Just about two years ago, on July 7, 2017, I received my New Jersey Business Registration Certificate in the mail. I remember proudly taking a snapshot of it to send to my mom, probably with a caption like “shit just got real!” I felt a mix of excitement and nervousness, boldness and trepidation all at once. My husband and I agreed that if things didn’t go too well, we’d pack up shop and say “at least we tried.”
As many of you know, we evolved….and evolved…and evolved. And so, here I am two years later, with a longer lease for an even bigger space. We’ve GROWN.
For anyone who isn’t a business owner, I can’t emphasize enough how unlikely and amazing this is, or how fortunate we are. Did you know that New Jersey is the SECOND most difficult state out of all 50 to open a business in?? Flemington, as much as I adore this town, is particularly difficult to do business in. It is difficult to find a vacant space in good condition, reasonable rent, a reasonable landlord, and then…..customers. And yet, here we are, GROWING.
I’m sure many of you have seen the saying to the tune of “When you shop local, you are helping pay for a little girl’s dance classes, a grocery bill…” --- something like that. For me in particular, this is so true. By the time I pay rent (too high), utilities, internet (too high), self-employed income taxes (way too high), sales/use tax, and my expenses, I try to pull a little bit to pull out every few months to help my family. Some months, there is nothing to pull from.
I’m a bit of an odd duck in that I can’t say I do this primarily to make money. I’ve created a business that I truly feel has enriched our community, created friendships, inspired creativity and imagination, and FUN!
In May of this year, instead of pulling out any profits from Chirp for ourselves from the last 6 months, we made the decision to put every cent of that money (and then-some) into a new space --- including a higher security deposit, higher rent, and thousands of dollars in renovation --- for our COMMUNITY.
Why am I telling you this? Because July is “Independent Retailer Month”. Please, please remember that where you do business COUNTS. Please continue (or start) supporting Chirp Workshop in its path to creating a more family-friendly community. Share events. Attend events. Go easy on us when we falter. Spread the word.
Thank you to our loyal, ongoing customers for your passionate praise, encouragement, love and support.