Building the LTD 7 Puzzle: Teen to Young Adult

How did I come to love retail and start my own business? It is truly a series of puzzle pieces that have formed this career.  Let’s start with my history. As a baby boomer, I have to dig deep, 39 years ago (ouch, that hurts) I was 16 years old, living in Staunton…..It was time for me to get a job……I just wanted to have “my own money”.  My very first job?  The Visulite Theatre.  I was ‘the popcorn girl”. Mr. Spade, owner/manager of both the Dixie and the Visulite hired me and I also worked with a wonderful soul, Peggy, the ticket lady wearing her red and white striped smock. Anyone remember them?  Peggy was so special and we remained in contact through the years until her death.  I have always prided myself with my work ethic and I honestly think this is where the love of working  grew deeper in my heart. I have not stopped since this first job and still prefer to be busy.

Snapshot video sequence

I kept this job, as well as babysitting, until I left Staunton for College. I was a A/B student but Academics was not my favorite.  I knew I had to go to college and I was blessed that my parents were open to allowing me to go out of state as long as I “just went” to college.  I applied to Old Dominion and UNCW and chose the latter. Why UNCW?  Well for those that know me well or as a Facebook Follower, you know the beach is in my heart, so why not study near the beach?  As a Navy Brat, NC stole my heart years before plus my older sister was in Emerald Isle, NC.  To this day North Carolina is still one of my favorite states.

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 12.37.31 PM ~ Apr-4I lived in the dorms for ½ a semester and then got my own place, got a dog, went to school in the morning and worked in the afternoon. I have always worked hard but don’t get me Wrong, I like my down time.  I had 3 different jobs in college, a summer job……you won’t believe this……are you ready?….I was the drive thru girl serving early morning coffee and biscuits at Hardees in Wrightsville Beach (laughing).  In the summer, I would get up at 4 am!  I guess those early mornings got to me and they did not work with my school schedule during the year. “The Plant Place” in Wilmington worked better with my schedule.  This was my very first taste of a privately owned small business.  Until now, I did not realize the impact this job had on my life.  I loved this job. I learned so much about plants, retail gifts and customer service.  I admired Bobby and Bill.  I loved them and what they created.  I worked for them, in 1982  and now looking back, they were exactly where I am with LTD 7, about 5/6 years into their business. We  did not stay in contact but I was so glad to look them up and see they are still VERY successful. An inspiring retail story for sure.

road sign BILLBOARD the plant place-480x390    Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 11.02.18 AM ~ Apr-4

Love for fashion started at a young age……..my family always joked with me saying I never wore anything twice to school. My last job in College was corporate retail working for Casual Corner in our mall.  In all of my retail jobs, I moved up very quickly and knew that serving the public came naturally for me. I started in sales and by the end of graduation was promoted to Asst. Manager.  As a young college grad, I listened to the naysayers and was thinking…..I got a four year degree to work retail? Is this where I want to be?  I let them put doubt in my mind with something I truly enjoyed. I was actually a Criminal Justice Major. I did my senior internship in a halfway home for trouble youth.  Although I loved them dearly, I quickly found that my heart could not handle the emotional rips I felt with each child. Taking them back to their abusive environment for weekend visits was heart wrenching.  I wanted to “adopt” them all and provide the love and security I had when I was growing up.

I also applied for other positions in Criminal Justice, with interviews as a juvenile Probation officer and also with the FBI.  None of these panned out.  As a young adult, making my own money was important to me and I was making more as a retail asst. manager than what they were offering me as a college graduate entering the field of Criminal Justice. I knew I did not want more school….so Casual Corner is where I stayed for another year after college until I figured out the right path for me.

I researched Management/Buying programs in bigger cities and in 1986, I received an offer to move to Atlanta with hopes of entering the Management Training Program for Lord and Taylor@Phipps Plaza.  Atlanta was a big place for a small town girl but I jumped at the opportunity. While living in Atlanta, I met up with a highschool friend, Rebecca, we became roommates and and we explored the ups and downs of young adulthood together.

