12/06/2013 Friday facebook Interview #26 : Rhonda Rhodes - Independent Purveyor of Books, Gifts, and Joy
How did you get into doing your chosen art form/business/career, and how long have you been involved in it? I have always been a reader and a writer, and even as an attorney specialized in research and writing. When an injury and the surgery that followed made it impossible for me to spend all day on the computer, I stopped practicing law and looked for something I could do. I had always wanted to open a bookstore. In today’s times, an independent bookstore is difficult to keep afloat. So, I combined the books with gifts, and made the decision that the gifts did not have to have anything to do with books. Thus The Lift was born.
What inspires your creativity? To me, creativity means giving, and it comes straight from God or the Universe or the Source, or however you may label the loving force that pervades all things. I have always known my strength to be inspiring others, and so I guess the drive to inspire indeed inspires my creativity!
What challenges have you overcome? Besides the injury, debilitation, surgery, and recovery mentioned above, I have faced innumerable challenges, as have we all. With regard to The Lift, my challenges have been in the physical aspects of the work—I do get tired. This is a far cry from my old life of sitting at a desk all day. Also, “detail” rhymes with “retail” for a reason, and my other greatest challenge has been juggling so many details while also taking care of my children and home. I have had another major challenge: during my father’s illness, I took him to appointments, stayed with him in the hospital, and was with him through all the days of home hospice care. During those days, I relied on my staff to keep my shop open and running. I am now building the shop back up and taking it to the next level. Dad would have liked all the improvements I am now making.
What motivates you to keep going? That is simple. I love my shop, my customers, Team Lift, my business neighbors, 19th Street, the Heights, Houston, and my quirky little shop girl life.
If you could be any food item, what would you be? Dewberry cobbler. It’s Texas, it’s homemade, and it is very delightful and nurturing.
What current project(s) are you working on, and when and where can we come see your latest project(s)? I am improving The Lift’s physical space, displays, and signage right now. I am also training new staff and working on more avenues of PR. Also, I am increasing inventory. Eventually, I may even clean the back room!
Quote from the cover of the above notebook:
"She woke up and realized she had forgotten the definition of the word ‘impossible.’ She decided it must not have been that important."