Happy birthday Marigold + True! Top 10 things I’ve learned about being a shopkeeper.

Jul 20, 2021 | Life in Progress

Has it already been one year?


This week we are celebrating the 1 year anniversary of opening my little shoppe, Marigold + True.

I thought I would share the top ten things I want to remember about this last year and a few things I’ve learned about being a shopkeeper.



1. I never in a million years could have anticipated that we would sign a lease for a brick and mortar shoppe only for a global pandemic to emerge a couple of weeks later. Prior to the pandemic, there were so many magical serendipities that made saying YES to this particular dream very very easy. I’m so glad I had that beautifully optimistic trust-filled foundation from which to travel some very stressful months that followed.



2. I want to remember the months of preparation and creativity and hard work that my family gave to me as they helped with all the tiny and million details that goes into opening a shoppe. Because of the pandemic, I wasn’t able to hire staff, so it was endless loonnng hours and boatloads of Trust as I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into.

My 75 year old dad steadily and happily showed up each week to build tables and shelves and benches while navigating the daunting task of going to Home Depot during Covid times. My mom lovingly painted walls, hung wallpaper, unpacked countless boxes of inventory, decorated, and many many other things. My friend Cinnamon, who was in my Pandemic “pod”, let me hire her for a few pivotal weeks to get all of our inventory uploaded into our system. My husband John fed me and loved me up, endlessly supporting my vision. And True, my 9 year old at the time, painted walls, hammered nails, skateboarded up refreshments from home, and enthusiastically connected the POS system and cash drawer. Looking back, I’m not entirely sure how we did it! I am so, so proud of us.



3. I want to remember how joyful I felt when we were finally able to open in July of 2020. My community showed up. The local community showed up. It’s such a vulnerable thing to wonder, “Will people show up?” And they did. They did!!! My heart burst with a sense of accomplishment as if this little shoppe was a gift I was working on for the world and it could finally be opened.



4. I’ve learned that being a shopkeeper is a lot like being an artist. It starts with an idea that takes on a specific vision. It takes time to come forth from idea to an actual thing. It can be exciting and scary along the way. It feel vulnerable to offer it to the world. It creates a sense of creative satisfaction. It builds community, speaking and resonating directly with people who share similar sensibilities, tastes, and heart. I never knew the amount of heart and soul that goes into my favorite shops and now I know. Massive respect to shopkeepers everywhere!



5. I‘ve learned that it is SO rewarding to support other artists and makers who offer up their wares for wholesale. When we were placing orders in the midst of the Pandemic, we received countless emails from makers expressing their gratitude for orders during a time when most retailers were being forced to  freeze spending. I will never forget those emails.



6. I’ve learned that shopping local is truly one of the biggest gifts you can give to your community, whether it’s a small town, or a neighborhood shoppe. The money you spend in your community stays in your community, something that is good for everyone. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when someone chooses to purchase something from Marigold + True. They’re not just purchasing a gift for themselves or someone else, they are purchasing all the joy that went into curating the shoppe. 

7. I’ve learned that it not only takes your local community supporting you but all the sweet souls who interact with us across the globe who want to shop small. It is a real community of faraway friends that support, cheer us on, and support our small but mighty mission to create delight and spread joy by offering up curated treasures for an inspired life.


8. When we were finally able to hire staff for the shoppe (Fall 2020), I’ve never been more grateful for help. I’ve been so lucky to have awesome, creative, hard working women work at Marigold + True these last few months.. Working as an artist for the last 15 years was more of a solo, internal endeavor. There is something about havng a brick and mortar shoppe that feels more like a big and wide collaboration between me, my staff, our customers, our little town, our tourists, our vendors, and on and on. Love that!



9. I want to remember having Katie Daisy and Karen Eland coming to paint our big gorgeous mural on the side of our shoppe! Dream come true!!!! I looooove watching people stop by and take photos in front of it. It’s a daily joy.

10. In many many ways, I’ve learned that the first year of shopkeeping is just harnessing all the energy and getting it out there. Not super polished, but IN the world. In many ways, one year after opening, I feel like we are just getting started. We recently hired more folks to help us slowly grow. I’m endlessly excited about where we’re headed.

Has it been hard at times? Yes! At times have I wondered what in the world am I doing? Yes! Has it been magical, too? Big Yes.

I’ve learned that most things that are worth it have an arc to their story, like any good hero’s journey. There is excitement and love and then hard work and perhaps burnout and struggle and questions and then there is emerged beauty with steady, grounded Joy. We have traveled the full breadth of the arc this year, like any good Introduction describes. Now, onto creating and living the rest of the story. I can’t wait to see what happens. Happy birthday, Marigold + True!

Big love,
Kelly Rae

Mark Your Calendars!

PS: We are celebrating our 1 year anniversary during Art Walk in Sisters on Friday, July 23rd. Our entire store will be 20% off (online too!) for one day only. We’re also having a raffle for a $100 gift card. To enter, all you have to do is sign up for our newsletter!

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (3 comments)
  1. Barbara Gustafson

    I look forward to seeing your things and I hope it will be easy to order.

  2. jennifer hartsfield

    So proud of you Kelly for hanging in there!!! As a shop owner myself I know how hard it has been the last year while so many places have closed. Now the issue is getting people to work!!! With all the government help no one wants to work when they can stay home and make money!! So “good for you”!!! for sticking with it. I’ve followed you and taken many on line classes for years from you so I’m so happy for you! Take care and best of luck with your new adventure!!

    • Celia Bacon

      So true about people not willing to work! Sad! But thank goodness the entrepreneurial spirit lives in some!


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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