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From: "Once Upon A Silver Moon" <mailmonkey@onceuponasilvermoon.com>
Subject: Checking in and a really important announcement
Date: December 3rd 2013

I hope this message finds you all well, dear readers.

I waited until after the rash of Black Friday through Cyber Monday ads were over so this did not get lost in the shuffle, because I have some really important news that I think you will want to hear.

Some of you are subscribed to my blog and some of you are on my Facebook page, but not everyone sees the posts; they flip by so quickly. The mailing list is really the only way to make sure that people get our newsletter, so I am very glad you are on it.

Bad news: we will not be renewing our lease when it expires at the end of July 2015.

Good news: that is 20 months from now and we are hoping to be able to buy a building instead of closing up shop.

There are two blog posts that discuss this decision in detail,

http://www.onceuponasilvermoon.com/blog/?p=541

and

http://www.onceuponasilvermoon.com/blog/?p=555

but basically the gist of it is that since I don't get paid AT ALL for my work here, no paycheck, no goodies, NOTHING - it's all plowed back into the business - then what I am really getting out of my 12 hour days, 6 days a week, job is, well, only the satisfaction of a job well done.

I am more than just a storekeeper. I am also very much a minister; I spend much more of my time counselling than selling.

I know that as a minister I am touching people and helping a whole lot of our customers with their spiritual paths, needs, answering questions, mending hearts and marriages, helping people grow and survive and rely on themselves and thrive. I know that my work is important, but at the end of the day, I can't eat that, and it doesn't keep me warm in the winter.

You would not go to your job for free, and you certainly wouldn't do it if you had to pay to go to work every day, which the last few weeks we've had to do. August was a great month, September was kind of slow, October was the government shutdown which nuked retail across the country by 25%. November has been up and down but the cold weather and even closures due to ice and sleet have taken a toll. We'll stay open for another month... but only by draining my savings account of its last penny. What happens in January? I have no idea. This cycle of good sales/bad sales is up and down and yet that rent thing happens EVERY month without fail! What's up with that?

We expected that things would be kind of tight when we opened, because the economy was still "iffy" and the recession has not yet receeded. Fiscally this country is still on shaky ground, so was it foolish or entrepreneurally daring to open when we did? Probably a bit of both, but here we are, so we have to work with what we've got now.

I really need you guys to do two things here. One, come in and buy something this month, even if it's just incense. "Just incense" is what pays the rent! But more importantly, pick up some of our flyers and TELL YOUR FRIENDS about the store.

Sharing our blog posts on Facebook is okay, but again, people have to be watching right when you do it otherwise they miss it. But actually putting a little piece of paper in their hands and letting them know that YOU think we're an important part of the community is way more effective. It also serves as a reminder long after they've forgotten what they saw on Facebook.

You are like that proverbial butterfly. Your wings beat and the air currents move, causing a ripple effect that in turn causes a change in someone else's life. Or to put it in other terms, your purchases help fund our business, which allows me to keep doing the spiritual work for others. Your sales ripple out to touch a random stranger's life in a way that has nothing to do with money. It lets us stay open so there is a place they can wander in to and find the relief or guidance they are seeking. I touch someone's life for the better, help make them a little stronger, nearly every day we are open. There is rarely a day that goes by without someone finding us and asking us to help solve a problem or shed a bad habit. Mostly the issues are pretty small, but sometimes I know that I have saved a marriage or even possibly a life just by having been the right person to talk to.

The most common question we get is that someone is drawn to "this stuff" and doesn't know where to go to find further knowledge about metaphysics or the occult. A lot of folks think that because they are raised up one way, to be interested in alternative spirituality is risky at best and damning at the worst. They come in to ask someone who will not judge them or tell them they're going to hell, and we talk about their path for a while. You would be surprised at the number of folks who come in and "confess" that they have started meditating. It's a relief for them just to be able to say that out loud. Where most of you on this list are well-practised with meditation, maybe tried your hand at card reading, possibly even dabbled with spellcraft, everyone starts somewhere, and to a few, performing an activity which most people regard as a pretty mundane and healthy practise such as meditation can mean crossing a pretty big line for them.

You might think "that's silly", but try to remember when you started out on your path. Didn't you have questions, need a guide? Who helped you? Was it Joyce from Starwind? Lynda from Nature's Treasures? Laura from Explore, or someone else? Chances are you probably got a lot of help from a friendly shop, without which you would not be where you are today.

