A mustard seed is only 1 to 2 millimeters, which is about 1/64th of an inch. Jesus’ point is that it only takes a small amount of faith to “move mountains” because Jesus said, “According to your faith, let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29).
I see the mustard seed as being symbolic of faith. Our faith is tested in the most difficult of circumstances.
My husband and I are Black-owned business partners. David, my husband is a 74-year-old Vietnam veteran. David retired from being a high school principal about 10 years ago and I retired from being a special education teacher in June 2021.
We started our business over 30 years ago selling incense and fragrance oils from the trunk of David’s car. David was driven to maintain our business. As a result, we added other items such as essential oils, sage and herbs, natural health and beauty products, healing stones, ethnic artwork, and more. Of course, our business has grown over the years. We started out in a Kiosk at a small strip mall in Saint Louis Park, MN. We were at this location for 5 years. We then relocated our business to an inline store in Blaine, MN for 7 years. Sheer Treasures became popular amongst shoppers (http://www.sheertreasures.com). While in Blaine, two other retail mall managers from Ridgedale and Rosedale invited Sheer Treasures to open a store in the two locations. At the time, we declined. A year later, Ridgedale’s manager returned and asked what it would take for Sheer Treasures to open a store at their mall. During the manager’s second visit, we decided to relocate our store to Ridgedale Shopping Center in Minnetonka, MN. We were there for over 5 years, including 5 holiday seasons. This is the worst time for us to move as we are approaching the holiday season.
The first store that we leased at Ridgedale Mall was located next to the Apple Store located on the first floor. We were temporary tenants, with little to no protection. According to our lease agreement, we can be told by mall management to move out at any time with a thirty-day notice. Our business performed well and was successful in this location. After having been originally located next to the Apple Store for 5 years, we were told to relocate because another tenant wanted our space within the mall. We relocated our store within the mall on the second floor in January 2022. My husband and I spent a significant amount of money on renovating and remodeling the interior, including the building of rooms, shelving, flooring, fixtures, and the construction and installation of a bathroom which was a necessity for my husband. The store needed a lot of work. The mall’s leasing manager told us it was our responsibility to pay for all improvements including a restroom if we wanted or needed it. Therefore, we spent additional money to bring it up to standard. We moved into this newly renovated store in January 2022. In February 2022, my husband became critically ill with Acute Kidney failure and was hospitalized. In March 2022, he became critically ill and was hospitalized with Sepsis. As a result, we were not able to open our store until May 2022. We were up and running quite well and were asked to move again. This time the mall gave us two choices of spaces to relocate to, they both needed a lot of work. We can no longer renovate stores for Ridgedale Shopping Center and be told to move again with a thirty-day notice.
We were devastated when the mall gave us 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks) to vacate our beautiful new store because a permanent tenant was taking our space. We hired a law firm to represent us to see what rights we had as temporary tenants. The attorneys were not able to provide support. As a result, we moved out of our store on October 13, 2022. The timing of moving was terrible. The holiday shopping season is when many retail businesses bring in more than fifty percent of annual sales.
Currently, we do not have a store or location that we have secured with a lease agreement. Our merchandise and store fixtures are in storage at Northtown Mall in Blaine, MN. We are working on securing a lease agreement with Northtown Mall. However, we are waiting for contract revisions before we can move into the only inline store space that is available. We are devastated because we are presently out of operation. We have a small percentage of our products on our online site, but this brings in only a fraction of daily sales compared to our physical store.
Latest update: Currently, we secured our inline space at Northtown Mall on October 18, 2022. It is a lot of physical work for the two of us. We are still devastated. We are hoping and praying that this location will yield a net profit for our business.
M. David Ricks, Owner
Gail B. Ricks, Owner