Lord and Taylor was fun, I quickly became a department manager in the junior dept. it was perfect fit or so I thought. I quickly found I preferred a smaller store atmosphere rather than the large department store……another piece of the puzzle. Funny as it seems, I still prefer to shop independent shops rather than department stores.

I applied and became an Asst. Manager  at The Limited/Perimeter Mall and learned  a great deal with this company. They also owned other popular stores such as Bath and Body Works and Limited Express.  At that time they were doing everything right…..a top rated company and looking back, the one I learned the most from as far as standards and practices in the retail industry.  Enjoying this position and mentoring under my Manger Sonya, I was soon promoted and transferred to Gainesville GA as a Manager of my own Limited Store.  Scared me to death to be the Manager at the ripe age of 23-24 but I was ready and loved it!  As a young adult in corporate retail, getting your own store was an honor and I had to “fake it until I make it” with this one.  I knew customer service like the back of my hand but hiring and firing, payroll, figures and reports at that young age were a bit daunting to me. Remember, I did not study business or finance in college. I grew to love it but I could not have done it without my Assistant manager, Donna, who soon became a lifelong friend.

After more downs than ups in GA, many lessons and more experience to add to my resume, I decided I needed to return to my roots in Virginia. I ended up in Charlottesville back at Casual Corner, Fashion Square Mall. I still was not where I wanted to be emotionally and personally. I was impatient and I was like any other girl in her mid twenties, My friends were all getting married and I was still in a female dominated industry….how would I ever meet the man of my dreams? I know you are laughing but I am keeping it real.  Majority of girls, at that age are searching for Love, if they have not already found it.  I was still searching… I started asking myself questions,  Is retail what I really want to do with my life?  Is Retail a “real” career? Maybe I should try something like Banking! Yep that’s it……I will enter the banking industry!  I am sure my parents were scratching their heads at my job hopping but they let me be, guided me and let me stand tall or let me fall when needed.  In 1988, I was hired by Jefferson National Bank, I started as a Teller and quickly moved into the Marketing Dept…………  where I was asked to fill-in for a co-worker and teach the week long Teller school.  Enter Duane Breeden into my life….. the handsome, born and bred, Charlottesville Management Trainee that was assigned to my class. I am not saying change your career to find a man, this is just the path my life led me on.

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 12.36.21 PM ~ Apr-4

It was frowned upon for Employees to date, so you guessed it, I went back to Casual Corner……..and continued dating Duane.  Its now a family joke that I taught him to count money.  If I had only knew how intelligent he was as a UVA Business School graduate in Finance! I would have been very intimidated! But it all worked out and we are now 28 years into our marriage.

At that point in my christian life, I knew about God but I did not “know” God. Although, I asked for him to come into my life as a teen, I strayed and only called upon him when discouraged or in trouble…But he stayed with me and guided me. I listened to that tiny voice within, followed my heart and yes, as crazy as it seems, I did find the man of my dreams but…..there is one change in our family…….. Now Duane controls the money. 😉

As you can see, in my early days of working, I explored, took chances and followed my gut. Its very much like dating….You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.  I remained open and allowed myself to learn from each and every job keeping a mental log of what worked and what did not.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 10.32.40 AM ~ Apr-6

Advice for my younger self

Don’t be afraid to try new things, be open and allow yourself to grow
Follow your heart, be you and have confidence in your decisions
Each rise and fall is a puzzle piece in your life…. keep building your puzzle
Money is not everything and does not always bring happiness
Pray, listen & let God guide you.
Relax, have fun & be patient, everything is going to be ok.
You are capable & you are worthy
Retail is a career

Stay tuned, for the next ten years, on our next blog.

Living the dream,

Lynne 🙂

We’re back!

Where do I start? I have been asked to restart the LTD 7 blog again.  It’s been about a week since I was asked to bring it back, and here I am staring at my computer. I decided I would write about dreams…..my life, not giving up, avoiding naysayers, my back story and what led me to open LTD 7.

