End of Chapter One

Well, that's been a ride and a half.

I'm closing the store, at least for now. It's been a pretty amazing experience, but this part of the adventure is over.

After seven months, two venues and a couple of road trips, running the shop out of a physical space has me beat. The seven-day week has (surprise, surprise) proven not to be sustainable. I've known for a while I'd be putting things on hold after Christmas, but location issues have meant I need to pull the plug a couple weeks early.

Trying to start a retail business while working a full time job has been, quite simply, exhausting. For several months I haven't been giving the store as much effort and love as it needs. Worse, I feel like I have been absent from my own life. Too many things that bring me joy (cooking, entertaining, gaming with friends, helping out with cool groups and projects) have been shelved too much of the time. It's time to take a break and reflect on what's next.

But before I get to that, I have a lot of people to thank for making this Chapter of Über Cool Stuff a success.

To Louise: Thank you for getting me to listen to myself.

To my friends and family: Thank you for listening to me as I tried to figure out what the hell I was doing, and for supporting me in so many ways - with your time, your labour, your talents, your insight and inspiration. (Oh, and your money - lots of you were also great customers!) Thanks to you I found the courage to try it.

To Savy, Katie and Chris: Thank you for bringing the Met to life and giving me a launchpad.

To my fellow vendors at the Met: Thank you for being great company, and in many cases becoming good friends. I will never forget this year.

To the artists and creators who let me showcase your awesomeness: Thanks for inspiring and entertaining me, and cutting me in on a little bit of the success you've earned.

To my customers:  From the friends who made a point of shopping with me to the people who just stumbled across the store and gave me such positive feedback - thanks for your loyalty,  your patronage and for helping me spread the word.

Last, but not least, to Jen: You have been so unquestioningly supportive through every step and every day of this venture. I am grateful and humbled by you. You have worked so hard to let me work hard at this, and never once complained. I could not have done this without you. I love you. (PS. Employee of the month, seven months running!)

So what's next? Good question! I've been wanting to answer that one for a while but haven't had time. Suffice it to say that something of the spirit of Über Cool Stuff will be coming back in some form before too long, whether or not it bears that name. Whether it's a store, something online, or something else entirely, I have a lot of ideas and I'm hoping you will be as helpful and supportive  in my next venture as you have been in this one.

Any regrets? Only that I never figured out a shortcut to insert ümlauts into text.

Seriously, life's too short. Watch a cartoon.