About twenty years ago....at the height of my design career....I told the owner of the company I was working for at the time I liked proving the impossible possible. Well, this may be the ultimate test of that statement. Lucky Hill has come about in a whirlwind of a few months and, simultaneously, evolved over the better part of a decade. You're probably saying that doesn't make sense, but in a convoluted way it does.
In 2002, I opened a shop called Grandiflora in West Chester, Pennsylvania and fell in love with retail. Other than a part time job when I was in grad school working in an art supply and framing shop, retail had never popped up on my radar. Grandiflora came about somewhat by happenstance, but ended up being the most perfect alignment of planets. I was a little burned out designing apparel, we were living in a town that was experiencing a retail and restaurant renaissance, and my husband was tired of always hearing me talk about display ideas and what I would do if I had a shop.
After two fabulous years of owning Grandiflora, Dan was offered a job in California and we packed up the Jeep and headed West. I sold the shop, but never got over it. I missed my customers who had become friends, the products, researching new lines, crunching numbers at night....in other words, I had been bitten by the retail bug. Retail isn't for everyone, but after bursting into tears every time I tried to talk about Grandiflora, I knew it was for me. While I was never sure when I would have another store, it was inevitable. Someday I would hang another sign and stand behind another counter.
Lucky Hill has long been in my head and heart, but really didn't start to take shape until the end of March. Dan and I had often talked about moving to Maine.....he for his art, me for my next retail venture, and "we" for our next chapter in a region we had fallen in love with years ago. We happened upon a unique opportunity in the charming town of Castine that, miraculously, afforded us the opportunity to combine Dan's art and my retail careers under one roof. Lucky Hill was going to be a reality.
Okay, so where's the impossible come into the equation? Other than the fact we intend to open the store July 1 and it's June 15 and we're still sitting in an apartment in L.A. surrounded by boxes, I can't imagine what might make it a little dubious. But have no fear! Movers are coming Monday and Tuesday....yes, we have a lot of stuff....Dan and I are flying out of LAX on Thursday, picking up a car in Pennsylvania on Friday, heading to Maine bright and early on Saturday, and praying all of our things arrive sometime the next week. Needless to say, we have more balls in the air than a Cirque du Soleil troupe, but haven't gotten whomped on the head once....so far. We've sold two cars, cleaned out a storage unit, packed up an apartment, conceptualized a retail venue, designed our logo, set up our business, ordered a shop full of product, bid our tearful farewells to friends, and will somehow cap it off with a going away dinner at Canter's on Father's Day.
We spent a few days in Castine in May and met the most wonderful people....I like to think of them as new friends who will be old friends after not too long....and look forward to getting settled in our new hometown. If Lucky Hill is what I hope it will be, it won't just be a place for people to buy things. It will be a place where Diana Krall's luscious voice mingles with laughter, the aromas of sweet citrus and sea salt tickle the nose, color and light are golden and bright, and you know a warm smile is always waiting to welcome you....even on the coldest of January days.
I tell my stepdaughters all the time, "life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey". The next few weeks will push the envelope.....but I wouldn't have it any other way knowing Lucky Hill lies just around the next bend.