“Fulfilling My Soul Purpose”
An interview with Kay Frandsen – Minneapolis Entrepreneur & Owner of the Wabi Sabi Shop.
The Women’s Excelerator recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kay Frandsen from the Wabi Sabi Shop. The Wabi Sabi Shop is a Plymouth, Minnesota consignment shop offering high quality, gently used and reasonably priced home furnishings, artwork and accessories. Kay offers a unique environment to shop in and you are sure to enjoy the experience at her shop. Kay has been a avid supporter of The Women’s Excelerator program, and in fact has helped us facilitate our Writing Your Business Plan workshop (next scheduled for October 17th). We asked Kay to share with our audience a few words about what prompted her to start a business and to also offer any suggestions she might have for women who are considering starting their own business.
What motivated you to start your own business?
I was working as an interior designer for a large corporation when I was suddenly and without explanation laid off. It wasn’t the first time I’d received a “pink slip” but I vowed this was going to be the last time! I would no longer allow others to decide when I was or wasn’t going to work. I had just turned 50. For the next several months I was hurt, confused, depressed and angry. The heated indignation that smoldered inside during this time slowly turned into a controlled fire – a fire that motivated me to take control of my own destiny. I was determined to find the path that would fulfill me and carry me through the rest of my working career.
How did you finally decide what you wanted to do?
I’ve always believed we each have our own purpose to fulfill. Everyone’s purpose is different. Sometimes it’s a practical need or desire and at times is more of a dream or lifelong goal. In truth, it’s a combination of both. Think of the Yin/Yang symbol – – the two sides make a complete and whole circle, but within either side, there’s always a bit of the opposite. In other words, it’s not purely one thing or the other. I had several months to think about myself and my future (thanks to the bizarrely generous severance package I was given.) I thought a lot about what I enjoy doing, what my strengths are, the skill sets I’ve developed over a lifetime. I reckoned my personality had its positive and negative aspects, but decided I wanted to create the environment where both aspects could play to their strengths. (Even our darker sides can be useful if they’re positioned appropriately for the environment.)
Did your business turnout to be your lifelong dream?
I honestly never dreamed of owning a furniture consignment shop. But by owning and running my business, the Wabi Sabi Shop, I am fulfilling my soul purpose. I am calling the shots. I am calling on every skill, talent and ability I’ve been given. I am in a creative atmosphere, meeting and talking with interesting people every day. I am contributing to my little world and receiving so much appreciation in return that I wake up smiling every morning. I know I am going to be doing something fun, new different, challenging and worthwhile. And I get to bring my dog with me to work every day, too!
What advice would you give others who want to start their own business?
The one thing you need to have to start your own business is a burning desire to transform your ideas into reality. Determination is the key along with Focus, Tenacity, Intuition and Discernment. These are critical capacities you’ll need to employ. So ask yourself (not your friends and family) whether starting a small business is right for you. You know better than anyone else, where your mind set truly is. If you want this more than anything else, you can do it!
The Wabi Sabi Shop’s Logo
I’ve wanted to write a blog for several years now. Yet I haven’t known quite where to start… Do I only write about wabi sabi things? Can I indulge myself and write about what’s on my mind? I’ve got lots of stories to tell, but would that be of interest to other people? We’ll just see where this takes me.
I’ll start by introducing you to the logo you see. My dearest friend, Erik Olson, who you will meet at the shop someday, is the designer of the logo. With his professional experience in the graphic design business and his earnest awareness of what I wanted to convey, I knew he would create the perfect logo. And he did!
First, you may notice the yin/yang symbol, the left half being gold and the right half green. This symbolizes the harmony of the physical and the divine. “What? Don’t you just sell furniture?”Well, yes, but… To a lot of people their furniture represents more than a chair or a table. It’s also the memories of all the Christmas dinners celebrated around that table. Or it was their first “real” table they could afford. There may be a rich history behind a piece of furniture. And that is part of the significance of wabi sabi.
The next symbol you might recognize is the simple stick figure house centered in the circle. To me, one’s home should be a safe haven where you can surround yourself with belongings that express who you are, and suit how you want to live.
If you look, you’ll also see a “W” and an “S”. But you’ll notice that the “W” isn’t quite perfect. It’s missing one diagonal line. And that’s on purpose. In the wabi sabi philosophy, there is a certain beauty in imperfection. With age, this type of beauty begins to appear. Just as we age and develop more “character” in our faces, so does everything. So if you’re looking at something in my shop, and notice it’s not “right-off-the-manufacturing-line-perfect” that’s to be expected – nothing in here is brand new!
And finally, notice the colors: green and gold: Not the light, fresh, new pastel colors of Spring, or the brilliant colors of Summer. But the mature yet subdued hues of Fall, when foliage reaches its peak and radiance of color. Maybe now that you know the thought that went in the logo, you’ll understand a little more about the depth of meaning in wabi sabi.