A message from Andee?
My name is not Andee, it is Kenneth. and this is my dream. I was advised that I should give my business a face, specifically my face. It has been suggested to me that by sharing my story and what this endeavor means to me I will make my store more appealing. Given my experience with people in general I find it hard to believe that opening up in this way will have such an effect but here goes.
It is a dream I've had since I was very young. I dreamt of creating a place where people would be able to create works of art to share with the world. I had the 1st version of this idea when I was only six years old. Throughout my life I have had this idea several times and even tried to put it into action a few times but only ever as part time affairs. This idea took its most tangible form about 5 years ago. At that time I was just creating and refinishing things out of my garage I was feeling pretty good about my momentum and then my husband of 9 years died suddenly.
His name was Erik, and apart from being my best friend he was my biggest cheerleader. He and I shared a passion for finding oddities and old worn things, sometimes making them new again. Many Sunday's were spent with the two of us driving around from thrift shop to consignment shop and so on trying to find something neat to add to our collection. I miss him terribly still and his death nearly destroyed me. I was exposed to a darker side of myself that had been kept at bay by Erik's presence in my life. I fell into such deep and gripping despair that several times I didn't think I would escape from it without taking my own life. After 2 years of screaming, crying and clawing my way back to sanity one day, after an especially intense crying fit, I found myself kneeling in front of Erik's picture and Urn. I decided in that moment that I would make something of all this anguish. I would come out the other side better than I started.
Whether or not it can be said that I am imperially better now, I feel better now. I feel great and fulfilled in a way that I couldn't have imagined. We have just passed the six month mark and every day I am more affirmed in my actions. I have had the opportunity to give voice to the voiceless, to bring together talented people from a myriad of disciplines, styles and walks of life. I have also had the unique and amazing opportunity to inspire others, which at times, fills me with such unparalleled satisfaction I think I may burst. No matter what the future holds for me and my company, my dream has come true and continues to grow and change in new and exciting ways everyday. Erik's Birthday is the 14th of this month, and none of this would have been possible without his support and love. I hope he can see all of this somewhere in the universe, and hope that he knows he's missed, and continues to be loved.
I sat down five months ago and I began writing this to express the feelings about my company, how it came to be and what I'm trying to do, but I often found myself at a loss or became emotional in reliving it. Now that I'm "done" it still feels insufficient....Maybe I'll revisit this every so often in an effort to give a face to my company, express the joy I feel for it and also as catharsis. Thank you all for your patronage, support and time. Have a wonderful day.