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The Future of HD Soap, Part One: The Slowdown
Hey all! Here’s an update from Christine about the ”what’s next?!” for HD Soap: we have a next. 🙂
This year has been difficult as a small business owner; retail has been increasingly tough as people reprioritize where they are spending their money. Unfortunately, fancy soap is often one of the first things to go. But luckily for us, we are much more than just fancy soap. What sets us apart is our specialized products for customers with allergies and a wide variety of all-natural products; a very loyal customer base and plenty of amazing consultants are what have allowed us to make it through the last four years.
This year’s challenges required a faith in God that personally stretched me to my near breaking point, and for the first time in my ten years of business ownership, I came close to closing the doors of this company twice this year. But instead of giving into fear and worry, I continued to pray and listen for God’s timing, not my own. As the year dragged on, that became increasingly more and more difficult.
In January, February, and March, sales came to a screeching halt. I spent too much on payroll, and we made too many products for how quickly the sales stopped. I had never seen that many zero-sales days. It was such a confusing time, and it was emotionally draining; it’s hard to watch your business on death’s door.
But it was also an amazing time to see God work. We were provided for every day, and all of our needs were met; our bills were paid, and we found our way, just at a lower volume and slower pace of life. Because work at Hilltop was so slow, God provided an opportunity for me to pick up more hours at my other job, and this job in ministry has been just a joy and encouragement when I needed it most.
Summer rolled around and both of our new neighbors moved in. It was like salt being rubbed into a wound. Sadly we do not share any clientele with these new neighbors, and the front of our building became a constant loading dock and extended parking for semi trucks. Knowing that our lease was up in six months, I let my landlord know in August I would not be renewing our lease for another four years. It was clear it was time to go; our foot traffic went to nearly zero by October with the increased semi traffic every day. The cost of overhead was now killing me. It was the last piece in the puzzle to have HD Soap back on track.
My prayer for HD Soap at this point wasn’t even long anymore. It was just simple. “Lord, if we are not meant to continue, I can let it go. Just say it. ‘Close up.’ And I will. I’m tired.”
Stay tuned for part two on Tuesday!
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