The Wayback Machine — OZ, the Store

I’d been looking for a building to open the retail store. I didn’t want to rent. We’d done some pop-up stores. Those experiences taught me I didn’t want a landlord telling me what I could or couldn’t do. Or, if I was a success, raising my rent and making it impossible to stay. I’ve seen so many businesses forced out because they couldn’t afford the rising rents.

I was lucky enough to afford to buy.

It was difficult, because my building had to meet certain criteria:

—It had to be sunny and welcoming.

—It had to have charm (no strip malls).

—It had to pass the Feng Shui test for success (I have a friend who’s a Feng Shu master).

—The location was important.

It was hard to find. It got harder and harder, the longer I looked to find a place. Then something would happen and the deal would fall through, or it just wouldn’t be right.

I was with my friend Bunny. We were at Nirvana, the coffee shop in Barnstable village, for a sandwich. We looked across the street, where there was a building for sale. It had been on the market for two or three years. It had a saggy roof that looked like it would fall in any minute. It was like the last dog left at the pound, or the orphan nobody wanted to adopt.

But we sat and we looked, and the longer we looked, the more it felt right.

We took our sandwiches across the street, and at them on that building’s porch, looking back at Nirvana. Looking at “nirvana” from the site seemed, to me, a sign.

Plus, it’s on the Ghost Tour for Barnstable Village.

My friend did the Feng Shui.

I walked around the building, and found snowdrops (link back to spring post, talking about snowdrops). I saved one. I still have it, with the Feng Shui notes.

The building contained two apartments, which gave me extra income, and made the sale more affordable.

If the building wanted me to have it, I would have it. It was destiny. If you listen, you will know the right answer. Always.

It turned out we knew the owner. Actually, the wife was the owner, and she passed away. Her husband put it on the market, and there it sat. His wife had loved the building, loved the space.

Because it had been on the market for so long, I made a reasonable offer, and it was accepted. The inside had been well-renovated. There were lots of doors. Lots of them. We took them off. We painted the inside turquoise, pink, and yellow to make it fun.

The roof still sagged. Our builder had it all shored up inside to hold up the roof. We knew it wouldn’t fall. This past spring, we put on a new roof. They found four layers of shingles, about six tons, on that poor roof. The building gave a sigh of relief when that burden was lifted off.

We are close to the water table, with the marshes and so close to the ocean. We are only three feet about under the water table. I thought I’d discovered a fresh water spring near the building when I saw water bubbling up. I had this great idea: we’d bottle OZ water and sell our own special brand! It turned out the water was from the sump pump, so it’s a good thing we didn’t try to move forward on that business venture.

I planted roses. I have a way with plants. The roses bloomed until December. The front gardens are welcoming.

We have pink chairs on the porch, and a turquoise rug. We have small mirrors hanging down, and Japanese lanterns on the porch.

I know the building likes me. The ghost (if it’s there) accepts me, and likes the fun. Now, women take joy and have fun when they come inside. No matter what your size, age, or body type, we can find something to make you happy and look good.

People have thanked me for turning the building into a store and not just another law office or realty office. It’s so sad that many villages on the Cape are losing their independent stores. There are fewer and fewer of them. Barnstable Village has been supportive and thankful.

Our spring hours, in May, are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 10-5. In June, we expand to Wednesday through Saturday, also 10-5. From July until we close for the winter, we are usually open seven days. Monday through Saturday’s hours are 10-5, and Sundays from 11-4.

We look forward to seeing you at OZ!