I still marvel that the philosophy of a quote from Reflections on the Art of Living/A Joseph Campbell Companion became my recurring reality. ”There is a track just waiting there for each of us, and once on it, doors will open that were not open before and would not open for anyone else. Everything does start clicking along and, yes, even Mother Nature herself supports the journey.” The first such open door was a card, from my friend Margaret Mullens, with a quote from Goethe ” Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” This inspiration literally was the catalyst for me to begin my dream.
One day soon after, I was walking my dog in my neighborhood of Evergreen Historic District admiring the recently remodeled windows of Stonewall Lodge. At that moment, a real estate agent, Les Frazier, drove by and stopped to say hello. From my inquiry about the space, he arranged for me to see it the next day. Once I entered the space, I knew – this was it! Signing that lease was BIG! As I moved further into this commitment, another open door in this process was meeting Carol Wilson, a visiting interior designer from Arizona. We were drawn to each other at a school function and agreed to meet for coffee and conversation. Her words “I would very much like to help you create the space for your new shop” felt like a divine gift as I barely had a clue how I would begin this. But begin we did. We found old architectural pieces that would become display shelves and tables, picked paints and designed tiles for the concrete floor. Most memorable was the day my sign was hung. I was star-struck!
My next challenge was navigating Market. I am grateful to my husband Gene for his stabilizing presence during this first experience. An overwhelming exercise in decision-making, I was close to catatonic from the stress! Also, I realized the power of laughter to soothe the psyche which came by way of You the Man line of humorous cards. These cards marked the first purchase for the shop and started the process of diane’s market finds. That afternoon, someone in the hotel lobby asked me what I did for a living. After 27 years of being in the health profession, I said for the first time “I’m a gift and art shop owner!” Thus was the start of my ten year journey.