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August 01, 2016
It’s that time again! We have another ‘Spotlight’ to shine on another staff member! Today’s focus is on the other half of our owner duo - Brenda. She’s the mastermind behind Bloom’n Things, and truly the heart and soul of the business. Her willingness to learn the ropes as she went along and her desire to stay with her kids as they grew up has ultimately fueled her business, building momentum along the way. Check out her story below!
Starting my journey 30 plus years ago, I never envisioned the business as it is today. I really only wanted a job that I could be home with my kids as much as possible. Working at the Shipshewana Trading Place gave me that freedom. I started when Carin was 18 months old (she is now 30) with only one card table and one item to sell. That very first week, I sold enough product to pay my rent, and I was thrilled!! I had never sold anything before, but I was willing to learn the rest along the way. As my family grew to include Mattie and Jared, the summer work worked perfectly with everyone's schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed my time off in the winter and time spent with my kids and family. I look back on that and know that was a great decision. I am now filled with pride that my kids are starting their families now and working on that journey themselves.When Jon came into the business, we had to get a lot more serious about the business in order to make a living at what we did. We started to do some traveling as our kids were entering their teenage years. With the blessing of a great support group, it worked out pretty well. Jon & I made a lot of friends all along the way-- from the customers, other vendors, and show promotors-- our lives felt very full.It was because of one of these friends, our Cutco lady, that we ended up in the Glenbrook Mall. She had paved the way to the mall through her contacts and business knowledge. We are proud to be here and always take one day at a time. Being a business owner involves so many things! My main focus is ordering merchandise, accounting, and the technology it takes to make those jobs manageable, but I also have to figure out how all this stuff is going to work together. While Jon takes care of the big setups, I do help him with the small set ups. Another focus that enters into my mind on a daily basis is knowing which new lines to bring in, how to display them, and how to sell them.
There are many different puzzle pieces to making a business work, and as we are growing, we are always looking at new ways to make things easier, and not so tedious or complicated. We are currently trying to figure out the best platform for our website to grow it into a larger part of the business. Small as that part may be, however, we’re still proud of having it up and running. I’m the person who looks ahead at what is next, whether it is changing seasons, new merchandise availability and how to fit it in with our plan, or filling in the gaps when we need someone to work a shift.Here are a few fun facts about Brenda:
*Choosing just one meal is very hard for me. I would say Italian food is my favorite. If you read the post about Jon, he's into Mexican food. Needless to say, we get our fair share of all. We always have favorite places when we travel, but we have to try one new place as well. *I never drive to work the same way (except here at the mall). I am always wanting to see new and different things. *I am in awe of southern hospitality - that's where were learned to be super friendly! My favorite Southern phrase is “All y'all.” How does that not include everyone? *My motto is: “There's a big world out there and I want to experience as much of that as possible!” While I do enjoy being home, I hope I can do a lot of traveling in future years. I can appreciate it all.*You can catch me using my personal time these days taking care of my flower beds and spending time with my grandkids. I've told my kids that I would like 15 grandchildren but am not sure that will be a possibility. I would love it though!!If you’re at the Shipshewana Flea Market or Glenbrook Square Mall, stop in to say ‘hello’ to Brenda!
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