Tending A Slow Business
Posted by RODELLEE BAS
I've made myself my evening cup of tea, a simple ritual. Today it's ginger and turmeric though lately it's been chamomile. As of late I have been really missing long format journal entries and blog posts like the yesteryears of the internet. And so, here I am penning down my ramblings and ponderings in which the only intent is to "get it out." In some ways I feel even more connected to Adored Vintage, and in other ways more detached. An odd feeling when the business you created is rooted and stems from your heart and soul.
I have heard so often how much "potential" Adored Vintage has to become something MUCH bigger than it is. Which I find a bit funny because WHAT Adored Vintage is NOW, 5 years ago I would find impressive and out of my range. But here we are!
In the small business world, heck just in our current world, there is this frenetic energy to achieve more, do more, grow more, expand more...more, more, more. When does it stop? When does one finally get to the proverbial finish line? In a world that seems to constantly push hustling, I find myself wanting to retreat back and slow down more.
What does "slow business" mean? I've been musing about this because lately those are the words I have been using to describe Adored Vintage. Everything we do is done mindfully, timely, calmly, and consistently. I take my time with my buying decisions for the shop. I buy what I know we can sell and restock when we need to so we never carry over unwanted stock. I say Adored Vintage isn't a slow fashion company, but we're not fast fashion either. We're comfortably somewhere in the middle. But the way I operate my business and will continue to do so is slowly.
I'm no longer interested in hustling, not that I ever was or honestly good at it. I think for those on the outside looking in, it might seem like we're always hustling, but any work done in speed at Adored Vintage is matched by my enthusiasm and passion for my business.
Outside of Adored Vintage I have a simple and fulfilling personal life. I believe it is so important to have a good balance of work and life. I believe in the importance of feeling fulfilled by the work you do. I also believe that your job does not have to be your source (or only source) for creative or artistic fulfillment (which is why I have interests outside of my shop) but I do believe that your job should make you feel more whole as a person, knowing that you are making a contribution to the growth and sustainability of ideas and plans.
For me running a slow business means I still go to work (I've operated Adored Vintage for over 10 years now!) still so happy and so grateful that this is "my job." It's running a business that feels inherently good to me and being able to stand behind my choices when I decide to make them, and sometimes I simmer on ideas and thoughts for awhile.
Running a slow business means my top priorities don't involve the bottom line or making more dollars. My main goal is keeping the business sustainable so it can support the people I employ and support itself and be able to grow steadily through the years. It's playing the long game. I'm not all about breaking sales records or breaking the glass ceiling. There is no glass ceiling. Just big wide open sky that I'm so grateful to look up at and take notice of how the clouds look today. And while I do create goals for growth, they're small rings in the water gently ebbing out from the center of a calm surface.
Sometimes I don't even call Adored Vintage a fashion company. We sell clothes of course (among other things), but I'm really not privvy to much else going on in the world of fashion. Our photoshoots never feature trendy elements or are shot in trendy ways, our garments aren't trendy (though we might be on target for something currently trending, but the intention is never to bring anything into the shop because it's a trend). We are very consistent with what and who we are about because those are what's close and dear to my heart. The "brand" of Adored Vintage wasn't done through market research. It comes from the things that I have always loved and have been inspired by. We're not trying to make a statement or become the next big thing. We're happy to take up residence here in our pretty corner of the internet and so happy when new kindred spirits discover us.
I think more importantly, running a slow business means I find joy and purpose in all the things I do at Adored Vintage. There is a warm pride I have over my business and how I've chosen to operate and grow it. If I were to describe Adored Vintage musically, it would be a familiar tune from simpler days quietly hummed while tending to everyday ordinary things.
Well, this was quite a long rambling, but these thoughts have been rummaging around my heart and head as of late and I needed to get them out. Thank you for being here.
- R O D E L L E E -
Through our stories, imagery, and products we offer, our hope at Adored Vintage is to inspire you live life a bit slower, to celebrate the everyday ordinaries, and to live the life you have always imagined. If our posts resonated with you or you found them inspiring or useful, won't you leave us a comment below? We love knowing you and want to foster connection.