By now you may have forgotten about America’s Pie at the Beach. Some of you probably still want to know what happened and some of you are probably hoping I’m going to announce that Mike and I are opening another pizza shop. But that is not the story that I’m going to tell today. America’s Pie at the Beach went under because of business partnership problems. Not because there wasn’t enough effort put in, not because the business on the avenue wasn’t enough to keep the doors open, not because of the competition. We were struggling like every new business does but to be honest we couldn’t have asked for a better reception from the community in Rehoboth. We had so much support and we were truly on our way to becoming a permanent fixture on the avenue. However there were problems on the inside. Partnerships are hard. This is why so many of them fail. I’ve heard it described as being married to someone without loving them. In my experience that is pretty accurate.
I’ve stayed off the radar for this long because it’s not easy to lose a business, to have it ripped out from under you. I still have trouble talking about it. So many emotions boil up still to this day. Many of you may be asking why didn’t they open up down the street or somewhere else? Mike and I put everything we had into that shop. When the doors closed we literally had nothing and if my parents didn’t tell us to move into my grandmother’s house we would have been homeless. Sure, we could have figured out some way to do it again and trust me Mike wanted to. Truthfully, he still does and we still had people who believed in us and offered to help get us open again.
But in being truthful, I was ready for a change.
At the time I didn’t know what that change was. I had been in pizza since I was 15. I didn’t know another industry. For the past two years I’ve taken time for myself. Ive been trying to find myself. Trying to figure out what I like to do, what are my passions, what lights me up. When you leave something you have been in since as long as you can remember, the only thing I’ve ever really done, it can be hard to find your footing. I had a bit of an identity crisis. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Mike would remind me “you are not what you do” but that is more of a place to start a journey than a destination.
The past two years have been building years for me. After the shop, I became a shell of myself. I pushed everyone away and didn’t want to be reminded of the business in anyway. Additionally, I didn’t keep in contact with anyone and when I met new people, I wouldn’t tell them about the shop either. I was harboring feelings that I had towards my former business partners and to be honest I probably still am a little to this day. At this point in my life, I am ready to move on. I don’t wish my former partners any ill will, I just want to move on and move past it. Business failures happen all the time. What you don’t read about it is how it effects the business owners. Many handle it like I did. Not well. We go into hiding, or never speak of it again. It has taken me a long time to realize that by harboring feelings, I am only hurting myself.
Which is why I am here today to change that. I am ready to stop hiding from it and face my failure.
It does not define me. I will not let it. I’m ready to move on from it and learn from my failures and build myself to be better than the previous version of me. I’m ready to come out of hiding. I am writing this to say I appreciate all the support we received at the pizza shop, I enjoyed spending time talking to every one of my customers each day and truly miss all of you. I enjoyed listening to your stories and hearing about your families and I miss that time we had together. In writing this, I hope that you still want to engage in those stories again. I really want to know what you have been going through these past two years. I hope to rebuild our relationships.
After months and months of trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my career, I believe that I have found something. Something that makes me the happiest I have been in years!
I am a real estate agent, licensed in Delaware and on my way to be licensed in Pennsylvania as well.
It is something that brings me so much joy and fulfillment. I get to listen to stories and build relationships just like back at the shop. I get to help them achieve a dream that they may have never felt was possible.
First time home buyers are probably one of my favorite groups of people to help. Some had never even thought about owning a home. Sitting down and explaining the home buying process, showing them that is possible and how to get there. It is an amazing feeling to be able to get to closing day and see the excitement in their faces that they are finally going to own their own home and be able to do whatever they want with it. I, on the other hand am happy in helping them invest in their future and excited to watch them grow as people in their new homes. It makes me feel like part of the family. I love hearing about how they decorated and how they established a feeling of home. I enjoy watching them build their families and hearing their stories like when they watched their babies take their first steps in the home of their dreams.
Over the past two years I turned another passion I had into a small handmade business that I run out of my house. It was something that started as a hobby that has grown into so much more and also couples nicely with my real estate business. I create gift boxes and personalized gifts apparel and decor for all occasions. I focus on new homes, new babies and weddings.
One thing that I learned from the house I rented in Rehoboth is how much soot is left on the walls from the candles I was burning. After research I also realized the candles were toxic and probably not helping with my headaches I was experiencing either. I decided I could probably do a better job myself and set out to create candles that were better for the environment and my health. These have become the backbone of my handmade business. I make 100% all natural soy candles, which I absolutely love! It helps to sleep at night knowing that my house isn’t filled with toxic fumes from the candles and better yet, no soot on my walls! I also make personalized mugs, t shirts, coasters, wood signs, farmhouse decor, and a bunch of other items and I add them all into the gift boxes I put together. The gift boxes are a personal favorite because it is a way to create something with a personal touch that someone will remember and can put to practical use. I created a website handmadebyjenngee.com, check it out and tell me what you think!
In running my lifestyle blog I have found an outlet to express myself.
It gives me a way to get my ideas out on paper and share with others the important ideas and lessons that I have picked up throughout this process. Not many people can say they had a business and lost it at the age of 27. I hope that in sharing my experience others who might be going through hardships of their own can find inspiration that it can get better. Through hard work and dedication anything is possible. I want to give entrepreneurs and women a perspective that while yes, I may have said it was the hardest thing to have to go through, I do not regret doing it. I learned a lot in losing it and yes, I may have lost myself for a few years, but sometimes you have to lose yourself in order to find yourself. Now I am coming back better than ever! Lately, I find myself trying to compare who I was then and who I am now. I was much more disciplined back then with everything- financially, mentally, and physically. I often now have to remind myself, if I did it once I can do it again. Im still on my way back to the top and as long as I keep going stay resilient and not give up I will get back to where I was and even go further.
Today, I stand here saying that a risk was taken and while it may not have turned out the way that I thought it was going to, it is getting better day by day and I am coming back stronger than ever. I miss all the relationships I built with my customers and I am ready and would love to rekindle lost friendships. Please reach out to me! I want to hear from you! I want to listen to your stories again and enjoy the time spent with each and every one of you.