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Not Going Home But Can't Stay Here

Not Going Home But Can't Stay Here

Last week I signed the lease termination agreement for our retail shop, Far Out. I've been trying to find the perfect words to encapsulate the feelings of utter failure peppered with significant relief and optimism for what's next. I don't have them, perhaps because I'm wrestling with the concept of "success."

Society tells us success is bound in commitment. It's getting married, having children, buying the house, filling the garage with shiny objects. It's accepting the "right" job, climbing the ladder higher and higher, earning more and more money, and then retiring. It's starting a business and working yourself to the bone.  

We're not supposed to walk away from things we once desperately wanted and worked so hard to achieve. Winners never quit. Or so we've been told. This never-give-up mentality leaves so many of us depleted and disengaged.

This has been a process of accepting the truths in front of me rather than holding on to the what ifs and the promises.

There was only so much we could do beyond the white walls and concrete floors we transformed into a beautiful space, full of goods made brands we admire and whose values we stand behind. We created our own little snow globe of possibilities of what business and the outdoors could look like. But as time passed, it became clear that we would not be able to realize our vision in that space. The bells and whistles we were promised never materialized. What we wanted and needed was completely out of sync with the development. This not only rendered it financially unviable, but relatively soul sucking.

I don’t know if I’ve ever advocated for myself and my business so strongly, scheduling monthly meetings with ownership and laboriously documenting issue after issue. I said things to powerful men with money that surprised all of us; people in my position aren’t supposed to challenge people like them. But when it’s your livelihood and everything you’ve built over a decade is at risk of vanishing before your eyes, it becomes easier to settle into the conflict.

I’m proud of what we built. It’s going to be really difficult to tear it all down, both physically and emotionally. But it’s time, so I will do it because I must. Come June 1st I’ll have an entire new world of possibilities in front of me, and that’s quite exciting.

Things I'd like you to know:

  1. Coalition is not going out of business. My hope is that this decision only strengthens what we have built over the past decade. 
  2. Our last day is May 27th. Come by and see us Wednesday - Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm and shop up to 40% off. 
  3. We'll be sending out an email this with details on the closure including what you need to know about your loyalty points, gift cards, returns/exchanges, and how you can support us.
  4. We, being all of the women-owned small businesses who are closing our shops (yes, you read that right), plan on throwing a "Not Going Home But Can't Stay Here" party on May 23rd from 5 to 7 pm. Details are forthcoming, but you can bet there will be cocktails, really good deals, and heaps of tea. So mark your calendars!

What on the surface seems like an embarrassing failure is a decision driven by our vision and values. While it feels so difficult at this moment, we’re choosing to stay true to and trust ourselves and to operate from strength, not scarcity.

I'll be writing about the process of making decisions that start and end your day in tears, coming to terms with things not being the way you had hoped, and what I learn from failure meeting success more in my personal newsletter, Redefining Radical. You can follow along here. Here I want to focus on the future of Coalition and all of the wonderful things coming your way. I hope you're as excited about that as I am.


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