Have you ever started a retail store from the ground up? Cool, neither have we! But the best way to learn is by doing, right? That’s what we keep telling ourselves as we careen, Wile E. Coyote style, off New Career Cliff and land in a comical cloud of dirt in Retail Canyon. Since this is the first post of Neena’s fabulous blog—a bit of background. The owner, buyer and mastermind behind Neena is Deneen Carmichael. Deneen formerly owned a ballroom and latin dance studio before deciding to surround herself with beautiful, comfy clothes and rhinestones. I’m second in command at Neena, store manager Ronni Levine. I used to work for Deneen at the dance studio where my duties mainly included administrative work, costume alterations, attaching rhinestones to any and everything I was allowed, and following Deneen around with my hands cupped to catch the bits of her brain that fell out. Neena is not even open yet, and it already has been nothing short of fun and adventure. This week we got the keys to the space! Neena has walls! We jumped in immediately and began painting, removing ceiling tiles, vacuuming, vacuuming again, breathing in miniscule particles of fiberglass insulation, and bribing our friends to come help us. We’ve had a parade of handymen coming through to assess the extend of the work we have ahead of us, include Todd the ceiling guy who used his enviable industrial stilts to remove our ceiling tiles. Unfortunately, this was before we invested in dust masks. Cough cough. After said dust masks were purchased and used for hours, I went to pick up the sign for our door, not realizing that my dust mask was still resting on the back of my head. It was only after interacting with the too-polite-to-mention-it employees of the sign store and returning to Neena that Deneen laughed and pointed out that I looked like a had a little Amish bonnet on. So please, after we finish painting, come help us raise the Neena barn and tend the Neena animals. Apparel for Moooooovement. Stay tuned for the continued adventures of Deneen, Ronni and Neena as we navigate our way through the scary new worlds of fashion and retail. We are facing long hours, intimidating new challenges and the endless excitement and joy that comes from working in an industry we're passionate about. And with the exception of the pun at the end of the last paragraph, we are sure to keep our senses of humor intact.