our doors just in time for French Quarter Fest (thus, the rushed deadline. FQ Fest is a huge draw and a big weekend for businesses in the Quarter). The shop looks..... beautiful. Just beautiful. Of course, it's a long way from finished, but we're pretty proud of what we've accomplished so far!