I’ve been thinking about this update since the beginning of March, to be quite honest with you. How I was going to write this one, my tone, my word-choice, what I included and what I should leave out, the whole nine yards. My thoughts have changed in many ways during the month so I’m purely offering up what comes to mind at this moment and going with it.

One of the plans we’ve had in place for Snoots was always to move locations. I’ve never talked about it because it was truly just an idea for the future, one that I assumed would mean we were growing enough to the point that a larger space was the next step towards more business success. My goal was to be ready and entering somewhere new by the end of spring, early summer. For the entirety of 2020, I’ve spent a lot of time packing up inventory and organizing with all of this mind, while simultaneously trying to balance my time with marketing, R & D, and not freaking myself out (lol). Sadly, I learned on March 3rd that the space we were renting needed to be vacant by the 1st of April. Yeah. Boom. Naturally, I’m an indecisive person so I function better when choices are set and I’m forced to adapt, but still. It was shocking. I didn’t think we were ready.

Now I’m not trying to come off any type of way, but I have no distinct negative feelings about any of this (sadness, anger, etc.). Not yet, at least. It’s possible that I’m just so overwhelmed I’m numb to acknowledging what’s happening or maybe I’m actually at peace with the whole thing and trying to force some type of dismal emotion about it to heal will backfire and get me worked up, but this couldn’t have made any more sense to me. It sounds crazy, I realize that. But there’s more to this.

You’re all experiencing the chaos outside in some form. This is uncharted territory. It’s scary and weird and we as people hate being uncomfortable. It’s why we have savings accounts or any other form of “security”. It’s why I waited as long as possible to take charge of a situation that terrified me, aka moving. Just because we planned on moving Snoots around doesn’t mean I wanted to. What would that do for business? What if I can’t find a permanent place? What will this do to my mental health? And the list goes on.

March was supposed to be one of the busiest months of 2020 for me. I had a nine-day vacation out in Missouri planned, a weekend trip to Kentucky planned, two fashion shows planned, a Snoots market in Spring Lake planned, and then doctor’s appointments, daily to-do’s, what have you. When I got the news that I needed to have my office and our warehouse packed up by April 1st, I had a mini-panic. The only weekend that would work for me to move out was that very first weekend in March, almost an entire month before the deadline. I didn’t have a new space lined up for us to move into yet, leaving the garage at my house our only option (no thanks). But, that’s what I did. By the time that Saturday was over, all I had left in my office were some bins for our upcoming sale, my desk, and some clothes I was sorting through. The warehouse had our empty racks still up and our gigantic industrial fan for when it got too hot during the summer. I figured since I would be in the office for the rest of the month, I might as well leave a little bit there for me to do.

That whole time I was a little sad-nostalgic to be leaving where Snoots started, but I realized this just puts us one step closer to finding a new space. And then all the COVID-19 social distancing and business bans starting happening and everything was put on hold. All trips canceled, all events canceled, everything gone. This is important because I am considered immunocompromised with my thyroid disease and weak immune system and Danielle has autoimmune issues of her own so the stay-at-home movement matters to both of us. We’ve both been avoiding work for the majority of the past few weeks, stopping in to pick things up here and there.

Now, back to when I said this couldn’t have made more sense. I had 95% of everything Snoots related in my home garage, DAYS before the country seemed to fall apart. I have everything I need easily accessible to fill orders, organize, and run the business as usual. I am safe in my house. I don’t need to go anywhere to function like I normally would any regular Monday or Thursday.

A month ago, nearly everything in my life was pretty typical. It’s incredible how quickly life can change but how obvious God works to let us know He’s got this, not us. I did not want to leave so soon. I wasn’t READY. But it was time and that’s clear to me and so humbling. I would be up at night worried about eventually moving, putting the puzzle pieces together in my head and adding to the never-ending list of what I needed to do before that could happen. I was looking online for buildings with cheap rent, knowing we can’t afford that right now. The last thing I wanted to do was move home with work because, in my head, it meant failure. It meant I couldn’t find a new spot, I wasn’t doing something right, I wasn’t trying hard enough. And then some life-threatening-disease changed everything and forced me to stop convincing myself that my success was measured in whether I had an office space or not.

I hope I don’t sound insensitive to those experiencing tough times with this virus and this economy. But I hope you can see that there is beauty in this. There are things to rejoice about. Just like the wonderful stories you can read on Facebook of people helping their elderly neighbors or companies giving away their resources to provide aid or unconventional acts of kindness, this is my silver lining. This is God showing me that I will never have control and that’s for my good.

I want to say thank you to those of you that have reached out to me. This has not been easy but it’s been manageable. I could not be where I am without you. Thank you to my friend, Armondo, for spending a Saturday helping me move on such short notice. Thank you to my friend, Aubree, for using her platform and offering a giveaway and boosting morale with us during this slow time. Thank you to Danielle for being you. Thank you to my dad and my siblings for transporting the racks from the warehouse to our garage. And a final thank you to the Zeeland building that housed Snoots for the past three-ish years and the overflowing generosity and growth I had there. 

I’m not getting political here, but I agree wholeheartedly with what the president has said about the business world. We will recover from this economically, but we cannot bring back those we lose from this sickness. As a child of a small-business owner, as a small-business owner myself, as a friend of many small-business employees, I understand. I’ve said it several times how ridiculous this whole thing is, but I also trust that the elected officials were chosen with a purpose, and God will bless us through and through. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been so clearly shown that His timing is everything, and when He is ready for life to change or move around, He’s gonna make it happen when it’s supposed to. This song by Chris McClarney and Hollyn called “I’m Listening” has been echoing in my head for the past few months and it’s been so special lately, specifically this line: “You see what I cannot see”. I have no idea what is coming next but I’m navigating through all of this and it’s a test of my faith. And I’m washing my hands because actually, my life depends on it. I also use humor to deal with life, if you haven’t noticed ! (Sidenote, pic is me while moving out. You wouldn’t know I’m a fashion designer after looking at my outfit but I enjoy living a life of mystery.)

So here I am, sending love and hope your way. Thank you for reading along. Please keep us in your prayers, among a million other things I’m sure you’re praying about. We do need a permanent space, and I realize that won’t happen for at least a few months but every little bit helps. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay six feet apart. LOL. Love you guys. I’ll be back with a new update in a month.

XO,

Marianne

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