The Artists Market of Mackinac Island opened back in May 2015, just two weeks before our second son, Thomas was born. The opportunity arose in March 2015. I thought NO WAY at first with being eight months pregnant and only eight weeks until the new season begins. After brainstorming and talking with some fellow business owners and friends, I decided to go for it. Luckily, I felt great eight months pregnant and thought lets do this before baby arrives! The time crunch began! We opened the doors on May 15th, we didn't have the most product, but it was a start. We also did consignment year one of the market. This was a great way to see what sold and what customers were liking.
On May 29th, our son Thomas was born. Of course, I couldn't stay away from my shops and I was back to work right after coming home from the hospital. I tried to stay home and do work either in the mornings or afternoons and Andrew and I took turns taking him. We made it work! But it was a little crazy! Thankfully, Tommy was an easier baby.
Now seven seasons later, this past summer I realized I can't keep going at full speed like I have been since 2009. Since 2015, I opened a third shop called Canvas and Paddle, right next door to Little Luxuries, my first shop, and we added a third son, John! Our boys need me more and I want to be with them more. I do not want to miss those practices and games. We live in two towns, Petoskey and Mackinac Island, to make things more complicated. I can't imagine when all three boys are playing sports! After Louie's first spring season playing baseball this year, I knew something had to change. After much thought, I have decided to close The Artists Market. As much as I wish I could keep it forever, I know this is the right decision for our family right now. Our boys are very happy about this decision!
I am looking forward to focusing more on my first retail baby, Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island and maybe Andrew will let me give some pointers at the grocery store, Doud's Market! Haha!
It has been such a wonderful experience to work with talented artists and makers throughout Michigan and the country. Some even came to the market for Artist Appearances. Before the pandemic, we had several events each summer. It was a lot of work, but worth every minute!
The employees that have worked for me over the years, some have gone off to open their own businesses! This makes my heart SO happy. Watching young individuals follow their dreams is an amazing thing. With hard work, determination, and a lot of heart, you really can do anything. Little did I know that I would be living on Mackinac Island and owning three retail stores on Main Street! It still feels surreal!
I want to thank all of our customers, vendors and friends who have supported my shops over the years. It truly means the world.
Moving forward, an amazing retailer and maker, Julie Suggitt will be moving into The Artists Market space. She is the maker behind Sew Up Style Co. and the retail store Rustic Chic Boutique. Julie is SO excited for this opportunity as I am too! She is going to make a great neighbor to Little Luxuries and a wonderful addition to Main Street, Mackinac Island.
Cheers to following your dreams and stepping back when you know it's time.
Thank you for following my journey,