I just finished a conference call with 4 of my boutique besties..we are all owners, moms and admittedly crazy.
At the end of our call, this question came up:
"Why do we do it when the entire world says retail is dead and no one shops in store anymore?"
For the first time in our 5 year friendship, everything went SILENT. The kind of silence that foreshadows a moment certain to be remembered. The kind of silence that feels like change.
Just when I thought one of them was going to say something that would crush all of our souls, or force us to face the reality of our often impossible battle, it happened. We all, in unison, burst into laughter. I told you we were "admittedly crazy". We laughed loudly, honestly. Possibly it was nervous giggles or maybe exhaustion. We laughed and laughed.
Laughter. Maybe that is why we do it. There is no laughter in online sales. There is no dressing room giggles. There is no common ground found on the other end of Amazon Prime. Online sales exist in the same world as 'likes, comments and posts." Sure service matters online, but rarely do relationships. Female communication and bonding is more than keyboard strokes. We communicate with our eyes, our voices.
Yesterday my store was FULL of laughter, gut moving, lap slapping laughter. I am more than aware that I could close my storefront and grow my online business quite rapidly. I wouldn't have to face hurricanes, code violations, traffic woes and the expense of maintaining a store that is comfortable and inviting.
I wouldn't have half the overhead or half the headache, but I wouldn't have the laughter. The stress relieving, bad day fixing, husband saving, best friend making laughter than only women can share. It is personal. It is worth the fight.
I may go down with the retail ship. We all may. Online sales may be our future. I will fight it. I will kick and scream to save the laughter.
And that, in itself, is funny.