Artist Realizes Her Dream:
A Shop of Her Own

Note: Susan died in April 2003.
See note below.

Without question, the right words at the right time can change a person's life. Susan Young said she was spurred to action after reading the following quote on this website in August, 2000. She wrote: In going to your Web site, your "Thought of the Month" kept sticking in my mind:

 "Work is . . . an anodyne against pain. The more difficult and challenging the thing we are working at, the better, for we can't work hard without using up some of the energy that might go into self pity. The more creative our attitude toward work, the greater the enrichment we can draw from it. No matter what the state of the world, we must live with such courage as we can. How well we are prepared depends in considerable part on how well we have built up those timeless resources that are proof against change." 

"Last night I sat up for hours rereading all of your books, many of which mention me, and I am grateful. But beyond that, I wanted some inspiration to force me to make a decision about which I have been waffling for years. Though I have had the privilege of owning a private backyard studio, for almost a quarter of a century, I have dreamed of a retail shop and country style craft store 'up on the highway.'

"It had always seemed beyond my grasp--and I tend to be a real chicken where risk is concerned. But after visiting your Websites again, and digging out your books and reading half the night. . . this morning I called the owner of a 5-room country house up on the highway and told him 'as far as I am concerned, it's mine.' Thanks, Barbara!" - Susan Young


"Words, which seem so fragile, little more than puffs of air on a perishing wind, sometimes have the force of iron in our memories.
"

- Julia Keller, in her article,
"A New Word Order"
in the Chicago Tribune Magazine

 

POSTSCRIPT: Several weeks later, Susan wrote: "What a learning experience and, in spite of fatigue, what a satisfying adventure, renovating that little house and turning it into a dream I've had off and on for 25 years. It was definitely meant to be. It was part of my life's plan even when I wasn't doing the planning. It's been a whirlwind; mentally, physically and emotionally. Had a couple of days out of the past ninety that briefly I thought 'I'll never make it.' But I know that I will because deep down, where it counts, I knew in my gut this building I've leased had my name on it. It just took seven years for the circumstances to come together. I swear it was destiny, fate or God's provision."

NOTICE: Susan Young died on April 13, 2003, from cancer she didn't know she had until just a week before her death. If she had known two years ago what was coming, I'm sure she never would have taken the steps described below . . .  yet I'm grateful she was able to realize her biggest dream before she died.

Susan was an incredible bundle of talent -- an artist, designer, author, and very savvy business woman. She was also a generous soul who always went out of her way to be helpful to others, especially where the sharing of information was concerned. I never got to meet Susan in person, but we developed a close friendship by phone and e-mail and for many years traded business information while also sharing our mutual love of writing, crafts, nostalgia, nature, and cats. I know she would be pleased to know that her writing continues to inspire others.

Susan's business insight will be found on other pages of this Web site and in several of my books. She had a charming Web site of her own, featuring her products, poetry and photographs. I asked Susan's husband, Dennis, if I could recreate a couple of her Web pages that featured her poetry and the "Peach Kitty" stray cat for whom her business was named, so if you love cats or poetry, you'll love these special pages.  -  Barbara

NOTE: Susan's special success tips for would-be craft/gift shop owners are also featured in the 2002 edition of Handmade for Profit.

Susan wrote and self-published a couple of her own books (poetry and essays), but her only trade book was Decorative Painting for Fun & Profit. Prima Publishing was acquired by another publisher, so this book and others in the For Fun & Profit series are now out of print. However, Amazon still offers used copies of this title for less than $2. If you appreciate fine writing and can use some success tips from a real pro, get this book while you can. - Barbara

[Peach Kitty's Stray Cat Story]

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by Barbara Brabec
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