This is where my heart is and where my expertise lies. I am not a writer, I am a real person who followed her dreams many years ago. It will be full of truth, transparency and not much fluff.  I hope you enjoy reading and I pray it will inspire young people to chase their dreams!  I did not realize this 39 years ago, but your path is full of building blocks, each one builds on each other…….  I call these puzzle pieces. I know “now” at 55 years old, every step and every season was meant to be, and was guided by my God.  This series will be a cumulative blog where each post will build on each other to form my story as a small business owner.  Once my story is told, I will provide stories about Our name, my vendors, my incredible team and why we choose the products we carry in LTD7. If you ever have a topic you would like me to write about as a seasoned retailer please share with me.  I would love to hear from you.

I invite you to follow along and invite any young adults who dream of opening a shop or  may be searching for their perfect fit in life to never give up….just keep placing one foot in front of the other. Each step is a puzzle piece to your life.

Living the Dream

Lynne

Roll Call!

UPDATE: April 2018.

FROM THIS POINT, THE FOLLOWING POST AND BELOW ARE ARCHIVED POSTS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS AT LTD 7. ENJOY! 

 

Six more days! Just six more days! The LTD7 2016 Fall Market is almost here!

img_2897

We have been featuring the Vendors that will be at our Market over the last few weeks, and I wanted to make sure everyone was up on all the news! If you want to read all about our line-up, you only have to join LTD 7’s Event Page on Facebook:

We will have food, fun, family, photography, and great shopping.

The market will be held Saturday, October 29th from 10am to 4pm.  You won’t want to miss it!

But for now, I would like to introduce our Vendors to you. I am betting there are going to be more than a few booths you won’t want to miss. Drum Roll, please!

Briar Patch Bakery

img_2900

Charming Finds

img_2902

Eclectibles

img_2910

The Enchanted Apothecary

img_2909

GGs Gourmet Goods

img_2912-1

Grandma Candy

img_2907-1

Harvest Window

img_2913-1

Manic Mermaid Designs

img_2911

Mama’s Caboose Food TruckScreen Shot 2016-10-23 at 10.09.59 PM ~ Oct-23.png

North Mountain Candle Company

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-serendipity-copy

ReNewed Designs Jewelry

img_2911

TFJ Creations

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-serendipity-copy

Threads for Good

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-serendipity-copy

Valentine Photography

img_2905

Wandering Soles

img_2906

We will be donating 10% of net proceeds to a special nonprofit, namely, Ride with Pride.

To learn more about the Market:

For a “taste” of what our special line up of Vendors feature, and to learn more about the small business owners of these companies, read all about them on our Facebook Events page, https://www.facebook.com/ltd7va/events or LTD 7’s App

Need Help?

Remember, if you are having difficulty signing on to our App we will have a special table set up for you to sign up and ask questions. Special gift for those that sign up on Saturday!

Happy Halloween Downtown

Downtown Staunton will be hosting Trick or Treat for the children on Saturday. We will be joining in on that fun, too! From 10-12 bring the kids to downtown businesses to trick or treat!

We will see you next Saturday! I can hardly wait!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

 

 

 

A is for:

A is for:

mobile-apps

LTD7 has an App! (Insert thunderous applause here). We are SO excited!
Apps (or app/applications) are programs/games most likely being downloaded to a smartphone, computer or iPad.

Some of us “way back when” had a strange relationship to an App like “Angry Birds.” People played it everywhere. Maybe you remember it.

angry-birds-online-1

Here is another App you might know…Facebook.

unnamed

Apps are those strange little squares we get/download from an App Store (Apple Store) or Google Play Store on an Android phone and use for some of our phone tasks, like MapQuest or Google Maps- to get us where we are going. Other apps take us right to Amazon or eBay or iTunes for our music. They look like this, on our phones:
ios_7_best_apps_iphone_hero

I found this chart interesting. It lists the most popular Apps for January to June 2016. I will bet that you have at least “heard” of one or two of these:

pop_dl-1

Retail stores, like LTD 7 are getting in on the Apps, too! We think it is something the customer can relate to. We hope having an App for our store will be easy to use for the customer, and we want it to be your “one stop” for all things retail, before, during or after you visit our stores. Our App looks like this:

img_1436



Our App can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play for our Android phone users. Apps can provide you, the customer, with sale dates, store events, special news, photographs and many other pieces of news-all in one handy location.

