15 Years of Little Luxuries

Posted by Nicole Doud on

This year we are celebrating 15 years of Little Luxuries on Mackinac Island! At age 23, when I first opened a business on Mackinac Island with no retail experience or business experience besides selling lemonade when I was a kid and finding a variety of jobs to help pay for things, this venture was very new and risky. But with a lot of hard work and determination it has been a success through the years. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't always success. There have been bumps along the way. But in this blog, I am going to focus on the positives and my favorite memories through the years. 
Below are my top memories since opening in 2009: 
 - While preparing to open the winter of 2009, I was out searching for several displays to put my merchandise on. I found an antique trunk, dressers, chairs, and more. On Mackinac in the winter, you can't just pull your car up and unload. My vintage items instead came across via the ice bridge. It is pretty neat to look at some of the displays I still have and remember they crossed the ice. 
- My first day open I was mostly scared of my antique cash register! It was very difficult to change the receipt paper and I was so worried I would mess it up! 
- Bats use to be everywhere on Mackinac and I mean everywhere. Especially once August rolled around. They would fly into Little Luxuries and sometimes when nobody noticed. I will never forget once I closed the doors to close up, a bat started flying around the store. I was alone in the store with a BAT! I went behind the counter and sat on the ground, called Andrew, and waited for help! LOL 
- In 2013, I had the opportunity to expand Little Luxuries and double in size. We started renovation February 1st and it was a busy, long 3 months to accomplish the project, but we did it! 
- In 2010, I randomly came across a handbag line called Jenna Kator Collection. I reached out to Jenna and I have been selling her handbags since and we have become lifelong friends! 
- Over the years, I have had many young, motivated women work for me. It is wonderful watching them grow and follow their dreams. I am proud to say I have had four employees open their own stores following working at Little Luxuries. If you can dream it, you can do it. 
- We use to have two dogs named Penny Lane and Charlie. They were my shop dogs! They would spend all day with me at Little Luxuries. I know some of you remember them. :) 
- Going to my first show ever in 2009 with Andrew. We decided to go to the Dallas Gift Show. It was a ton of fun and an adventure. Andrew now does not attend the gift shows with me as the store has evolved. He would never be able to keep up! I actually have not been back to the Dallas show since then. I now attend Atlanta only and maybe every few years I will visit the NYC show. 
- Shopping Week on Mackinac - I remember being a part of planning a shopping week with the downtown shops. We had a fashion show, discounts, treats and more! 
- Witches Brew Fall Shopping Event - my favorite, and customer favorite event of the year! Our Witches Brew event takes place in mid October and it is a celebration to end the season. We have wine, discounts, giveaways and pumpkin cookies!
- I will never forget when we found a chipmunk in the store last summer! It was happily eating a granola bar and it was tricky to get out of the store!
- Seeing familiar customers summer after summer .... it is a warm, happy feeling seeing return customers each summer. 
- In 2018, my staff surprised me with a baby shower while I was pregnant with Johnny. I was shocked and it was so sweet they did this for me! 
- When a pallet of boxes arrives and we all freak out! That moment will never change. Our storage is very limited and we all give a look of WOW!
- In 2020, when we could not be open in person, so I decided to create a special Mother's Day Bundle and we sold so many in a short time! It kept me very busy! 
These are only 15 memories over the 15 years I have been open. There are many more happy and sad moments I have experienced.  Owning a business has its ups and downs. Somehow, we get through it. Someone once told me, a business owner never has two good days in a row. I thought hmmm...that doesn't seem true, but now thinking about it, it is very true. BUT, finding the good in the bad days is what makes you stronger and makes you improve to better yourself and your business. 
Cheers to 15 years and for your support! 
Nicole xo

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