Hi! I'm Melissa Averinos. 

Please click here for Longarm Quilting info!

I'm a longarm quilter and fabric designer for Andover Fabrics. I wrote Small Stash Sewing. I illustrated The Family Doodle Book. I wrote and illustrated DIY Mason Jars and DIY Wine Corks. I am a lifelong painter. I am a Cape Codder, good listener and lover of pie. I love yoga and gardening. Let's be friends!





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« 449: watch me dude, you just watch me | Main | 447: Hobo Porch Upgrade »

448: i give up ten times a day

The weather has been AMAZING this summer. Which for me, personally, is great because I am like a hothouse flower and I needs the heat and the sun to be happy. I live for summer.


Great weather is not so good for retail. When every day is a beach day, that doesn't leave much time for shopping days.

I spent the spring getting the shop ready, placing orders, arranging displays, doing all the stuff, and then....


Feels like getting stood up for the prom! Ahhhh, retail. That wiley bastard.

We have yet to have a great summer season here and it's been three years. When we opened, we thought summer would be our big time. But it turns out that we actually do better at the winter holidays. And I mean we do better than the summer, not that we do great.


I know many people who would say I shouldn't say this out loud. Or write it here for the whole world to see.

Well, F that S.

It is a sensitive subject, and I do feel awkward about it. But you know I believe in not fostering illusions about this stuff. Does me talking about this make my shop any less awesome? No, it doesn't.

Writing about it here helps me to regroup and rally and take some of the sting out of it. Talking about the reality of  small business ownership might make someone think about supporting their local economy a little more, or might comfort another business owner who is struggling. Totally worth it.


I love my shop, I love what I'm doing---it is a dream come true.


I have yet to take a paycheck from it and I get very discouraged by it sometimes. I give up about ten times a day, I really do.  But then a customer will come in who loves the shop and tells me that they are inspired by what I'm doing and I remember why I'm here.

I want this. I love it. I love my customers who come in just to be uplifted by the atmosphere. I love it when people walk around the shop and giggle to themselves at some of my silly stuff. I love it when they  tell me they keep up with what I'm doing on facebook. I love this community and I want to invest in it, build it up into something that sustains me. I want to connect with people and bring something to the table.

I want that, I crave it and it is worth working for.

We are committed. We have something unique and wonderful to offer. We are just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other. People do love the shop when they come in, we just need to get more people inb the door. We'll figure it out and the economy will shift and things will get better. (right?)

One thing to celebrate: we won the Silver Award for Best Gift Shop on the Mid-Cape in the Cape Cod Life Magazine Reader's Poll! That's kind of a big deal around here. Thank you SO MUCH if you voted for us!

If you love a local business, please GO OUT OF YOUR WAY to support it. If you can't patronize it yourself for whatever reason, please GO OUT OF YOUR WAY to send your friends in. Even if you think they don't need it!  Make it your mission to help your favorite businesses survive!


I am using this time to  rethink some things, examine what I can do (in addition to working a part time job, which I do) while we work toward our goal of having the shop be successful and profitable. Who knows, maybe I'll do something really awesome and I'll be glad I had to rethink things.

And yes, I have been painting a lot while it is slow. And I have been selling many of those paintings in a gallery (omg, yay!)--- which I will write about soon. The response to my new work has been awesome and it is inspiring me to do more and more. I think I'm going to reopen my web shop so people can shop for them online if they like. See, good stuff.


I am just going to keep plugging away until the next time I give up (probably in an hour.)  And then I am going to (eventually) regroup and start again.

And now I am going to blow your mind by quoting Jon Bon Jovi:

"Success is falling nine times and gettin up ten."



P.S. Awesome photo of me and my honey Stuart by the amazing Stacey Hedman!

