The last two weeks have been exhausting and unexpected and surprising. Dramatic weather changes, closing one store, and moving to another location is enough to make anyone’s head spin. But with the help of my tribe, we’re making it through and learning important lessons.
With a drastic warm up a few Fridays ago, ice melted and Harmony flooded. It was amazing to watch feet of water grow and grow until we started to get worried about the buildings. My phone started blowing up with friends (my tribe) not only wondering how things were going but offering to come help move things to higher ground. This was the last weekend the Harmony location was open and with 6 inches of snow falling on Saturday, the town shut down and it was a very odd way to end our time there.
As we move the store to Zelienople, we needed time and muscles and encouragement. Once again, my tribe made the difference between a difficult week and simply an exhausting one. My inlaws drove 5 hours to help in so many ways. Friends kept asking what they could do to help. They were texting and sending encouraging notes, they showed up to move very heavy coolers and building excitement for me. It’s a week I won’t forget, not because of the activity that went on but because of the people that were part of it.
The first time a customer asked what they could do to help took me by surprise. It occurred to me that we’re building another tribe - a neighborhood tribe, a shared passion tribe, a local tribe. This one will also will share experiences as we continue to grow and develop into wherever we are going. This business, whose success should be measured by graphs and charts, is building a heart. It’s giving people an opportunity to connect with real food and real people. It’s giving people time to walk in a look around, not simply run through and pick up staples. We’re building a local tribe.
It takes time to build a tribe. It takes experiences and conversations and truly sharing yourself with people. Time is something we don’t have much of in our lives but used wisely, it can create amazing things.
Thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for sharing your time and your passion and your shared experiences. Thank you for building something more than simply a revenue stream or another place for people to spend money. Thank you for being part of our tribe. Let’s see where it goes together.