Three years ago, on April 27, 2018, Inspired Chaos had its grand opening! As I swiped through photos this morning on Facebook, I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s been a wild and bumpy ride filled with humor, lessons, love and friendships.
Each year we like to try to celebrate our birthday with a party. Our first year we did a “Golden Girls” theme with a cheesecake bar to “Thank you for being a friend.” Our second birthday looked a little different (thanks to COVID-19) so we went with a laid-back “Friends” theme with free mugs with purchases and discounts to celebrate your sticking by us - “I’ll be there for you, when the rain starts to fall…”
And this weekend, starting Saturday, we’re celebrating our third birthday with a theme from one of my absolute favorite series… “I Love Lucy.”
The “I Love Lucy” series ran for six seasons (not nearly enough for me) and was the most popular show in America for four of those six years. When I was going through some rough medical treatments a few years back late-night episodes helped me get through many sleepless nights. Lucy’s wild and crazy shenanigans, her stubborn resolve to be a star and her hilarious slapstick manner doesn’t just offer up laughter. Lucy continues to teach valuable lessons even today. When the going gets tough, (as it frequently does in the small business world) I frequently turn to my girl, Lucy, for just the right advice or lessons to keep me moving at Inspired Chaos…
♥ You Don’t Always Have to Know What You’re Doing ♥
When we opened Inspired Chaos, we had no idea what running a shop entailed. We just jumped and I continuously just make random judgement calls without anything to back up my decision. The anxiety and fear can start to creep in – what did I just order and did I buy too much? Am I making a mistake?
Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I get it very wrong. Lucy never worried about being perfect – she just kept trying to be successful. She wasn’t afraid to make mistakes – she showed up and did the work, and if something failed or didn’t work, she just tried it again from a different angle. Lucy shows us time and time again what it looks like to be human – she is Inspired Chaos – with her messes, failures, insecurities and all.
♥ Make your Crazy Dreams come True ♥
I’ve told you guys before how some people really close to me thought I was crazy to open a small shop. “Berkeley Springs doesn’t need another little store. Be realistic.”
Some dreams feel more far-fetched than others and sometimes we believe they’re too far “out there” to come true, but Miss Lucy goes to any length to achieve her goals. Her character inspires me… even as she fails hilariously.
Venturing outside of your comfort zone is a tremendous challenge. Lucy was fearless though and would try anything without hesitation.
Dream your Dreams – big ones and small ones – even if people think you’re being unrealistic.
♥ Don’t let Difficulties Keep you Down ♥
Life throws challenges – pandemics and shutdowns, water leaks, lost shipments, health issues, unexpected dilemmas…
Lucy just can’t seem to catch a break – she fails repeatedly, but she never stops trying anyway. She bulldozes down any obstacles that stand in the way of getting what she wants or needs. When the going gets tough, I sometimes ask myself “What Would Lucy Do?”
♥ Trying to be Something You’re not Never Works ♥
We’re offered so many wonderful suggestions from customers – “you should carry this,” “you should try putting that there…” And we love thinking of new innovative ways to try out the ideas we’re given.
Sometimes I wrack my brain so hard trying to figure out how to make others’ wishes work, that I can forget who we are at Inspired Chaos. We’re not perfect – we’re flawed and aren’t afraid to admit it. On top of helping me at the shop, my mama works 3 other jobs. We’re a two woman show running the shop, tending the gardens and trying desperately to do all our personal stuff that often gets neglected. Sometimes the gardens have weeds and the grass can get a little tall. Sometimes the porch gets a little cluttered from the presents that people leave for us and the projects we'll get around to...one of these days. Sometimes there’s a pile of recycling on the back porch. We’re messy and crazy and unbelievably busy – and we find all of that to be a blessing. We are Inspired Chaos and when I try to be something we are not, it never works. Just like Lucy shows us…
♥ You can Always Better Yourself ♥
Sometimes pride can get in our way of learning something new because we don’t want to fail. I’m especially nervous to take any kind of big risk. Lucy is always trying to learn new things and improve – leaving her ego out of it. From picking up sculpting when people laughed at the idea to taking ballet lessons, the woman puts faith and fun over fear.
♥ Friendships and Support are Everything ♥
Lucy and Ethel are one of those duos that go down as one of the best friendships. Their relationship can serve as a model to us all. My mama is the Ethel to my Lucy. She keeps me in check and balanced – and sometimes she joins me for the crazy ideas. Our customers are our Ethel’s – our peeps who show up for us always. Support and friendships make or break a small business – and we couldn’t be more grateful to you and for you!
We hope you’ll swing in this weekend to help us celebrate another year of being “Inspired Chaos” – a little bit like “I Love Lucy” – imperfectly perfect and having so much fun along the way.