Friday, November 22, 2013

New and Improved!!

How could a non profit shop with no extra resources move to a bigger building and furnish the whole thing?   Keep reading and I will tell you the story.....

Before and After

As most of you know we built the tiny little shop on the front yard of our friend's Marcos'  Mom's yard.  It was small because we only had the area from the front of her house to the sidewalk. The back wall was about 5 inches away from her house and she gave up the use of her bed room window.    But we were happy since it was income for that family and also income for the artists who were in the shop.
Well last year we were approached by a tour company through Norwegian Dawn to be part of an Local Craft and Shopping Tour  and we were very excited about this new possibility!

  But we realized that our little brown and yellow shop would be super crowded!  I used to joke and say that when we had more then 7 people in there that everyone needed to take a step to the left!!

  So we met with Zenola and Marco to see how they felt about us possibly moving to a bigger space.   Zenola said she was happy to have her own little souvenir shop.  We didn't want to do anything before talking with them since they have become like family to us.   So we had the green light to move and so we started to look at rentals near the port and we were shocked at the prices!!  WOW!  Most places were well over 1000.00 a month and there was no way we could afford that and still maintain being non profit.  But God is faithful and  He had other plans.  As usual.

At around the same time I got an email from a lady named Rhonda who  we had met last year and she  asked if she could come down and 'help with the shop'.  I didn't really know what that would look like but we welcome all help so we said, 'Come on down'.
Debi and Rhonda

Two days prior to her arrival on the island we saw a shop for rent across the street from our old shop.  It just 'so happened' that I knew the lady who was renting it.  She attended an island ladies bible study with me.  I called her up and found out that the price was reasonable and we went to look at it. It was very nice!!   But we were still undecided because we really didn't have the resources to furnish it (we had a few shelves and a couple of wooden display cabinets).  When Rhonda saw it she said, "Take it!  I am here to help decorate and furnish it!  That is why I came!!" WHAT??! We couldn't believe that she would do that.  How generous!  How incredible!

  She owns a shop in Texas called Rusty Bugs and Roosters so she has alot of experience in setting up shop!    Isn't that awesome!??   The cool part is that we re-purposed things from the island by using wash boards, wooden strainers, cable spools, old broken chairs, bicycle rims, coconut graters! It was great to go to the market to purchase them items because it helped so many local families in the process.

We scrounged around looking for old pieces of wood, we did alot of painting, making displays, sanding old wood pieces and watching in awe as Rhonda designed a new shop for us.
Getting ready to paint the washboards/displays
Rubeen hand cutting price tags
we wanted to use the center beam for hanging things so bob wrapped old painted boards around the beam. 
smart huh?!

I will admit  that when I saw Rhonda taking down the old
Made in Roatan sign I was sentimental!
An old chapter closing and a new one beginning

We still needed to finish pricing merchandise  and also set up the shop but once again we had help..  It was the day before the shop was to open and we were there in the sweltering heat working away when the daughter of one of our artists came in and asked if she could help.

  We had soooo much to do so I gratefully took her help and I was so impressed with her decorating style and it was then that she told me she manages Dufry's in the Port!!!   I just laughed and thought.... that is so like Him to provide someone who had the skills to help us!!  :-)
And then Yourgin and his family showed up and the boys had fun
hammering nails in the washboards to hang necklaces.

The shop has been open for a few weeks now and we are really enjoying it!   Thanks to everyone!  For Rhonda for her ideas, and her generous help in funding the new shop, for Dee for the use of his truck, for Chelsea for helping with set up, for my 'girls: Diana, Rubeen and Christena for painting and making tags, your Yourgin and his family for hammering many nails in the washboards, for Bob for hours and hours of painting, cutting wood, making new signs, and  mostly for the Lord's daily provision for this ministry!

Angela and Cristy enjoying having a big work space at the shop

  And for YOU, for your continued support in our vision to help people help themselves!

The NEW Made in Roatan
Kelsi, Nicole, Lora and Bob who all volunteer there!

Can't wait to meet many of you and to have many repeat visits!

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