We’ve learned a lot of lessons from those days, have continued to grow and expand in many different ways. My husband spent many weekends putting together display stands that we could move around in the shop and take to shows, which is what we are still using today.
Now back to our lounge room? Well, the lack of I should say! my husband was having trouble getting in the front door! I had purchased so much stock, there was very little room left for us to live – the monster had grown ahead! he admitted defeat and we set off to find a shop to house it all so we could reclaim our home.
We found this quaint rundown shop just around the corner in Upwey and snapped it up. My husband took a couple of months off work and fitted it all out (mostly to my requirements!) We renovated the shop room by room and opened each room as it was completed. We had enough stock initially to fill the front room without having to make any purchases, I must admit I did look around in those days and wonder if I would ever have enough stock to fill the whole shop! But for those who have been there lately, you can see for yourself that it didn’t take me long to overflow it with yummy stuff. I’m now looking in corners just to see if there is another bit of room that we can use!
We then officially opened our doors for the first time just before Christmas in 2002. We were just about to renovate and open the second front shop when we were hit by a devastating flood in Dec 2003! We were overflowing with stock for Christmas and had lots of things on the floor that just floated to the front door in a muddy mess.
Amidst the moldy smell of muddy paper and loss of our newly laid carpet, there was an upside – we made the front page of the newspaper and it allowed us to clear out a lot of old stock (not necessarily by choice though!)
We still do not have any carpet in the shop, my husband decided that a better investment than carpet would be a truck that we could use for transporting stock to our shows. I am sure that it is just an extension of himself! I have to say that he is slowly learning how to park the truck without taking out a building or a car! (I am sure that he would exaggerate his driving skills and damage reports!) you may find evidence reports in the archives of the St Kilda Town Hall, but don’t say I said so!
So that is where we have come from. What lies ahead for us is in God’s hands but I am certainly up for the challenge of keeping in touch with the ever-changing papercraft world and excited at the prospect of tracking down many more treasures for you all to add to your collections.
You will occasionally find my husband in the shop, but mostly on Saturdays. I have friends working, now and again you will see Ashley breeze in the store stopping briefly to help a customer, but mainly just checking up on mum.
We have many new things planned for Craftmailbox. Hopefully that you will join us on the journey of discovery as we take this wonderful winding highway that God has put us on.
In 2009, many changes have swept across the path of Craftmailbox but we are as strong as ever planted firmly in God’s grounding, So as we start a new year I thought I would give you all a lasting update.
Unfortunately, in 2007 I parted ways with my husband. This has been a challenging and weary exercise for us both.
2008 saw the closure of my beloved store in Upwey, I truly believe in the saying that if you love something you should set it free. If it returns to you it is yours and if it doesn’t then it never was! Well, I did this with Craftmailbox, always praying for the best outcome of course under my breath!
2008 was a struggle for me in so many ways and on so many different levels, but what it has enabled me to be is a more refined person than the person who entered the fire the year before. And with Craftmailbox it was like God was giving me a whole new business to start all over again it has been an amazing journey.
As I say a heartfelt thank you, farewell and goodbye don’t come to visit my doorstep again to 2008, I stand at the open door of 2009 and am truly excited by all the amazing things that are laying just at my doorstep, blessings that have piled up over the last year, but I didn’t poke my head out of the wintery house to take a peek and now I can sit in the spring breeze, start opening and appreciating all the wonderful gifts, many I can hardly imagine what they even contain, but all incredibly beautiful and each one more so than the last, I can see that this will be a long summer.
I invite you to journey with me, enjoy the fruits of my labor, take little pieces of me and share them with your friends, walk the creative life as if it were your very last day on this earth.
Much Blessings Amber