Today I want to let you in to my inner heart and share with you my true feelings. Today I finally reached a point where I was able to see what we have been through and what we have overcome as a business and as a family over the last four years. This time of year in 2008 my mother Marty joined me as a co owner of Signature Jordan, LLC which I founded in July of 2007. We were so young and so eager looking back on it. Our office was in the basement of my house on Maple St here in Greenville. It was the house that my great grandfather built, the house my grandmother grew up in, the house I lived in four yrs of college and 2 yrs after, and the house my Rock proposed to me in. It was also the house that allowed Signature Jordan and Coastal Fog to explode with growth. While we were working away at forming the business, We decided to start Coastal Fog as a retail store. We contracted with Artisans to start our shop and we grew and grew there with such a fury that it’s unimaginable. We outgrew our original space after the first year and decided to open our own ‘brick and mortar” in a historic house on 10th St. A house built in 1932. We had the best year possible in that shop. The people we met will never leave our hearts. We found the best girls to help us that since have turned into family. Katie Zabriskie joined us as our first and Samantha Chieppa as our next last summer. We even had an extraordinary friendship form with our summer intern Anna Duncan. Within that year we learned how to run a retail store, we learned how to manage Helpers, we learned what our breaking point was and what we were capable of as business owners, as friends and mother and daughter.
My dad was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of last year while we were in the shop on 10th. We were knocked down to our knees in desperation and prayer and begged God to heal him. We realized how sweet life is and that we were killing ourselves with work and worry. It was God’s answer to our prayers asking for strength and guidance that in November,two months later, the Glenn’s of Jeffersons invited us to join them in the Jefferson Blount Harvey building. God knew we needed support and family and that is what he gave us through the new location. Just two months later In January 2011 we turned off the lights at the shop on 10th and opened the doors to our new shop. It was also in January after 6 months of grueling chemotherapy and radiation that my father had his checkup and was cleared as cancer free.
Since January, my mom and I have taken each breath one at a time. We have remained more calm than ever trying to stay balanced with our new path that we have been given. Today, our first employee ever and the one that is now a sister to me and a daughter to Marty moved from Greenville as a graduate of ECU to her new life in Raleigh. Katie was the sweet girl that rushed in to help us as we busted at the seams with growth in Artisans and the shop on Tenth St. She was the only person in the room with me when I heard through the phone that my dad had cancer. She helped us in the decision to make the big move to the Jefferson Blount Harvey building. She has helped us day by day settle in to our new shell. And today, we hugged goodbye as it is her time to venture out as a college grad and a young woman. I am again brought to my knees with a feeling of heartache as I feel that a phase and a chapter has just ended. I know that there is a bright future ahead and that it will work out to be a beautiful opportunity for Katie and for us together somehow.
As I was trying to clear my tears, I walked my dogs on my usual path in downtown Greenville. At one point, I happened to look up and realized I was right in front of the little house that held our shop on tenth. That is my photo of today. I am not sure if I intend for it to be a happy one. It is a real one. It is a symbol of life and what transpires. My heartaches for that house because we came to love it like it had a soul. We will never forget that place. It is fitting as we hugged Katie goodbye today that I take the picture of the existing little house on 10th. A new chapter awaits and a bright opportunity will be here tomorrow.
We want to thank you for being apart of our journey. Thank you for supporting us with your business and most importantly, your love and friendship.