In 2017, I embarked on bringing Fortune Emporium to life with a vision and a plan. The vision was to create a space celebrating the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of small businesses, fostering a community through art, music, and design. The plan involved opening a retail and workshop space that would inspire others to find their creative path.
At the time, available spaces were slim and I ended up in the back of an odd little building in Downtown Livermore, CA. Despite the challenging location, I had faith the vision would resonate and the right people would find me.
Fast forward to March 2020. I had been in the process of committing to a more visible downtown location...then the world shut down and I had to make a choice. Sign a new lease during the pandemic, re-sign in the current location, or walk away. With a heavy heart, I chose to close. I felt like I failed and never having a chance to honor what I built weighed heavily. I thought I was grieving the death of my vision, but what I was actually grieving was the death of the plan.
Despite the situation, I found new avenues for success. I pushed to grow BATCH: A Makers Market which became a well-attended monthly community event and started curating gift boxes for customers that included corporate giant Salesforce.
In yet another twist, I was offered a full-time job at Salesforce, for a division supporting nonprofits and higher education. Despite initial reservations about aligning with a large corporation, this opportunity brought tremendous growth. I learned to organize events on a different scale and had the chance to showcase small business offerings to a new audience. Working at Salesforce connected me with creatives worldwide, expanding my vision beyond the confines of the original store.
Overcoming my frustrations around the drastic shift in my plan has been challenging, but I've come to realize my dedication to celebrating the creative community remains unchanged. While initially, I understood the "space" to be something literal (as in a brick and mortar), the reality is that what I advocate for is a figurative space, reflecting my values and love for the celebration of the creative mind. The plan changed, but the vision stayed the same.
Embracing this new approach is allowing for growth on new levels and for that I must continue to express gratitude. With clarity, I can now say I am once again looking forward to introducing more of the inspiring people I meet and the cool stuff I find as I continue the journey to make luck & find Fortune!