family photoIf any of you have been in my office in the store, you’ve seen the quotes on my wall, and know that I love them…the inspirational kind, not the punctuation kind, although those are excellent, and not to be dismissed either!

There’s a quote that I recently saw that, in light of recent events, resonates with me. Stacy London (of the wonderful What Not to Wear) recently tweeted it, and here is what it said, “A beautiful man just said a profound thing to me: Crisis creates strength. Diamonds are forged under pressure.”

There are times in all of our lives when things happen to us that allow us the opportunity to become that diamond and shine. For me it was July 21st – the day I received a diagnosis of breast cancer. After the numbing shock that comes with hearing those words wore off, Dale began phoning family and our closest friends. My first thought was how do we deal with this new normal, with the boys, as a family. Then it was, how do I deal with this in regards to my other family, which is the store, and all of you.

I love what I do – it’s not just a “job,” and while owning your own business offers it’s own challenges, I love each and every interaction I have with all of you. I love being part of your birthday, anniversary, or Christmas celebrations. I love helping you create that perfect custom piece. I love helping you pick out the perfect engagement ring to start your life with, just as I love celebrating life’s milestone occasions to come with you. It’s always an honor when you choose to come through our doors to celebrate life special occasions. Just as it’s an honor to give back and serve the community to which we belong.

My first instinct was to not disclose what was going on with me, but to keep quiet and carry-on with whatever this “new normal” looked like. However, after meeting with my surgical oncologist and getting a better scope of the situation, I felt that sharing this with all of you was the better option.

This diagnosis is allowing me to show up in bigger, more expansive ways both personally and professionally. We all have room to grow on those fronts. Business wise, this means that while I will need to take some time off these coming months (although I have very intention of coming in as soon as I’m able) that we are committed more than ever to ensuring you receive the best support and service when you walk through our doors.

We are revamping all of our policies, procedures, and supplier relationships to ensure that you receive even better support and service. Lynn Brooks, who many of you already know will be taking over the day-to-day management of the store. Some familiar faces will fill-in the gaps and we are even more committed than ever to giving you the highest level of quality and service. Lynn, Dale, and I are doing all of our fall buying right now, and we’re planning special ways to celebrate the holidays in the coming months. In short, it will be business as usual – only enhanced, more customer-centric business as usual.

Personally, my family and I will use this opportunity to grow both independently and as a family. As I told the boys when we discussed the diagnosis, this doesn’t define you or our family – it just allows us the opportunity to all become more present in the lives we have. I have a surgery date scheduled soon and from everything that they have told us, all will be well in our world shortly. I am grateful that this prognosis is allowing me and my family, the opportunity to pause and reflect on what’s important to us.

Since I’m on the theme of quotations, I will end with another quote a dear friend said to me the other day, after we had a cry and discussed this diagnosis. She said, “You have the power to say, this is not how my story will end.” This is just the beginning, and I intend to come out of this like that diamond and shine for years to come.

-Sandra