By downloading our App, you have easy access to us. You can bring up on your phone an item you are interested in purchasing and show us. You can receive special coupons for app users, you can partake in our loyalty program at all three of our stores, you can see upcoming events and you can share pictures with us !
Change is hard sometimes. It might seem way too much to do to figure out how to download an App. It might be something we have to ask the younger generation to do for us. (How do those 6-year-old children know what they know about computers?) but once you have it, we think you are going to ❤️ it.

If you need assistance in downloading our LTD 7 App, the staff at any one of our locations can assist you.

Once our App is downloaded on your phone, don’t be scared to use it! You will find photos, sales, events, LTD 7’s Facebook page, and many other special features-all waiting on you.

Technology is going so fast! Sometimes it just seems easier the old way- the way it used to be. But we think you might be amazed at how easy our new App is to use. We believe you will love having it and we hope it will become an easy way to stay in touch with us, keep up to date, and be in the know about special events, in addition to lightning fast contact with us, if you have a need or a want or something we can help you find.

(October 31 is the last day to use  and redeem points from our old loyalty program in store…..stop in before Halloween…and tomorrow, there may even be a special coupon waiting for you 😉 )

Join us on the LTD 7 App today!

iphone

android

 

Living the Dream,

 

Lynne

 

It’s Fall Ya’ll

picture1

I hope you enjoyed the weeks of Vendor Profiles and stories we shared on the blog over the last few weeks. I learned a lot and I hope you did too. We have some very special Dream Teams members and it was my privileged to feature them. If you missed any, please scroll back through the blog to catch up.

While we were busy learning about our Vendor Team, the season changed. It’s Fall, Y’all! It may not feel like it when you look at the thermometer outside and we may not be “ready” for summer to pass us by again, but the calendar doesn’t lie and we are headed right into pumpkins and spice and everything nice.

IMG_3403.JPG

LTD 7.1 and 7.2, along with Grandma’s Bait are in full Fall mode!

Our stores are decorated in colorful fall colors and we have wonderful new items and outfits for the children, and adults, alike.

We hope you will begin thinking also about what you might need for your fallscape-be it the front door, front porch, table or entry way and foyer. Candles, pumpkins, Halloween decorations, place settings, and the like.

We have a You tube video that you might enjoy, featuring LTD 7.1. It’s a little long at 8 plus minutes, but a wonderful way to do some shopping at home. You can find it here. If you don’t have time today to watch it, maybe bookmark it to watch at a later time.

You tube video

 

Our Facebook Sales are still in full swing, Alexis is live online each Thursday evening. It’s a great way to see NEW merchandise and shop from the comfort of home. Plan to shop with us! Facebook Sale

Grandma’s Bait “Sales” are in full swing online as well. Have you seen the sales we have been having on summer merchandise? Tons of “steals and deals!”  LTD 7 kids Sales

One of the other B.I.G. events on tap is LTD 7’s Annual Fall Market. It is scheduled for October 29th, 2016. Please mark your calendars and look for more information in the weeks to come. Event page

The bi-annual Outdoor Market at LTD 7! Tons of old fashion Fun, Quality Vendors, Food, & Music for the entire family! No direct sellers-we only accept vendors who run a small business with high quality handmade, vintage, antiques, repurposed, or upcycled goods. One Non-Profit, Ride with Pride, will be awarded 10% of Net Proceeds from our market! An event you don’t want to miss!

