Hello I'm Sundi, owner of the Mockingbird in Southern Pines, NC. I've had my shop for five and a half years now and I have to say this feels like my best year yet. I'm inspired and motivated, but most of all so very grateful. I really am... for people who know me this might come as a mild shock as I've a bit of a reputation for being rather ... cynical. With a deep cleansing breath I say to you, I am feeling the love! People can shop anywhere, so when someone walks through the door of my shop or clicks on our shop site- I feel honored. In this day and age of Amazon and big box...everything; I want my customers who walk through my door to feel like they are being taken care of. I choose every piece of inventory in my store which makes me an expert at just about everything under my little roof. That is how we small businesses can set ourselves apart. We have to provide excellent service and be extremely knowledgeable. (Let me pause here to slide my little Soap Box back under the counter)...now where was I... Not everyone buys something and not everyone appreciates my point of view, but many do-- and for that I couldn't be more thankful. Everyday customers say the sweetest things about my little shop, Mockingbird. They don't have to, but when they do it always thrills me a little. I imagine it's sort of how a mother must feel when their baby is complimented. Don't get me wrong, I know my shop is not the same as raising a baby, but believe me it has been a labor of love every step of the way. For the last few years I really was feeling overwhelmed and panicked, but most of all I felt what I was doing had no meaning. I couldn't help but think to myself, "Shouldn't I be doing something that makes the world brighter or better? How am I contributing to the world by running a gift shop?" However, during this past holiday season and over the last several months I realized that I am helping in some small way. I've customers who rush in on their lunch break and need to pick up the perfect gift or just the right condolence card and I am able to help them with that quickly and efficiently. Some folks walk in and just need to a peaceful place to gather their thoughts. Often times customers I've known for years come into gossip a little or share a quick laugh or tell me of something they are struggling with and I feel so fortunate they trust me enough to share these moments... So as I step into the world of the Blog for the first time and try my hand once again at a website I feel a renewed sense of love for my work and a sincere sense of gratitude for being allowed to do what I love. So this year,I will try and be mindful of the good people that walk through my shop door and say lovely things when they are under no obligation to do so...so when those few customers who wander in and are less than impressed I will remember that one can't please everybody all of the time. I will also remember to smile and wish them well. As for you, thank you for stopping by and please stay tuned as I'm just getting warmed up; there will be laughter, there will be heart break ,and damn-it there will be shopping!