Taking the fork.
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." -Yogi Berra
Glancing back in the rear view mirror, our Frae journey started sometime around January or February of 2020.
Fast forward through pandemic, social restrictions, online learning, and face masks.
Two years of dreams, brainstorms, meetings, mood boards, color stories, sketches, floor plans, spreadsheets, licensing, photoshoots, websites, social media, pop up shops, and SO.MUCH.MORE... all of that prep work has brought us to today.
TODAY - we have a truly exciting announcement!
Interested in the complete story? Read this entire article.
Only have time for the short version? Simply continue to the next sentence:
Frae is opening its first retail location in Billings, MT at 115 Shiloh Road #1 in Shiloh Commons - EARLY JUNE OF 2022!
Maybe you're saying "What?! I thought you were opening somewhere else later?"
Yes. We are still hoping for that original plan to materialize in the future but...
Our original business model was designed to service multiple communities with convenient locations to acquire sustainable goods for daily living.
Frae Everyday Goods is a rebirth of the neighborhood corner store with an updated, modern aesthetic. Prioritizing community and connection with a curated inventory of goods which have positive social, economic, and environmental impact.
A few short weeks ago, the opportunity was presented for us to step into the space of an existing business that was transitioning out of in-person retail sales. While this wasn't part of our original plan, we can't begin to say how grateful we are for the opportunity to continue forward with promoting the 'Shop Local' movement.
Simply Local Marketplace has paved the way for us to bring our own unique business plan forward into a space built upon a love for local.
While our retail inventory will not be exclusively local, our pledge going forward is to purchase and promote locally whenever at all possible.
Sustainability is one of our foundational cornerstones at Frae and sourcing products locally is crucial to realizing and maintaining that element of our business model.
If you're really wanting to know more about how all of this transition manifested, then just keep on reading...
The path to this fork in the road was filled with some truly serendipitous moments -Here are a few notes from our journal:
- 10/15-11/4/2021 - Design and produce FraeSewn Collection.
- 11/5/2021 - Photo shoot with Font & Figure - Models: Casey & Mel
- 11/17/2021 - Jump into the social media pool - Hello Meta!
- 11/29/2021 - Launch website via Cardsetter.com on CyberMonday
- December 2021 - Fill those holiday orders and "Make hay while the sun shines."
- 1/7/2022 - Invited to host pop up event to test product and proof concepts.
- 1/29/2022 - Launch pop up shop at Roots Garden Center in Billings, MT
- Soak up those greenhouse vibes - life and light and a little bit of magic - this phase of our development will always hold a special place in our hearts.
- 2/10/2022 - Invited to host Earth Month pop up at Sanctuary Spa and Salon with 10% of sales to benefit www.charitywater.org - uh, heck yes. We're in!
- 3/16/2022 - Randomly run into a friend and colleague from days gone by in a parking lot. On an ordinary day, in a random place that neither of us tend to frequent. We agree to meet up for coffee in a couple days to 'catch up'.
- 3/18/2022 - Catch up for coffee leads to business proposition. Followed by jitters not induced by caffeine. Extreme joy followed by extreme terror. Folks tell me this is the rollercoaster we call entrepreneurship.
- Details, details, details. Talking it out, weighing the odds. Many more meetings, sleepless nights, so.much.coffee, jitters, emails, texts, tears of joy, bouts of fear, phone calls, paperwork, big numbers, spreadsheets, price quotes... gulp.
- 3/31/2022 - Close Roots pop up, drive down the road, set up at new venue.
- 4/1/2022 - Launch Earth Month pop up shop at Sanctuary Spa and Salon.
- 4/9/2022 - Receive buy/sell agreement from Simply Local Marketplace which includes the point of sale system that we've been trying to hunt down online for months. It's been out of stock everywhere, but somehow it is suddenly right at our fingertips.
- 4/11/2022 - Sign lease agreement for 115 Shiloh Road, Unit #1 - Billings, MT. Can't talk about it because we are under an NDA. Biting lip, humming that damn song from Disney's Encanto Movie "We don't talk about Bruno" - only instead of Bruno, we substitute the word 'Shiloh'.
- 4/12/2022 - Call to inquire about estimated lead time for a refrigeration unit. They just happen to have the ONLY single door, glass front refrigerator unit in stock, in town, in my budget. If you've been dealing with supply chain issues for your home or business, you know this was a magical moment.
- 4/14/2022 - Simply Local Marketplace announces that they are closing at the end of April. They mention '"another incoming local-loving brand" coming in to take over. Hey, that's us! Frae is hiding in the shadows, waiting for the curtain call. Sweating and full to the brim with jitters but we've rehearsed for this. The costumes are designed and the set needs prepped. We are almost ready to step onto the stage...
- 4/26/2022 - Big city, bright lights and we are so close to the spotlight - take a deep breath and --- HERE.WE.ARE.
TAKING THE FORK IN THE ROAD.
We hope you can join us for this leg of the journey - it's gonna be GREAT!