It takes lots of people to start a business. Throughout the process of renovating and preparing to open, we have spoken with countless contractors, bankers, city employees, neighboring store owners, designer representatives, coffee shop owners, et cetera. Some, basically, are jerks. If we wanted your design opinions instead of just an estimate for a new floor, we would have asked you for it, Mr. Facial Hair That Makes You Look Like A Redneck Porn Star. Next time we’re looking to change up our religious beliefs instead of just building a new fitting room, you’ll be the first one we call, Mr. Judge-y Eyes. However, we have also found some of the kindest, most helpful people we ever could have hoped for. Our banker dropped by one morning this week with some papers to sign and vanilla lattes. Being tired, cold and, well, cranky, we would have thrown a Mike The Banker Day Parade in the streets of Middleton had they not been so icy. Our ceiling guy not only offered to haul away our old tiles free of charge, he also wanted to reuse the insulation instead of putting it in a landfill, because it’s “the right thing to do.” When I told the man making our signs that I would email him our logo (after I had already forgotten to do so, which is why he called in the first place) he was GRATEFUL because now he could get his design team on the job. We have been so lucky to work with these wonderful people, and they are filling the walls of Neena with good karma. Karma, however, is a two way street. From the get-go, we have been trying to put as much good out into the world as we can. We are recycling and reusing, we are members of Dane Buy Local to support our community, and we try to be polite, kind and honest with all who come through our doors, whether they are honest with us or not. Neena will be eco-friendly wherever possible, from the reusable bags to the energy settings on our fax machine. To keep warm, we will burn the business cards of those who don’t do right by us rather than cranking the heat. Maybe we should ask Mr. I $ Definitely $ Think $ We $hould Re-Do the $ Entire $ubfloor for some referrals; it’s going to be a long, cold winter. The third aspect of being happy and balanced is being good to yourself. Deneen and I are respecting this idea, and respecting it good. We laid our own floor today, let’s go out to dinner! I’m tired, so we must have worked really hard today, let’s order dessert! I didn’t spill any paint on the carpet today, I should probably watch a movie in my jammies tonight rather than doing laundry. I earned it! We are happy, balanced and well-fed. On today’s agenda, finish painting the edges of yellow wall, then go out for peppermint mochas. Then we’ll recycle the cups.

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