Mar. 7, 2019
Ten years ago this week, Jim and I opened Pearls International on the beach in Daytona Beach Shores, FL. How it could be ten years, I don’t know, but my mind has been rumbling full speed these last few days, remembering as if it were yesterday, the fumbles, foibles, and miracles that happened that first few weeks.
My mother and our son, Chris, made the trip from Colorado to Florida to help us put everything together, and our daughter, Sophie, watched via camera from her senior year in college in Juneau, AK, to help us arrange the furniture. Without their invaluable help, we would most likely still not be open.
We have affectionately called the miraculous result “the finger of God” because, as first-time retailers, none of us really knew exactly what we were doing, but the final beautiful shop (with the cases that sat in our barn in Denver for over two years, my sister, Janet’s, input on faux paint, and Sophie’s wall stencils) was more than amazing.
We initially decorated for Valentine’s Day, thinking we would surely be open by then, but, alas, no, because the sign company had to redo the sign and the electric company had to redo the electric, the permitting wasn’t complete, etc., etc.
We worked night and day from January 9 until March 13. Our good friend from Denver, Renee Garth, came down that final week to bolster us when we felt we could no longer go on. What a shot in the arm she was.
Thanks to all these selfless people for getting us up on our feet and for the ten (10!) wonderful years since then.
In the last ten years, we have gone through ”Retail University,” “ Hurricane University,” “ Store Expansion University,” and “Employee University,” and feel we could write a Doctoral Thesis.
Thanks to all of you for keeping us going, “Shopping Local,” and caring for us over the years. YOU are the reason we are still enjoying serving you and our community. Onward and Upward! – Marty Stradley