And while I am a minister, I am a multi-faith one. It would be sacriligeous to say I am a Christian type of minister, but if a Christian came in with a Christian question (even a crisis of faith!), I would help them within that tradition. Someone new to Wicca will be able to find answers here. Someone not sure of a path but feeling a tug of spirituality where they had not previously had one can come and talk about it too, find some direction. Our customers' needs are as varied as their many paths. Every human who enters deserves to be treated with respect no matter what I, personally, practise or believe.

But this is a business, not a church. This is a difficult thing to discuss, especially tricky to try to explain how I, too, want a little bit in return without sounding all greedy and money hungry. But I am absolutely a for-profit establishment, and the reality is that day in and day out of giving without receiving is just not good for anyone. You know this, of course you do. And while I really like what I do and enjoy that I get to do it, I have to look out for my own future and when I see that there is going to be nothing waiting for me when it's time to retire, well, it makes me very uncomfortable, as I'm sure it would also make you feel uncomfortable. I'm 44 now. Retirement is just a few years away, maybe only 16 years from now, depending on my health and energy levels. Right now I'm good but I am a human and the body does decline with age. I need to know that there's going to be something waiting for me, and if this business does not provide that, well. Looking for a job at age 46 when my resume reads "professional psychic"... good luck, right?

So what my suggestion is, here, for all of us to keep participating in a win-win situation at the end of these next 20 months, is that during that time you actively participate in helping me not only stay in business but to help us grow a fund for a down payment on a building. I can defer my own paycheck if it manifests later in the form of a building, because my daily needs such as food and shelter are taken care of by my life partner's paycheck. (If something happens to Jordan, man, I am totally hosed.) But I am not going to continue to keep doing this for free, because that is bad for me.

I am not asking you to dig deeper in your pockets. I am not passing the plate. I am not that kind of a minister! But I will go ahead and put up a tip jar, just in case you are that kind of a person, who does truly believe that Oklahoma City needs me here to keep doing the work I am doing but you don't have time to drop by and buy something, or maybe you live too far away to come in frequently. It's not tax deductable but if you want to help support me that way I am not going to turn you down.

How can you help? Just two simple things - one, cash contributions by purchasing something regularly, whatever that means to you, and two, by telling others. In the second blog post it is so very clear how just two more customers a day will make this happen. You know people, right? But even if you don't, you go places, and you can take a couple of flyers and put them out there so others will learn about us.

The more people who come in, even if they are just curious, wondering what "metaphysical" means, the more people who are exposed to my mild-mannered shopkeeper personality. I'm not scary, I listen to and respect their point of view. And we can have a nice discussion and they will have their minds stretched a little, "maybe that's not so bad". And that leads eventually to a lot more open-minded (well, maybe all we can hope for from some of them is just "more tolerant") people, which ripples out to maybe a slightly more open-minded city and maybe even a more open-minded state.

That's not going to happen if we close up at the end of the lease. If Once Upon A Silver Moon is gone, there will be nobody left. And we have given this thing more than its fair share of chances, and people know that, and NOBODY will ever open another metaphysical store in Oklahoma City again, because it just isn't a viable option. Or is it? This is up to you now, each one of you who is reading this holds that choice in your hands. Do you believe we are needed? Or do you think Oklahoma City is better off without us?

So, my butterflies, put that in your pipe and smoke it, and if you share my point of view, you know what to do.

Ande



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This is an announcement list for Once Upon A Silver Moon, a metaphysical shop in Oklahoma City.

Things you can expect from us: a monthly* newsletter, notices about events, the occasional special deal, stuff like that.

We are not real fond of spam, so we will treat your inbox as if it were our own.

Also please follow us on Twitter for random free offers. Twitter is the only place we will announce that kind of stuff. Yeah we know, nobody uses Twitter anymore. But it's still useful because it goes right to your cell phone or email or RSS thingie, whereas if we put out announcements on Facebook, only 14% of our subscribers will even get it in their newsfeed, and then it's immediately swallowed up by political nonsense and cute kittens.

Long story short - only like 5 people ever see our Facebook posts, where 100% of our Twitter followers will get the message. So Twitter it is. And you don't even have to have a Twitter account - use an RSS tool to subscribe!

But you can still "like" us on Facebook. We prefer that you like us in person, too, so come by the shop soon and say hi, pick up a bar of handmade castille soap, just be neighborly. Help us stay in business by, you know, buying something every now and then. That's how it works, right?

We also offer tarot readings, spiritual counselling, confession services, and conjure work such as setting a candle for you. Please enquire if you are interested in these services or would just like to know what "conjure" means. And yes - that's confession, as in "it's been six years since my last confession..."

Ande Spenser
Proprietress

Twitter: @SilverMoonOKC
Facebook - Shop: OnceUponASilverMoon
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