Saying goodbye to Main St April 27, 2016 14:26

I've hidden a secret from you all, whispering only to a handful of trusted customers and confidants; I've been in a very abusive relationship for the past 4 1/2 years. Luckily, my husband has stood by me, holding my hand, calming me down, and helping me as much as he can, but the weekly onslaught has continued as far as it can and I've had enough. I had to tell our landlord Mister *** to stop harassing me. My peace of mind has been long gone here, beginning from month two, and going until now.

It began via phone calls about the property, off-handed remarks about dirty Italians (my last name is Ricci). I then told him I don't hear my phone because I place it on silent so often so to email all communication about the property, hoping this would keep our contact to a minimum. But no, emails to date have included about how we cannot allow immigrants into our borders because "They carry diseases our western medicine doctors have never seen before", about how people on assistance are "liars and thieves who don't really need it but have their hand out anyway", to why the Clintons and Obamas are "crooks and trying to write Muslum language into our constitution" when they aren't try to "take our guns", "news" stories, and his opinion on why I am uneducated and unqualified to vote without his guidance.

I snapped last week. I did. Now, I've politely asked him to stop emailing me about anything other than the property over 50 times (I've kept copies of it all), but this time, I let him have it. Colorfully even. I wasn't rude, or mean, but I was brutal. His response was a veiled threat about our current lease and the fact that we are now on month-to-month.

I've been looking at new locations for at least 2 years, after Mister *** has refused aide in keeping this property from flooding, leaking, or allowing me to install air conditioning. But now, I really have to go. I'm grateful for my time here, dipping my toe into running my own retail establishment in what felt like an easy transition. But now, the burden is too great. I have to get out. Problem is, I still have a business and cat rescue to run. 328 animals later, I don't want to stop helping them. And I kind of adore my customers.

After an extensive search, I have found a property on a main thoroughfare, with signage, air conditioning, and landlords who seem about as cool as any could (they asked if my TARDIS was bigger on the inside) and they support the cat rescue efforts and allow our craft faires to support independent crafters. But even if I got my security deposit back from this place, I would need it before I move to pay 1st and last months' rent, plus security on this new building, and be able to make it the cozy place you've come to know Geeky Teas and Games to be. 

So now you're up to speed on why I've looked tired at times, why my smile seemed forced, and why I've worn my stress across my shoulders like lead weights pulling them down. Walking on eggshells is an extremely exhausting way to live. I've been dealing with this as privately as an over-sharing introvert can.

I didn't want do another crowd funding. First of all, the culture of helping a business has changed, and kickstarter backers get into it more for what reward they can get and less about helping small businesses. Many of whom struggle with trying to make it while fulfilling those rewards. Secondly, I feel my customer base has already been so generous, I feel like asking again would be disrespectful to our previous backers.

Kiva is an organization I recently discovered, offering 0% loans from your community, and paying them back, with the hope that the same $25 will go on to help someone else after it's been returned, and then on and on, moving around and helping many people.

I hope that Geeky Teas or Clockwork Couture touched you in a way that makes you want to see us survive in our new form. To expand our community outreach, continue to help people play more, make new friends, destress, and maybe find a new furry family member. If so, please consider donating to our loan. The $25 goes a long way.

Here is a brief list of communities we serve at Geeky Teas and Games: game testing and development groups, social groups, writing workshops, teen writing groups, animal rescue, sewing classes, one warm coat collection, independent artist support, teen financial aide, music lessons, and more that I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Thank you

-Donna Ricci, Owner of Geeky Tea and Games, Inc