It is very cliché, "but all good things must come to an end". Kelly and I have decided to close the store and someone is interested in buying the land. Since the collapse of the economy in 2009, we have been working a whole lot more for a whole lot less. We have reached the point where the risk of continuing is far greater than closing the store and getting out of the stress. Although we have been profitable, our take home reward is approximately 1/3 of what it used to be. The stress has taken a toll on us mentally, physically and even spiritually. In looking back, the store has been a blessing to us. It has given me a sense of accomplishment. We started Young's fifteen years ago in October 1997 and opened the doors on the 2nd Saturday in March of 1998. We built a business on providing quality plants, accessories, and great customer service. I have been proud to have my name on the sign, but not too proud to realize that all blessings come from God and what is mine is His.
I have learned a lot in 15 years of owning my own business. Aside from the operations of a business, I have learned patience in dealing with the public (it should be a requirement that everyone must work in a retail environment serving the public for a period of time). I have learned discipline. I have learned to make tough decisions. I have learned that no matter how many times you tell yourself to leave work at work, there will still be sleepless nights. I have learned that people who are willing to work alongside me in my operation are not called employees, they are called family. With this extended family, I have witnessed the start of life, shared grief in death of love ones, seen children grow into young adults, and celebrated in their accomplishments. I have learned that owning your own business takes blood, sweat, and tears (sometimes all in the same day).
In closing the store, I have promised my employees that I would work hard to find them a job. As you all know, I have the best staff around! If you know of any opportunities for them, please contact me and I will be happy to get you in touch with them. Some want to stay in the plant business and others are willing to look outside of the green industry. They are indeed great people! Also, I will be looking for a job. If you know of anyone who needs a good corporate controller or CFO (who can plant a mean hanging basket), let me know.
Lastly, I want to take a moment to thank you our customer. You all have been so gracious to support us through the years. I have often said that there are many places that someone can shop for what we sell, but you all chose us. That is humbling and we are grateful. I do not take it for granted. I will not forget the relationships and friendships that have been made. I have seen your children grow along side of my own. I have seen the loss of your loved ones as well. I guess we just call it "life". May God richly bless you. He has me. May your plants prosper.