When I was a tiny girl I remember my mother taking me to a frozen ice cream parlor. The name of it was “Good Time Charlie’s” and the floor was black and white square pattern. I can also remember her dragging me through fabric stores and giving me a quarter to pick out buttons and lace for my own creations if I would just let her shop for a bit. My memories weave around my gram Beck and Aunt Helen and their divine love of goodies and home baking all the time. My grandmother made homemade caramels every holiday season. No matter where I traveled in this world she would send me a small brick wrapped up in an old checking box she had saved. My Aunt Helen dipped chocolates to die for and as memory serves she was never without a smile when she handed them out. I grew up in a very simplistic way and adorned with homemade treasures by women who loved me.
I was creative from an early age and earned a degree in interior design. That could only last for so long before the children came and their needs were placed first. I stayed at home when my son was born and started my first business called “Simply thinking of you”. I ran boutiques out of my home until I earned enough money for a small shop in Alpine, Utah. Both of my babies loved to watch and help me in my craft room and I was a success for four years. Time had turned an awful fate and my darling son had to endure a bone marrow transplant. This left me living in a children’s hospital to care for him for several months. I had to sell my business to a friend. It was my passion but my five year old needed me more. I vowed one day to get it back.
Eight years rolled by and I found myself divorced after 20 years and working as a medical assistant with a teenage girl to raise on my own. I let my creativity go completely in order to provide for us and do the right thing for her. One day I was walking by an empty store with a rent sign on it. I pondered the fate of the dingy little box and inquired about the possibilities. I never forgot the dream to have my own place back. I thought about my darling daughter and how she needed a job, a safe job where she could finish growing and learning all that she could from me. I thought about my baby boy and how he would come into my store back in Utah and say, “Oh mama..this is soooo darling”. I thought about the magic of my childhood and the innocence that was always mine and the women who nurtured me in creativity.
The thoughts churned until I signed a lease and dared to get a corner of wonderment back for myself and my remaining child. When she was little I nicknamed her LooBelle. I thought this name fitting for frivolity and all that can spill forth from a child’s laughter and grace. We bought some pink paint, emptied our meager savings and started coloring the walls and planning. She and I have always worked together since she was little. It did not matter if it was stirring up a batch of bath salts or making marshmallow pop guns for the farmers market; we have done it side by side.
So it is finally done; a little store where people can come to get an affordable treat or small gift or just to stop and say hello. It is not about the money for us, all though we would like to earn some to cover our expenses. It is about being together, creating and making a sweet spot in life to stop for a moment in wonder and remember the good things that life has to offer and hopefully make a few friends along the way.