We have been so blessed. Today we sit in awe of how many dear friends we have made, making the town of Franklin our home. Although we don’t sit often, we do have great appreciation for the support of our amazing customers and local businesses. Like I said, we rarely get the opportunity to sit still long enough to take it all in. This past month has been really significant as we contemplated our next step in the long journey that we have been called to take. Sometimes, it’s undeniable what route you take on the journey, and sometimes it just has to really hit you in ways beyond comprehension. (Insert two by four here)
Acknowledging and answering the calling is only part of the equation. More than 3 years ago, Brandon and I knew we were going to do something different. A chaotic lifestyle juggling jobs, children, a difficult diagnosis with our son (The Marshmallow part of our story) and it seemed daunting to remotely think we could add a business to it. God nudged us and we knew we were supposed to open the Marshmallow Monkey. In part, it felt like a legacy -preserving tactic to keep our grandpa’s business going for a third generation, but we found it quickly became more. We added our own spin on the first generation business, which was originally built on friendships and great tomatoes. Of course, you know we can decorate like nobody’s business, create the most heartfelt and unique floral arrangements, make paint smell like marshmallows and unearth the most amazing treasures to adorn your home. But that’s not all we have been called to do.
The question is, did we answer the call? No, not right away. God has put us in many situations, to help prepare us for our calling, quietly speaking to our hearts, affirming we are on target with our direction. So many opportunities have been bestowed upon us and all that counts cannot necessarily be counted. From helping tie the community together by locating every single spool of white and blue ribbon in the state when local tragedy hit, to customizing a special gift for an important milestone, or helping bring a new business to town, it’s about making each encounter count. So many moments, people, conversations, ideas, recipes for success, and disappointments have been swirling for the last year. Sometimes the “nudge” that is felt seems to pass unrecognized as quickly as the sun rising and setting by day. Countless relationships have been formed, gleaning more clear navigation to our new “true north.”
The past month has been the most significant month in our lives. It’s undeniable where we should be going. It all started with a dinner invitation we received from our friends who also have a budding business. We have supported their products and even sold them in our store. Although our friends have been on many brainstorming adventures of new buildings, creating restaurants and otherwise, we each have remained true to our callings. The dinner invitation sent was a theme titled “Taste” sharing reference to the scripture Psalm 34:8. Admittedly, I didn’t know the exact context of the scripture, so I googled it. But instead of typing 34:8, I had transposed the numbers to Psalm 32:8. Like out of a science fiction novel, the words appeared giant on my computer screen. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” That makes a person pause for a moment.
We probably didn’t mention it, but this was also in the height of huge “life” contemplation moment, a day when every aspect of our life was being second-guessed. Many small business owners won’t admit it, but there are so many sacrifices we make to keep the engine running. When most of our friends are out socializing, we are doing inventory on a Friday night. Or when most take vacations, we stay up late in another city on a buying trip (not sitting on the beach) trying to nab the best deals for our customers. We eat, sleep, and breathe our business and customers.
In that contemplation moment when the large print hit me in the face, I shared it quickly with my friend who had sent the dinner invitation. Through an exchange of ironic (well, maybe not ironic) emails, we discovered that their business was looking to grow. Timing, or the calling, sometimes does not come when you expect it. We soon realized that the ever-scrunched space that the Marshmallow Monkey had outgrown was perfect for their growing business. It was clear that it was our duty to help another business bloom.
These same friends, who sent us a “Taste” of the future in the form of an invitation, also got the “call” for a larger space and have officially purchased our current location on Jefferson Street. This is just the first chapter in a very interesting story. As we finalize all of our timelines with both the new biz coming to town and our re-opening events, you will be the first to know.
Don’t worry, we aren’t going far. Our latest turn on the journey has allowed us to purchase a larger building right here in Franklin. The new Marshmallow Monkey store will be located just south of the courthouse on the town square in downtown Franklin. The new address will be 41 W. Monroe. But we aren’t moving just yet.
It’s business as usual until July. From July 1-August 15, we will be restocking our new store and getting it ready for a grand re-opening. We will also be going on our annual buying trip during that time just like we do every year. Once we return, it will be just in time have you join us for our grand re-opening which is tentatively scheduled for August (date to be determined). Make sure to look for your invite, and keep in the know by following our journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Make sure your ringer is turned up; your call may be coming soon. Monkey see, monkey do.