Tuesday, July 2

Building a Store

Who are these people, you ask, and why should I care? 

You shouldn't necessarily. These are my co-workers at a retail store you probably recognize. The girl in the middle in the street clothes is my daughter, Brandi. We both started at this store before it was even open. It was a brand new store, new to our town.

When we walked into the building on our first day, the walls were bare. There were no clothes, no food, no electronics. Just piles and piles of boxes in the middle of the floor. Along with 150 other people, we were to put the store together. From the floor up. Shelves, labels, product. All up to us.

What had I gotten myself into? I didn't know how to read a planogram. I didn't know how to read DPCI numbers or put in label strips.

I took a deep breath and learned.

Planograms were hard. They are essentially a map and I had a difficult time with them. They frustrated the hell out of me. I often put in label strips backwards.

But we did it. The store opened in October 2007.

By the time I left it a month ago, I could do a planogram in my sleep. Label strips? Easy-peasy. I was a trainer and had gotten a promotion I was really proud of.

What's the point, you ask?

Writing has been exactly like building that store. I walked into a class 20-some years ago, knowing nothing. The walls were bare, the shelves empty. Now, all these years later, I have a building (me) I'm proud of with great product (my books).

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!


  1. Good post! I agree- you have to start somewhere, and it's always a learning experience. And what a great store you have now!

  2. And you should be very, very proud of your books and yourself. You hung in there through all the crazy rejections until finally someone sat up an took notice. Congrats on all the books you've released this year and ALL the books you are going to release.
    Have a happy 4th.

  3. I'm so proud of you. You stuck with your dream and now it is a reality. You inspire me!

  4. My favorite part of working in retail has always been opening a new store. I love planograms! They're like a giant jigsaw puzzle ;) lol

    But mostly I love seeing how everything comes together after all our hard work.

    That's what I love about writing, too--

  5. Great post D'Ann! I'm proud of you too!

  6. Ah. Planograms. I know them well. I can't imagine doing planograms for such a large store. There's so much that goes on behind the scenes that no one realizes. Just like writing.

  7. D'Ann,

    An excellent analogy! As you observe, writing is not something we instantly do well. We have to work at it and build our skills.

  8. Great post, as always! I really do envy and your blog writing ability...LOL

    Happy 4th to you too!!!!

  9. Thanks for coming by, all! Have a happy and safe 4th!

  10. Great post, D'Ann! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Fourth! :)