GALION — When Kaela Downey opened her storefront in uptown Galion in December of 2017, she could not have anticipated the level of success that awaited her.
Unfortunately, success can take a toll on a business owner, and Downey was not immune to that part of the experience.
After leaving a full-time job to pursue her goal of having a store of her own, Downey was pleasantly surprised by the response she received when she opened the doors of Dear Downey.
“Business grew way faster than I ever ever thought it would,” she said. “It was honestly such a relief for me. One of my biggest fears was quitting my job and then not being able help my husband support our little family. But because of all the support and love from all of my amazing customers,family, and friends that fear was long gone shortly after I opened!
As time went on, business kept picking up.
“It was me and only me making everything,” Downey said. “I started staying at the shop a lot later into the night, being there more than 16-18 hours a day … everyday. I’m very thankful for my friends and family that would come help me occasionally for me to be able to keep up.”
Downey soon found the success of her business not only having an affect on time spent with her young family, but on her personal health, as well. After the birth of their son four years before opening the store, Kaela and her husband found out they were finally expecting their second child, only to suffer a miscarriage shortly after.
The months after the miscarriage were painful, but Downey allowed no time to dwell on the loss out of fear of disappointing her customers.
“It was so hard, but orders were due and people were waiting and not happy,” she said. “I knew they didn’t want to hear my life story so I kept quiet about everything. But I was suffering. My family was suffering.”
Downey dug in despite the personal strife and made things happen for her business. By August of 2018, orders were caught up and she was able to breathe easier with the aid of some special helpers.
Kaela and her family also received unexpected news — they were once again expecting a child.
“With what happened previously, my doctor got me in that week and everything seemed okay with the pregnancy. Orders started picking up again — which is great — but also very stressful when you don’t turn down any work,” she said.
Downey soon started to see the same pattern resurface in all aspects of her life. Long work days, less time with family, and higher stress were quickly becoming a reality again. Downey turned to her faith in God to lead the way.
“I prayed for God to give me an answer, for Him to lead the way and I’ll follow wherever He takes me,” she said. “I knew for a fact that continuing on wasn’t where He was leading me. My own health and family needed to be priority, and God was leading me to be back home with them.”
Upon making her decision, Downey was able to walk away from her storefront with a peace of mind she had not felt for awhile. It was a bittersweet situation, but it has been the best for her growing family as well as her business goals.
“With all of that being said, I’m still in business,” she said. “I will definitely be limiting orders due to the space I have at home, but I’m still making and creating just like I was at the shop, just now from the comfort of my home. So please don’t be afraid to contact me for orders!”
Contact Erin Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-468-1117 x-2049.