14068246_550565595136142_6659239694995303359_n

Have you seen our new App? Don’t miss it! It’s available on Android and Apple and it will keep you abreast of all of our happenings in one place! We can all appreciate an App that does that, right? Download the new LTD7 App, today!           Android

That’s about all I can think of right now. Whew! That is a lot of news! As always, if you have any questions, or need any assistance with your shopping needs, Clarisse, Alyssa and Ann, along with our other very capable staff members are always willing to help!

Happy Fall Y’all!

Living the Dream,

 

Lynne

 

 

 

Pillow Talk

A Conversation with Leslie Leedy, Owner of Leslie & Co.

Today I would like to introduce you to Leslie Leedy, a multi-talented artist whose artful pillow creations are featured at LTD2, our Rowe location. I love a good pillow, not only for the design elements they bring to a room, but also, many times, for the messages and scenes and colors they depict. A pillow is huggable art to me!

Leslie is a hairdresser by trade and just recently added a very special member of her family to her team. She also tells me she is branching out in her business. We are proud to introduce you to Leslie Leedy, owner of Leslie & Co, and another wonderful member of our Dream Team!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

 

leslie-copy

 

“What’s your story?” Tell us about your family and where you are from.

20160831_130704

 I come from a family of artists – art and sewing have always been part of my life, from my grandmother’s carvings, pen & inks, and yarn work to my mother’s painting and quilts – but I have been working towards becoming a serious “wanna be” full-time creator within the last 10 years.

I’m originally from New Jersey but I say I grew up in Virginia, moving here when I was seventeen. The influences of my youth have help mold my love of art and marketing. Taking in the vibes of NYC are a large part of those influences.

I understand you are in business with your mother in law and that you are a hairdresser by trade. That’s an interesting combination.

untitled

Leslie & Co. pillows just recently came to be when my mother-in-law moved in with my husband and me.  I casually mentioned my yearning to create some pillows. My mother-in-law was extremely excited to use some of her time and expertise and meticulous sewing talents.

As of now, Leslie & Co. is a small one person hair studio with a part-time home-based pillow factory (meaning my house is a mess).  The positive side of our recent move from Virginia Beach to this area, is the time I have had to explore my true passions.

Tell us about your company. How did LTD 7 come into play with your business?

Leslie & Co. pillows are new being sold at LTD 7.2 in Staunton off I-81. I feel this shop is a great fit for us as they attract many travelers from throughout the country. Also, the loyal shoppers to LTD 7’s sister store in another part of Staunton are encouraged to visit both locations.

I met Lynne, owner of LTD, by chance – I had been searching for a store in this area that I felt met the “fit” for our pillows and art.  I had a large bag of pillows in my vehicle.  I was making cold-calls…pillow peddling, I call it.  Lynne wasn’t quite sure if we were a fit, but I pushed until she gave me an, “Ok, let’s try it.”  The Rowe Rd. location seemed a great fit for me – everything from management to LTD7’s dream team seemed right.

 Do you dream of branching out? What are your long range plans?

 untitled11

 I recognized the older I got, the more important my inner creative spirit drove me to become a more complete me. Leslie & Co. has recently dived into another creative avenue – recycling and painting furniture, and incorporating paints with fabrics and home décor to the pillow line. Things such as banners and vintage wallpaper art are all part of a whole vision

What would you like to share with dreamers like you? What one piece of advice would you say pushed you the furthest in your dream?

I read once that a true entrepreneur keeps moving toward a goal no matter how large or minimal it may seem to others. If your passion is real, the fruits of your labor will present themselves in a positive way for all the universe to enjoy.

 

 

 

Gone Loopy: A Stamp of Approval

stamp-of-approval

I hope you are enjoying our Featured Vendor Series as much as I am. Everyone has a story and unless you ask, it’s usually the case that we never know all we could know about a person. I just love getting to know more about our Dream Team members.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Bridget Hoerner, our very own “Gone Loopy” Jewelry vendor!

image2

What I love most about Bridget and her story is her incredible and genuine kindness. She is one of the strongest women I know. Her story is incredible and her faith is amazing. Her love and devotion to family is wider than any ocean and taller than any mountain. This love sets her apart for me, in addition to her huge talent. She is so gifted!

