We left our sweet little town of Asheville last week to deliver some furniture to Miami Florida. We of course couldn't help ourselves from picking the entire way back. In the 5 days we spent on our way to and from Florida we experienced an overwhelming amount of hospitality from our customers, other dealers, and friends that welcomed us into their homes.
The couple we delivered the furniture to were so understanding of our late arrival time due to traffic, heavy amounts of rainfall, and our complications with our running lights on the trailer. They booked us a hotel for the night, stored our massive paddle boards in their home (so they wouldn't be stolen in the hotel parking lot) and let us pick starfruit from their front yard on the way out. Seriously, does it get much better than that?! These people were the definition of kindness and generosity.
The second day was a little challenging as our air conditioning decided to stop working while we were out picking. After several hours of driving around in the crazy heat we decided it was worth the money to find an auto shop that could fix it. We pulled into the closest mechanic shop and we were back on the road within an hour. It was one of those days where it was a constant in and out of the truck in hopes of finding a few pieces that would make all of the driving worthwhile. The sun was starting to go down and the shops were closing up and we were feeling a little defeated. Luckily for us, our friend Renj from Modern Redemption gave us a call and invited us to stay at his sweet mid century modern home in Winter Haven. His house was designed by a well known architect named Gene Leedy. Needless to say Todd and I definitely geeked out for the first few hours.
The next morning we drove to Orlando to check out his shop and another one called Something Different before we headed towards St. Pete to visit with some friends. It was a full day of picking and loading furniture. We made a quick trip to our friend Eric's warehouse where we found some gems. That night we stayed with one of Todd's best friends and his two boys in Largo. We woke up on Saturday feeling a bit more rested and excited to take our giant paddle boards (that we lugged all the way down to Florida) to the ocean. It always feels so good to step on the board and paddle away from everything. All of the responsibility that comes with owning a business somehow fades away and I'm only concentrating on stabilizing myself on the board and paddling forward. That night Todd and Jamie had some fun mixing vinyl while I watched movies. They even brought me dinner in bed (so sweet!).
(Modern Redemption - above)
(Something Different - above)
We spent our last two days stuffing as much as possible into our truck and trailer. It literally took 2.5 hours to load it for the last time. We felt like we were playing tetris! Thank God we had a lot of help from Renj. We couldn't have done it without him, especially towards the end as I was being attacked by mosquitos! haha
On the way home I couldn't stop thinking about how fortunate we are to have such amazing friends and customers. It may come as a surprise to some people but we are friends with a lot of furniture dealers in the mid century world. Unfortunately our society has made it very normal and acceptable to compete against everyone to rise to the top of whatever you are doing. I simply don't agree with that mentality. I believe in doing what is right and helping other people along the way. Everyone has to start somewhere and most likely you wouldn't be where you are today if someone hadn't given you a little bit of advice or invested in you in someway. I don't want to gain success from pushing other people down for my own personal benefit. Even if that means it will take me twice as long and I have to work twice as hard to be successful. Integrity is everything! What you do for a living is an aspect of your life but it certainly doesn't define who you are as a person. How you relate to people does. Relationships are what make this life so worth living. We need to be there for each other through the good and bad.