On Point

Here’s today’s step count: SEVENTEEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO STEPS. Look, if it wouldn’t have happened to me, I wouldn’t even believe that it was possible. In short, we shopped for almost seven miles today. We’ve seen everything and so when we get on our plane tomorrow afternoon, just know that we’ve left nothing unexperienced at gift mart.

In all honesty, we didn’t buy much today for PJP that was magical…unless you want to count wholesale yards of special occasion ribbon for our pie boxes. And since we’ve made our fair share of panic shopping trips for overpriced ribbon at Joann’s, I’m calling that a super magical experience. We picked up a few other fun things and made some notes for Jeanne to consider once we get home. And we collected samples, freebies, and giveaways like our lives depended on it. We also admired too many things to count.

Because the newness of the experience had worn off a bit today, I was able to think a little more objectively about how gift mart works. And honestly, IT IS IMPRESSIVE. We visited with vendors from international companies who referred to their shipping container schedules and then also with the smallest companies in the temporaries section who likely sell less than PJP in annual volume. And all the shoppers? We’ve seen every sort of person from every location and size of company you can think of. Spoiler alert: everyone’s feet hurt.

On the upside, seeing all of this is a bit comforting because it reminded me that even though entrepreneurship feels isolating on occasion, the reality is that there are A LOT of us trying to make this gig work. Seeing real people, rather than a curated Instagram feed, was a nice change.

And on the downside, looking at all those shoppers and all those vendors gave me brief insecurity about how PJP fits into the world. We visited a booth that sold pre-made pie fillings in a jar and for a hot second I felt super lame because PJP doesn’t have a line of jarred pie fillings. But then I remembered that I don’t even really want to sell jarred pie fillings because I promise you that involves a factory. And you know what I don’t want? A factory. But you know what slays me every time? Competitiveness. True story.

Existential crisis aside, I feel like we learned a lot about how the retail and merchandising world works. And considering someone compared PJP Buttonwood to a cute flea market when we opened five years, let us all be thankful that I’ve filled in a few knowledge gaps before we roll into our new store. Also, our ribbon game is going to be ON POINT this fall.

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