10 years ago today, I was 27 years old. I had two little girls, 26 months old and 15 weeks old. My husband had just left his job doing admissions at a private high school, and one of my sisters had just gotten married. My other sister had just finished fifth grade. We’d never heard of iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even blogs.
The opening of the store was a quiet affair, with no ribbon-cutting or grand opening celebration. It was around 4pm on a humid summer day that after days of arranging merchandise on the shelves, setting up computers, vacuuming and dusting, we looked around and couldn’t find anything else that needed to be done. So we unlocked the doors. I don’t think we even took any pictures that day. You had to actually remember to bring a camera along back then, and we had other things on our minds.
It was sink-or-swim from that day on, and we were in pretty far over our heads for a couple of well-intentioned people with zero retail experience. We made our fair share of mistakes. But we have tried to hold fast to these guiding principles, and that has made all the difference:
- Family comes first.
- Treat people with respect.
- Do the right thing.
- Listen to people.
- Be grateful.
- Surpass expectations.
- Be generous.
- Have fun!
Today, 10 years later, I took an internet quiz that told me I am 29 years old, so it must be true. My little girls are bonafide tweens now, ages 12 and 10, respectively. My husband is a veteran retailer and entrepreneur. My sister’s husband turned out to be the secret sauce at Magic Beans after we drafted him to help sell strollers the day after he returned from his honeymoon, and they’ve just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary with their three young kids. My youngest sister is going to be a college senior, and can legally order a drink. Technology has infiltrated our lives in a way we never would’ve imagined a decade ago.
A lot has changed in 10 years, but Magic Beans has been the constant theme, the backdrop against which all of the milestones of the past decade have been set. There are so many people who have been instrumental in getting us to this 10-year mark. One blog post couldn’t begin to do them all justice. I would need a novel. Or an encyclopedia. But you all know who you are, and hopefully you also know that we are so grateful to you.