Reader Comments (15)

Keep up the hard work. Your shop is great, I even made a point to visit all the way from SC when I was up in October. So glad you are blogging again. :)
July 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeg Carter
I believe in putting things into the universe and hoping (along with hard work) stuff will work out for the best, and sometimes the best sucks for a bit. Hurrah for you! You're doing a fantastic job, a job that's crazy, stamp your feet hard and totally perfect. Wonderful, honest post. You're already a success in your endeavors and I know things will continue that way for you because you deserve it. You're a good person. Makes me want to dump all the muck I've been mind blogging for the real thing...step up and show some of my internal unlovely self...you know, listen to my own advice.
July 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterangel
I always love seeing a yummygoods post in my email...so to make sure you know I love getting them....I am...shock..awe..commenting....Retail IS tough...but I am sure things will pick up...so good to know you will be putting some of your paintings for sale for us West coasters...
July 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott
You have all my empathy and then some, Melissa! It's heart & gut wrenching to have this beautiful, inspriring "thing" you've created become such a doggie downer in your day/life. Risk can suck. I feel your pain b/c I have yet to make a dime from manufacturing organic fabrics. I'm watching my competition/peers move & groove - and it is beyond upsetting. Can't even tell you the tears that have been shed and the questions that have been pondered. But I built this, and I will carry on as long as I can! Chin up, Wilbur! xo
July 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJan
I am so dang proud of you!! You are doing what you love. I will stop in and chat, chin up!
July 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzie
You know I think you rock. And I am so thrilled that your art is selling because it is an extension of your awesomeness. :) way cute pic of you n your honey. Hope I can see you soon and give you hugs! xoxo
July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Gosh you two are so cute! :)
July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeni
Honestly, it is really nice to hear you say that you give up 10 times a day. My biggest battle of every moment of every day is just that, deciding not to give up. Just like you said, I give up constantly and then decide not to. I do hope that there is a rainbow waiting for us, with a giant pot of "gold" at the end!!! :)

You are awesome.

Oh and that picture is really great too!
July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAubrey
Hey Melissa! I love your cute lil shop! It was fun visiting but would really love it if you were online since I get down to the Cape only once a year! :)
July 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTina in Boston
Your shop is awesome! I am happy to tell anyone heading to the Cape to check it out! I'm just sad I can't visit regularly... it's too far away from New Mexico. :(

Hang in there. You are doing wonderful, wonderful things.
July 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
I totally get the paycheck thing. Some of my least favorite tasks are the ones I make the most money doing. But when I think of going back to work full-time for someone as nutty as me, it gives me the energy to push forward. When I lived in Montana (up til five months ago), local shops were all we had. I sometimes got frustrated with their old school hours - like, not open after five p.m. when it was a 40 mile drive for most people to get into town and shop there. And, I hate to say it, but when I had visitors from the East Coast, they loved to go places that sold CANDY. TAFFY. THINK ABOUT IT.
July 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi
Ok...I was at the Cape last week and did not get to your shop and now after I read this I wish I did!! You are living my dream of shop ownership!(and there is my dream of shop ownership on Cape Cod which will never come to fruition...but hopefuly the first dream will!) Think of all that you have accomplished... selling art... designing fabric...shop ownership... WOW! I think it is awesome!
August 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterandrea
I love your honesty Melissa! My husband and I often talk about opening our own business and we both agree that we would have to wait until our kids are older because we couldn't (financially) afford the risk.
You are BRAVE!
I worked in retail for 16 years and my husband still does. Let me know if you ever want to brainstorm ideas.
Sending you really good vibes!
August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie Margaret
Hang in there! I'm from a small coastal town, heavy tourism in summer, and have worked retail. I support the local shops, restaurants and services as much as I can - especially the ones that tough it through the New England winter and stay open year round. Small town locals talk about this all the time, and are fiercely loyal to all things homegrown. I'm glad you're bringing the conversation to the larger community online! And, one of these days I'll get to the Cape and visit your shop- I've been drooling over the pictures, descriptions and blog about your shop for a while now. Sending good and yummy retail vibes your way...
August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
So glad I ran across this post today. I too am living my dream, running my own business (minus the brick and mortar). Summer is always really SLOW for me, and I wonder what the heck I was thinking! But I'm no quitter and I can see you aren't either. Not that you can't change directions or restyle your plan--that's what has kept my business alive. So thank you, and keep moving forward! No one ever climbed Mt. Everest without falling down.
August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelley Hart

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