We’re celebrating the five year anniversary of our lil brick & mortar shop this weekend! It feels like a million years, and also like barely any time at all since we opened the doors of that tiny building on Lee Street. Thinking back on the past five years, it's kinda hard for us to believe that it all happened.
When we decided to move to WV, we spent months looking for a spot for Kin Ship. We finally decided to rent the only one that we could afford, even though it was in extremely rough shape and had been sitting empty for fifteen years.
The months before we opened our shop was full of more downs than ups. There was fifteen years worth of dirt to clean. Our days were filled with scrubbing, scraping, painting, and patching. It seemed never-ending.
There were windows to replace, walls to build, and so many things to fix. And the leaks. SO MANY LEAKS. We were convinced someone had put a water curse on us. After a while it finally started to look more like a shop and less like a disgusting hallway.
The night before we opened, we were there til the wee hours of the morning putting the final touches on everything. I’m not sure that either of us slept that night. Luckily we had three very supportive friends (Amber, Brandon, and Erin) who stayed up late helping us get everything finished and stay calm. We will forever be grateful to those three dears.
Around midnight, DD and Brandon climbed up on the (not very stable) roof and hung up our homemade wood sign. It, for some reason, seemed like the best time to do it!
We had about $200 in our bank account the morning that we opened. And no idea if people would show up or not. And if they did show up, would they care?
Lucky for us, from the moment we opened our doors, we were met with more support and love from the people of this city than we ever expected. It has been seriously overwhelming—in the best possible way.
When we had to leave that little building downtown and find a new space, we were worried that no one would come to the new location. That people only cared because we were downtown. And lucky for us (again!) people did care and followed us to the new spot.
Things have changed a lot in the past five years. It’s no longer just me and Dan. We never even really thought about having employees and now we have a team of eleven great folks.
The past five years have been full of so many good times, we can’t even begin to list em all. We feel lucky every day that we get to do this. Thank you all so much for caring and for supporting our small business. We plan on staying for as long as you’ll have us. And we’re looking forward to the next five years!
HH (and DD)
A few weeks ago Dan was interviewed for the Positively West Virginia--a podcast that focuses on positive stories of West Virginia companies and West Virginia business leaders that are doing great things in the Mountain State.
Hear about how we got started, our best & worst moments so far, and some stuff we've learned along the way!