I've been planning for the Inspired Chaos 5-year Anniversary party pretty much since we celebrated our first anniversary. Those of you who've been with us from day one (our grand opening) know that we love any reason to throw a party. Our opening weekend we served a whole meal from our personal kitchen to anyone who happened to visit - my gram's famous meatballs, a variety of sandwiches and all kinds of sweets. Each year that's passed we've celebrated with silly themes featuring coordinating snacks (like our Golden Girls cheesecake station!), activities, and big giveaways. We've had people come back to visit Inspired Chaos from 3 hours away just to celebrate our anniversaries with us!
I wasn't exactly sure what 5 years would look like, but it had to be BIG... like literally the biggest ever. "Go big or go home..." has been this homegirl's motto pretty much my entire life.
I tried convincing my mama that we should rent a carousel or an adult bounce house... or another idea that I won't share just in case my dreams can come true, but my realist/Virgo partner helped me to see that we just don't have enough flat yard and the insurance would be astronomical.
What could we possibly do that would top all our other celebrations? What would be big enough and memorable enough to knock the socks off absolutely EVERYONE?!
Mama and I started brainstorming, trying to come up with another cute theme that we hadn't already thought of or used, activities, snacks and giveaways to match, and then, just like with our spring decor refresh, we both started to feel a little off about the whole thing.
We realized that we were so focused on the event and party, that we weren't getting to enjoy the whole point of the celebration.
Inspired Chaos, our small business that was born from a "I'd really love to try this out to see how it goes" dream, has made it 5 whole years... through a pandemic with months of closures, through some astronomical challenges like flooding and electrical issues, through major life changes, and it's grown with a whole lot of love and support from our Inspired Chaos community.
Five years probably doesn't seem like a lot, but the gratitude we feel for this celebration is immense.
The seeds of the business were planted, carefully tended and nurtured by our customers and now Inspired Chaos is in full bloom.
So, going along with our spring/summer store theme of "Growing Forward," our 5 Year Anniversary Celebration is themed "In Full Bloom." We'll be giving a free gift with every purchase, serving up some themed snacks and have some GINORMOUS giveaways planned all weekend long.
Over the course of five years, we've met new friends that have become family. I've learned that owning a business means working seven days a week, and even when I'm not seen behind the counter, I'm sorting, ordering, book-keeping, marketing, and just trying to keep up... which really isn't an obtainable goal.
Inspired Chaos has become one of the absolute biggest blessings to us, taught us more than we ever could have imagined, and gifted us with some of the greatest challenges along the way too. When we opened the store, I had been saving for years and still took out personal loans from family and friends to be able to open. It was the largest debt I'd ever incurred and possibly the scariest choice I ever made. At that point, failure was the most awful thing that could possibly happen in my view.
As in nature, business ebbs and flows, and there have been many times when I've feared that the seeds we planted wouldn't produce anything. Some seasons the flowers are indescribably beautiful, and other seasons we must work for every single blossom.
The support from our friends (customers) has been everything, and I give thanks every single day that my mom supported my dream to open my small store.
I used to rent an apartment in downtown Berkeley Springs and loved walking through town. Every day I would pass the Victorian that now houses Inspired Chaos. The property was for sale, and I took the one-pager to hang on my bulletin board.
"Someday, to get out of a job I hate... I'm going to open a store in that house. I'll live upstairs and have the store on the main level."
Things didn't magically manifest over time. My dad passed away suddenly in early 2017, and my mom and I started trying to figure out what could be next for both of us. Life felt shorter than ever, and more seemed possible and worth trying. When I handed my mom the one-pager for the property listing and said, "What do you think?" I thought she'd come up with every excuse in the book as to why we shouldn't do it.
"Older houses are more expensive to maintain."
"Owning a business is a major challenge and working it is non-stop."
As one of my favorite people (actually a relative) at the time said to me, "Berkeley Springs doesn't need another small store in town."
But my mom didn't say a single negative thing. She said, "Let's look at it," we fell in love, placed an offer, and within a few months after closing on the property I was able to announce the opening of my first boutique. My mom has been there through every crazy idea and sleepless night when I thought I wouldn't be able to make it. She poured the tequila and started the music for a dance party to get me through the slumps and shows up to work on the days when I just can't seem to face it. She is the grounding earth force that keeps this airy chica focused and moving forward instead of swirling all around. I can never thank her enough.
And we can never thank you enough.
If we had a flower for every customer who has touched our hearts, or for every time you've made us smile or laugh, we'd have a garden to walk through forever. Thank you for being part of our "Inspired Chaos," and bringing us to full bloom...
We hope you'll join us to celebrate Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30, 2023!
(Some photos shared from our opening - we've come a long way, friends!)