BEHIND EVERY SMALL BUSINESS
THERE'S A STORY WORTH KNOWING
THIS IS OURS
A year ago I had made an over the stove shelf for our kitchen (with some help) to solve a problem that we had.. well that I had - I don't think he cared too much about whether I had a spot to put candles and cute decor above the stove. Laying in bed that night I thought to myself that I could probably sell these for some extra Christmas money and so I posted a very poorly put together Facebook marketplace ad for this shelf on a pre-order basis and went to bed. I woke up to what I thought was an alarm but rather my phone notifications going bananas. Since my 11pm posting i had over 200 replies to pre-order this shelf. What?!?!? I had a full time job; panic set in. What had i done? My super supportive partner said not to worry we'd tackle it together and off to work we both went. My phone continued to chirp all day as more people messaged asking for the shelf. On my lunch break I called him frantic at work asking if i should take the ad down- it was getting out of control. He insisted i not worry and we would and could do this. And you know what? We did.
The stove shelf expanded to a counter shelf (which equally took off just as explosively) and then a bench. Orders continued to pour in and we were up all night and working through weekends to keep up. It didn't slow down after Christmas; it kept going. I was faced with a choice. Do I continue at this pace until we burn out or do I quit my well paying, steady and stable job during a pandemic to go "all in" and gamble on this? I kept saying "but what it fails and then I have no job?" <enter super supportive partner with words of wisdom> and he would say "failing is not an option; you start this and you work as hard as you can to ensure it succeeds; don't give yourself a safety net; you will succeed if you have no other choice" and just like that; out with the job and I leaped into the unknown. I quit my job with 3 best selling products under my belt.
The porch market
As people were coming to the house constantly to pick up items i thought i'd treat our porch like the Winners check out aisle (stocked with fun impulse buys); and hope during pick-up they'd grab a couple of extras. It worked. It worked really well. So i put more out, and more people came. People told friends and neighbors about the "Porch Market" on Fifty Road and the name just stuck. A local vendor caught wind of what i was doing and asked if they could rent space on the porch to sell their candles. What? Someone wanted to rent my porch? How does one value rental space on their front porch? It was surreal. (that vendor still sells from our Porch shop to this day)
The Porch Market continued to grow and expand; it poured onto the driveway and then across the front lawn. We were running out of space so we converted the garage into a shop and named it "The Porch"
The first porch market
two years later
November 2021 I started with that first shelf. Two years later; I have my own shop and currently looking to expand "again", I've created a brand and have over 35k followers on Instagram; I have 30 local vendors selling out of my shop and I am my own boss.
I've been so lucky to have an awesome support system. I'm the only girl in a house of 4 boys and they're my biggest cheerleaders. They've sat on the couch and made beaded garland with me all night long to help fulfil orders, sanded benches, helped with staining, painting; and never complained when I was too busy to cook and had to order pizza for dinner one too many times (lets be honest; they loved those days); I have a partner who told me to risk it all to follow my dreams and is the first to break open the champagne after every milestone to celebrate with me.
Dreams do come true; you just have to believe in yourself and be willing to put in the work!
I'll say it a little louder for the people in the back; Dreams DO come true.
This is my Cinderella story; what will be yours?