Travel Back With me Today to
“The Straw Basket”
My Shop Located on Main Street in Anderson, SC
I get asked this question all the time. Starting to sell on Etsy happened as sort of a progression in my life and in my business.
I began 35 years ago making my handmade crafts to sell at craft shows, the newest and greatest selling venue at the time. It was a lifeline to my battles with my health and Fibromyalgia. To be able to make something with my own two hands, and bring in a little extra income by selling it, began to open my eyes to what awaited me in the “handmade” world.
As one thing led to another, and then another as business opportunities changed and grew, I had the opportunity to purchase my own business. It was “The Straw Basket”, a well-know, place to shop in Anderson, SC for unique, one-of-a-kind wreaths, floral arrangements and gifts. There was a different, natural & woodsy feel when you entered the doors of The Straw Basket. It was me. It was my style. I felt like I was in heaven!
I won’t go through the ups & downs of our growth, but after 13 years we were located on main street in downtown Anderson surrounded by inviting restaurants and gift shops. It was the type of place where customers would get out of their cars and walk up and down the streets going from shop to shop.
By this time, everyone knew about the Straw Basket and most had spent many hours perusing the eclectic mix of cottage style hand-painted furniture, high end lamps, English country & rustic antiques, furniture and garden supplies. I certainly cannot leave out vases and pots filled with thousands of stems of flowers and designer wreaths and arrangements. I carried a huge selection of Buyers’ Choice Carolers, ribbons, candles, and just about anything you might be looking for to spruce up or decorate your home.
The day finally came when my body got the best of me. I no longer could run a eight thousand square foot business with many partners and employees. We had to close.
My very last day as I finished sweeping up for the last time, I walked out with the door gently closing behind me. I found myself looking back through the glass smiling as my eyes were drawn to the only thing left; our big well-used antique checkout counter which had been painted like a stone wall by our “in-house” artist. There were tears in my eyes as I turned the key and walked down the street for the last time.
Walking past other establishments as I went to my car, I felt lost. I didn’t know what I would do that afternoon, the next day or even the next. This business had filled up 6 days a week, 8 to 14 hours per day for thirteen years.
There was one thing I did know. God had blessed me with an awesome gift, one that He wouldn’t let go to waste. That gift had grown and flourised in the midst of chronic illness, pain and turmoil. I couldn’t give it up, I couldn’t turn away from it. God knew what was next, and it wasn’t long before he let me know.