Letting Go

Letting go is one of the hardest things to do. Whether it's getting over a particularly hard time in one's life, to throwing out that last 'piece' of your child's favourite blanket after 50 years...it's not easy.

I have found that as a vintage store owner, I have formed very special relationships with each piece I buy. By the time an item has left the store, it has been well-loved and 'accepted' into the collection. And-yes- I have my favourites...how could I not?

For instance-for many weeks, I have stared longingly at the best pair of red shoes-ever- and I mean-ever. When I first acquired them, I tried desperately to cram my size 8.5 sized feet into them. There was no way they were going to fit. I sighed, moved on, yet still continued to hope that somehow overnight my feet would shrink. I now know how the ugly stepsisters in Cinderella felt- and I somehow feel a bit sorry for them- despite their ugly souls. Their soles weren't too great either apparently.

This past weekend, a lovely customer came into the store and, like me, loved the shoes right away. I encouraged her to try them on (silently a bit afraid they would fit). She slid them on to her gorgeous size 7-7.5 feet and they fit perfectly. She loved them straight-away. How could she not?

She bought them, and I was very happy they were going to recieve the love I knew she would give them. Was there a wee tinge of sadness in my heart? Yes. Will I get over it? Yes. There is that perfect pair of red shoes for me out there. I just haven't found them yet.

Another piece I have loved dearly is an amazing black velvet gown with chiffon ruffles at the neckline and down the bodice. Truly Audrey. I purchased this piece about 7 years ago, and for 7 years have not worn it. It held a place of honour in my closet with some of my most precious pieces. 

The other day an amazing client called to ask if I had a dress with the characteristics that matched those of the dress. It was for her daughter. I have never met her daughter, but thought instantly about the lovely velvet in my closet. It was time for me to let it go. There was still a chance it wouldn't fit- perhaps it could sit for another 7 years in its place of honour doing absolutely nothing in my closet.

Well- the day came, and my client's daughter arrived at the store. I had steamed and mended the gown, and it sat regally in a place of honour for all to see. She walked in, tried the dress on- and I just knew she was the rightful owner of the dress. It was magic! Just like the red shoes, the dress was made for her.

I will never see the velvet dress again- but I am completely at peace with that. Many, many more pieces that 'speak' to me will come and go. I have learned to let go. They have a story to continue- and so do I.

Rachel Behling
Rachel Behling


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