Liv Collective Update
I’ve thought a lot about whether or not I wanted to put this story out into the world. I don’t want anyone to think that 2022 was the worst year ever or that my experience with Liv Collective was all bad. Because that’s not the truth at all. 2022 definitely wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows but I found myself this year. I learned a lot about myself and others. I discovered what I actually want out of life. I identified who I want to be and how I want to show up in this world. I began to heal a lot of unhealthy thought patterns. Do I wish it would have been easier? Maybe… but as they say “like the rainbow after the rain, joy will reveal itself after the sorrow.” Here’s my story:
Most of you know by now but if you missed the announcement, I sold Liv Collective and I am no longer the owner! I’ve been asked by a lot of people ask, “how do you feel?” While it is somewhat bittersweet, I am mostly relieved.
This was always the plan. I opened the collective to help small businesses be able to have a brick and mortar experience without all the overhead. I also started it as a way to occupy the space I had leased for the next three years. If you asked, I told you that my goal was either to get the collective to a place where I could sell it or get it to the end of the lease. There was no long term plan for me to always own the collective. I will admit that I lost sight of this plan because plot twist… I was making plans to CLOSE the collective when I got the offer from the new owner to buy it.
Very early on after opening in March I kept getting this gut feeling that this just wasn’t right. I pushed so hard and felt like no matter what I did, I hit roadblock after roadblock. Something wasn’t working, someone wasn’t happy, something was wrong. I felt like no matter what I did, it was the wrong thing in someone’s eyes. I couldn’t win. Which was crazy because the actual process of opening was a breeze. I had absolutely no problems with the build out, getting vendors, etc. Anyway, those gut feelings turned into losing my appetite, losing my appetite turned into not eating… for days at a time. Not eating obviously really affected my health, mental and physical, which lead to not sleeping but never wanting to get out of bed, extreme weight loss, vision problems, stomach problems, full body anxiety attacks at the drop of a hat… I’m not kidding you, I could receive a single text message that would send me into an anxiety attack for HOURS. I was suffering.
And the crazy thing is… no one knew. Everyone in my life was expecting me to perform at a level of perfection but little did they know I could barely get out of bed most days. I didn’t want to get out of bed most days.
Luckily, I had started seeing a therapist in January 2022 and I truly think that saved my life because I was able to walk through all of this with her. I was so aware of what was happening with me, I just didn’t know what to do or how to get out of it.
August was a really hard month. This is when I knew something had to change. Do I ask someone to buy it, do I stick it out for a couple years, or do I close the collective? In a way all options felt like failure… I didn’t feel like anyone would want to buy the collective, closing something that was such a cool place to shop and we had so many wonderful loyal customers… a huge fail. But sticking it out for another two years and losing that much more of myself… also a huge fail. I prayed for months on end.
Late October/Early November… I was getting pretty close to needing to make a decision. There were quite a few vendor contracts expiring soon and in the case of a closure, I wanted to plan ahead so customers didn’t feel blindsided and still had a chance to shop a few more times and spend gift cards, credit, etc. At this point, the original person I wanted to sell to was no longer involved with the collective so I was between sticking it out or closing. I remember it clear as day… I was laying in bed praying over and over and over “Dear God, should I close the collective?” After a couple times I just heard “Close the collective.”
The collective was a brand new business, of course it needed intentional internal work to make it thrive. Anyone who expected perfection from a brand new business was delusional. But I wasn’t the person who could lead it through the next phase of growth and since I didn’t have any buyers at this point, I moved forward with closing plans. I made some changes and began lining up finances, I made a communication plan for vendors + employees, I planned the public announcement. During all these plans is when I got the offer…
And here we are! The collective has been under new ownership for about two weeks now and I’ve been soaking up how good I feel. Looking back, everything was so perfectly aligned and there is no doubt in my mind that this was supposed to happen this way.
To wrap it up, I just want to thank everyone who gave me grace this year and supported me. I will never claim that I’m perfect or that I made all the right decisions but I can confidently say that I did everything with the best of intentions. It’s really easy to say you could do something better than someone else when you aren’t walking in their shoes. 2022 was one big learning lesson for me… but I’ll save that story for another day 🤍