Just like the other vendors we have featured so far, Bridget sums up what we are all learning through these interviews: Perseverance, or never giving up is the key to achieving one’s dreams. Take a look at how one woman set her dream in motion, and opened a store!

Bridget shares this quote as one that has meaning to her. I couldn’t agree more.

stamp

Let’s find out more. Below is Bridget, in her own words. Enjoy her story!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

Even though you express yourself through your work, our readers want to know:

How did you get started? “What’s your story?”

 For the first seven years of my childhood, I was abused in every way imaginable by my stepfather.  It is important for me to share that so that you all will understand the true lady behind Gone Loopy.  I learned that I was to never, ever, show emotion.  I had no way of expressing myself without brutally paying for it, no matter whether I was sad, happy, or, you name it.

image6

My mom, sister and I moved to Virginia, from Washington State, when I was seven with my grandparents, right after my stepfather was incarcerated.  My grandpa had just retired and they decided to move back “home,” which is right here in Virginia.

Once we were back in Virginia, it was like I stepped into a whole new world.
I was able to stay outside and enjoy beauty all around me…God’s artwork.  My mom started making crafts here and there and I started becoming interested in them and would help her on occasion.  When I was in elementary school, my teachers started taking interest in my artistic abilities and entered me in contests.  I won several and it helped to boost my confidence in myself. These contests helped me to feel like I really did have a purpose, even though up until that time I very much had low self-esteem.  Creating became a catharsis for me. I soon learned that I could express myself and completely forget about the outside world, and that people appreciated what I did.

In high school, I had an art teacher who called my mom and told her she thought I was special and that I had hidden talent that she wanted to see blossom. She wanted to award me a grant to go study with adults in a fused glass jewelry class.  Other than embroidery floss friendship bracelets, this was the only jewelry I had made up to this point.  I continued for many years making crafts for family members and with my children.

While I was in college, I decided to make a bracelet for a very good friend of mine.  I found it to be very therapeutic.  The reaction from everyone that saw it was very encouraging, so I began making lots of jewelry, even though I didn’t wear any.

 

Eventually my jewelry making evolved into metal stamping on silverware.  This, I decided, was the most perfect thing in the world.  I always loved words and quotes, especially those of encouragement.  So being able to create something beautiful and being able to stamp a word or phrase that could touch someone sent me over the moon.  I’ve been addicted ever since.

 

Tell us about your family.

image1-1 

I met my husband, Brandon, or “Mr. Gone Loopy” as some call him, when I was seventeen and married him fresh out of high school at eighteen years of age.  I look back now and think, “What were we thinking and how on Earth did we think we could survive?”  Shortly after, we had our oldest child, Sebrina, and then ten and a half months later, our son, Dalton, was born.

image5

A few years later I was told that it was good I already had children, because there was no medically possible way I could have more, due to being eaten up with endometriosis.  Many, many surgeries, lots of complications, and problems ensued.  We had not planned on any more children, but somehow being told you are unable to have children made me feel broken.  When Sebrina was six, I gave birth to our third child, Kaitlyn.  She was a complete surprise to us as well as to my doctors.  God knew we would need her to complete our family.

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-7-07-40-pm-sep-11

Now, Sebrina is twenty-two years old, and she has just married her best friend. They have given us the greatest gift, a granddaughter. She is such a blessing.  Dalton is now twenty-one, and Kaitlyn is sixteen.  Brandon and I have been married for twenty-three years.

Is Gone Loopy a full time job? When did you make it full time? Were there days when you regretted your decision? Would you ever “go back?”

Yes, Gone Loopy is very much a full time job.  Not only do I run my store each day, but Brandon and I also work every night and each morning creating our handmade silverware items.

