I am exhausted, exhilarated and surprised by our first two months at the kiosk.
I have worked this hard at various points in my life but I’ve never been as exhilarated and thrilled to be working as hard as I am now.
During the great military PCS purgatory of 2012, I begrudgingly accepted the fact that the career I’d worked so hard to obtain was not going to happen beginning on the day I said “I do” to my sailor.
I love to work hard. I watched my Dad start a very risky business from absolutely nothing when I was a young child. He wanted to make sure that his kids knew how to work hard as adults. Combine that with a passion for being challenged and you can understand why I became depressed and angry that I was stuck in Maryland waiting on the military while I watched my career disintegrate before it even started.
I had no clue what I was going to do. During our crazy, quick PCS to Hawaii during which I found I was pregnant, I prayed on the plane, “God I have no idea what I’m going to do. Please give me something I can work hard at so I don’t go crazy for another three years.”
My prayer was answered in a surprising way.
We wound up choosing an old house that is considered sub-standard by Navy standards. And what did this house have besides linoleum with tons of staining on it? A massive patio with a large outdoor storage space.
When we moved in, I decided to try re-painting a desk that I brought with me. I had always wanted to refinish furniture but never had room in our old townhouse in MD.
I posted the desk for sale just for fun and I had people asking to go on a wait list for another desk. I soon had a customer base and requests for certain items.
Someone asked me to do a custom order.
I said yes.
Someone asked me to find them a dresser and paint it.
I said yes.
I kept saying yes until I became the distributor for CeCe Caldwell’s Paints for the state of Hawaii and opened the first retail location of any brand of furniture paint in the state of Hawaii on November 1st.
It hasn’t been all glitter and sparkles (what is in the real world)?! I’m in the middle of some serious business growing pains. But here I am now, a surprised but willing business owner who is happy to share my top five reasons why I love the CeCe Caldwell’s Paint company.
1. The CeCe Caldwell family is a run by a literal family. CeCe, her husband and her daughters run the CeCe Caldwell company. CeCe wanted to develop eco-friendly paints that would be safe around her *adorable* grandson, so she developed a line that became CeCe Caldwell’s Chalk and Clay Paint. CeCe Caldwell’s Paints is a family owned business whose employees at the factory were so loyal and enjoyed working for them so much that they moved from South Carolina, where the company started, to Arizona, where the factory is now, to continue working for CeCe Caldwell’s Paints.
2. The CeCe Caldwell’s staff treats all people with respect. In my sleep deprived state (I received my first pallet less than two weeks after Adair was born), I know I have asked some really stupid questions and spaced out on some important things when I came on. Despite that, I have always been answered and corrected with respect and treated well by the staff at the factory. Similarly, I have never seen a snarky or dramatic comment on the CeCe Caldwell’s Facebook page or social media outlets and *believe me* that is extremely difficult when you run a Facebook page of that size. This professionalism is very important to me. I truly enjoy the people with whom I work at CeCe’s.
3. CeCe’s husband is a combat wounded veteran. I respect his time in service and his sacrifice. CeCe and her husband are very pro-military and two of the distributors for the paint are spouses of active duty service members. CeCe gave me a shot to start up in Hawaii with a mainly military family based customer base and I am very grateful for that. As of now, at least five military spouse business owners in Hawaii are using CeCe Caldwell’s paints on products they sell in their business and more are starting to pop up. This paint offers spouses a way to make some money selling painted furniture or decor no matter where the military sends them.
4. CeCe Caldwell’s Paints is an innovative company. I love the new Endurance Finish. We use it 85% of the time on custom orders and furniture we sell. To my knowledge it is one of the first and most durable all natural polys. CeCe is constantly dreaming up new innovative products. I love that.
5. The CeCe Caldwell’s Family is positive and encouraging. I love being on the CeCe Caldwell’s Retailers Facebook page. We swap ideas, encourage each other and share business tips. I am inspired daily by my fellow retailer’s painted furniture and ideas. We don’t have time for drama as business owners. I barely have time to wash my towels. I love that I encounter inspiration and encouragement from my fellow retailers.
In short, thank you, CeCe Caldwell’s Paints for this opportunity!
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