I have the world’s greatest accountant. I bring her sloppy folders with my month’s receipts and she makes sense of them. Without her I would have to close the store because I would not know when or how much to send the government in sales tax, and I would probably be locked up. My students in Juvie always informed me that they would get out of there before I did (and they were correct! I was there 8 years!) I could reunite with them again behind bars and prove them right again. She is very honest and very direct. I met with her on Monday and she reviewed my numbers with me. 

“I’m doing great!” I announced before we began.

“Well,” she said sadly, looking at the paperwork,”You are in the negative. By now you would think you would be making money…”

“I must be making money!” I was puzzled. “I have money in the bank!”

New potter in the shop! Meet Allie Stack of Asheville.

“Again, look at the numbers. You are buying more than you are selling. That puts you in a negative position. You are not making money.” She looked sad.

Numbers are a mystery to me. I have been told that I am Innumerate. (Like being illiyerate, but with numbers.) I did look at the numbers, and according to that bottom line, I am in the negative. But, you know, there is so much more to life than the bottom line. 

“If I did not have the store I would be in therapy and taking mood-boosting drugs. I am in a much better financial situation now than I would be,” I explained to her. “Poor Ron would have to take out a loan to pay for my treatment.”

Leather purses made in Europe. Carry with or without strap.

It’s true, though. Owning Chifferobe is profitable in so many ways. I love coming to the shop (don’t call it work!) I enjoy change and I can change things around in here as often as I want to. People always think I have new merchandise when in fact it’s just mostly the same things but in different locations. But speaking of new merchandise, that is one of the best things about owning a shop. I can search for and buy all kinds of new things every day. If you are not a shop owner, you have to ask yourself painful questions before you buy: Do I need it? Where will I put it? Can I afford it? But when you own a shop you have a duty to your customers to buy new stuff all the time. 

Antique English child’s tea set.

I am an extrovert, meaning I get fed by being around other people. Being at Chifferobe affords me the opportunity to meet new people all the time and to visit with people I know whenever they drop by. If I were retired and stayed at home all day, no one would drive up the long dirt road leading to my house to say hello. But at Chifferobe, they know they will find me here most days, and they come by to visit. Former students from Charlotte stop by frequently and make me feel great! 

I have the freedom to get out of my house every day, I see people all day long, I get to rearrange things as often as I want to, and I am obliged to shop and spend money. Tell me that Chifferobe is not profitable!

Collection of like-new cashmere sweaters at low prices