January 31, 2012, I met with the landlord of the building I am currently in and discussed rent, etc.  After talking with my husband when I got home, I decided to go for it. I was still teaching special education in the middle school setting at the time.  Brandon and Sebrina would take turns running the store, starting March 1, 2012, until I would get off from school each day.  I would then run it for a few hours and go home and make more product.

In May of that same year, my grandpa had his first stroke.  He needed full time, 24 hours a day care, and it was then that I decided that at the end of the school year I was going to resign and live my dream full time.

I do not regret resigning from teaching.  I have many special students that have kept in touch with me and they and their parents come to visit me often.  I am a true believer that things happen for a reason.  Right now, my purpose is to keep being the “Loopy Lady,” offering hope and encouragement through my own therapeutic artwork.

How did you come up with the name Gone Loopy?

602444_10150906925581989_1893000188_n 

The name “Gone Loopy” came from a conversation I was had with my mother-in-law one day while we were in Pennsylvania visiting with her.  In order to help your readers understand the conversation with my mother-in- law, I will share a bit of background information.

I was going to college full time, raising my little family, substitute teaching, wearing many hats in my church, and going through some pretty scary times.  My grandfather had just suffered a massive heart attack and had been flown to UVA not too long before my visit with my mother in law. My youngest daughter, Kaitlyn, was having serious health problems and the doctors were even talking cancer at the time.  I was having trouble with anxiety in a major way and I was concerned that it was going to keep me from passing my classes and moving on in college.

I was sitting in my mother-in-law’s “beach room” as she called it, making jewelry.  She came in to talk to me and check up on me.  After asking about numerous test results for both my grandpa, and Kaity, my school work, and all the other things I had going on at the time, she asked, “Bridget, how on earth are you going to keep from going loopy?’  I chuckled and replied, “I’m doing it right now.” I then followed it up with, “Maybe someday I will open up my very own shop and call it just that.”  At the time, that idea felt far from any possible reality.

 

loopy

Tell us about your store. You sell many things. What and where?

14324203_144126486039206_825494241370824870_o14212191_1107762592653483_403403881809292738_n

 My store recently expanded this year. I was able to move into the front of the building, which is a much larger space.  We sell anything from clothing, and jewelry, to furniture, and antiques.  The move has given us room for Brandon to shine. He is a very talented carpenter and has not only built multimillion dollar homes, but has built some pretty amazing furniture.

You never know what you will find at Gone Loopy.  We have a few consignors that are local artists and we are constantly bringing in new inventory.

We are located in Churchville at 3816 Churchville Ave., Churchville, VA 24421.

Is there anything you want to do that for now you are prevented from doing? Did your dream get bigger or shrink over the years? Do you dream of branching out?

 Right now, with having a new grandbaby and getting through the planning of my daughter’s wedding, I am comfortable where we are.  I feel like I haven’t had a chance to really get used to our new space yet.

image4

A few years back before I opened my shop, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. I almost didn’t make it.  I had a video robotic thoracic surgery to remove my thymus gland, which ultimately ended up saving my life.  Myasthenia Gravis effects every muscle of my body. I had trouble breathing, swallowing, walking, talking-you name it.  I stopped making jewelry altogether.  I almost sold all of my jewelry making supplies, but Brandon had the wisdom to tell me to just put them away and not get rid of them.

Exactly a year prior to the day that I met my landlord, I had surgery.  The summer that I resigned, I went into full medical remission. I feel abundantly blessed to be here today and to be able to continue to do what I love.

I don’t have plans written in stone for the future, but I am excited to see what happens next.  My youngest daughter has stated that someday she wants her own Gone Loopy store and that her store will compete with the sales of my store.

image7

How did LTD 7 come into your work?

 image3

Lynne contacted me through email and told me she had seen my work and that she thought it would fit well in her markets.  I signed up for my first Market with LTD7 and was blown away by the response from customers and my emptied booth.

Lynne then asked if I would be interested in being a consignor or vendor in her shop.  I was at the time afraid to become a vendor, because I had just taken a huge step in opening up my own shop.  It wasn’t until later when she asked me again that I decided it was time.  I shortly went from being a vendor in not one, but two, of her shops and I have not regretted one minute of it.  The Dream Team is very much family.  I am proud to be a part of LTD7 and the Dream Team.

