It took about a week for Bridget to get back to me.
The following Tuesday she gave me a call and said that she had talked to her family and was interesting in staying in business. We arranged to have a meeting Wednesday night following a class that we both attend.
After the class, Brian brought us some food, we closed up the store and sat down to look at her numbers as well as ours. Basically the store was doing well but just couldn’t weather the storm of increasing rent at only three years of being in business. *Useless factoid. Most small businesses don’t turn a profit until year five. * Several hours of discussion ensued concerning the risk of investing (whether it was a smart thing for us), the risk of taking on a partner (whether she really wanted to deal with the two of us), as well as whether this should be a loan or an investment? Thankfully Bridget has a business background and had a great deal of insight into what would work best with with a minimum of fuss and legalities.
Realizing that it was now Midnight on a Wednesday, we decided that we should all think things over and meet again at a later time. Much thanks to our neighbor Jill for watching Jeffrey while we were meeting.
Brian and I went home, discussed the amount of money the store needed and decided that we were still interested in following through. While it is a risky move, we both really believe that it’s a solid store and that it will be a good investment for us.
We met again this past Saturday, this time with whole families in tow and discussed the details of a having a partnership. We’re going to try and bring some of Brian and my talents into play with the computers and web based side of the business. Bridget is going to continue to do what she does best, running a great store and continuing all the great ideas she has for it’s future.
We officially signed paperwork on Thursday and Bridget made an announcement to all of her customers that the store is staying open.
So now, I am officially a part business owner. The Paper Garden is staying open! My happy community gets to stay put and I have a place to channel some of the passion that I have for paper crafting.