The future was uncertain.....

It was November 2005. We closed on a downtown space. We were going to be business owners. But downtown Durham was at a cross road. There were orange construction cones everywhere. Buildings were boarded up. It was dark. Characters lurked in the alleyways. There was no one in sight. How were we to succeed?

Especially in an economic downturn.  But we did have enthusiasm and a great deal of faith. So we started, and it was quite exciting. A furniture here and a furniture there. The space looked so big. How can we fill it? What will sell? Who will our customers be? Lola birthed the name "exotique". We created a logo. Its still on our front window.

Lola finalizing the logo

Lola finalizing the logo

Tobi walking around

Tobi walking around

the early days

the early days

our logo

our logo

OMG. this item will fly off the shelves!..... Its still here. Who in the world will buy this.... How much is this item,its beautiful! We have learnt that the customers are completely unpredictable. No doubt - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Over time we grew our business. Took advice. DDI was very encouraging and so supporting (kudos to Matthew, Melissa, Bill Kalkhof). And then, a milestone - our opening ceremony.....