What was the biggest obstacle to pursuing this dream of yours? Has that changed over the years? In what way?

My biggest obstacle was myself.  With my background, I had low self-esteem.  Plus, with getting married young and starting a family early, we weren’t exactly set up for taking risks starting businesses and such.

After making it through Myasthenia Gravis, it was like I had a whole new lease on life.  Life is very short.  We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.  I decided I no longer wanted to be a “people pleaser,” desperately trying to live my life the way everyone thought my life should be lived.  I didn’t want to be an eighty-year-old lady, laying in my bed saying, “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”  Especially after I have told my children to never do that.

6ad256a40080c4b50bc83ade2757d1e1

My husband, children, friends, and customers have helped me realize that even though things come natural to me, I have talent that not everyone has and that I should have some confidence in myself.  I will always be modest, but the idea that I have talent is one I am learning to accept.

What is the strangest request you have ever received? What is the most unusual thing that has ever happened to you while working/selling? 

My grandpa decided to order alligator teeth from Louisiana after watching Swamp People.  He then gave me these teeth and expected me to make them into necklaces and sell them in my store.  They were very peculiar looking.  I used them and believe it or not, sold quite a lot of them in my shop.

The most unusual thing that has ever happened while working in my shop was the first Fall that I was open.  A lady came into my shop and I did my standard cheerful, “Hello, how are you?” She then asked, “Do you sell marijuana or pills up in here?”  I laughed at first because I thought she was joking.  She became very angry and started shouting, “I thought I hit the jackpot. I drove up through here and saw Gone Loopy on the sign and the other business sign that said, Out on a Limb and, “YOU MEAN TO TELL ME YOU DON’T HAVE PILLS OR MARIJUANA?”  I said “No ma’am,” very politely, and she said, “Well I’ve have never!” Then, she slammed the door and took off.  Brandon and I immediately looked at each other like, “Did that just happen?”

Do you have any long range plans? Such as to grow in a new or different direction?

Right now my long range plans are to keep doing what I do; to always be true to myself, and to my customers.  My business is constantly evolving because I am always coming up with fresh, new ideas.  I plan to continue to pass along my skills to my daughter, and maybe someday my granddaughter, so that Gone Loopy will live on, long after I am gone.

I have had an idea brewing in my mind for quite some time and just recently made a prototype.  I am creating blessing bracelets to randomly leave in places for someone who may need it. They can find it or pass it on to someone who does need it.  The bracelets will all have an encouraging word or phrase on them.  I’m hoping to be able to hear from some of the recipients to see how far they travel.  Encouragement is huge to me.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through or what you will go through, if you have encouragement and support, you can make it over your mountains a heck of a lot easier.

What would you like to share with dreamers like you? What one piece of advice would you say pushed you the furthest in your dream?


I would say never give up on yourself or your dreams.  Never live your life for someone else.  Live for you, and your dreams.  Don’t be that little old lady at the end of her life who is filled with regrets.  Don’t let an empty account dictate your dreams either.  Things have a way of working out.  I started with little to nothing and I’m still going strong.

if-you-never-try-youll-never-know

When I was deciding whether to open up my shop or not, my husband said, “Dear, it’s like this, if you don’t try, you will never know and you will always wonder.  If you try and it fails, at least you will know.  If you try and it is successful, then great!”  That has helped me over and over.  I constantly tell myself that I need to keep pushing or I will never know.

Sky-is-the-limit.png

The other thing that has pushed me is the naysayers.  Growing up I was constantly told I wouldn’t amount to anything or that I threw away everything by getting married and not going to college.  It has given me a determination to keep pressing forward, keep being myself and living my dream, and to keep dreaming bigger and bigger.  The sky is the limit! I guess you could say I live up to the meaning of my name: Bridget means a woman of resolute strength, marked by determination.