Jodeliece Bradstreet: Weathering the Storms into 2019

Posted by Amanda Cannady on

You might have noticed Bradstreet Glass has been closed, and since October you haven't been able to purchase any of your favorite stained glass sheets and supplies from the website. There’s a good reason for this, but to give you the full picture, you’ll need a short history on the origins and timeline of Bradstreet Glass.

The moniker “Jodeliece Bradstreet” began with a small stained glass art shop on Etsy: Jodeliece Bradstreet’s Glass House, operated by one person, Debbie, from her little house in Texas.

After meeting and marrying the like-minded Allen, the newlyweds looked to leave the city and return to the Florida beaches. They saw the Panhandle as the ideal location to turn their shared hobby into a family business.  The serene, all-natural rural environment with its small-town charm (and cost of living), seemed perfect for the business at hand.

The lush landscaped view of their Panama City backyard!

 

Allen quit his day job.  The couple loaded up their home, workshop, and all their pets, and moved to Panama City. There they were able to find a home large enough to hold a bigger workshop, increased inventory, and plenty of office space.  A bonus for nature-loving Debbie – it also just happened to be situated on beautiful acreage full of blooming trees on a creek bed.  The couple incorporated Jodeliece Bradstreet LLC in January 2017, and launched their stained-glass supply website, Bradstreet Glass.

    

The brightly lit oversized garage made a spacious workshop for receiving inventory and fulfilling custom stained glass orders.

Debbie and Allen spent 2017 growing their inventory and perfecting spaces in the large home for each function of their business.

 

Jodeliece Bradstreet’s Glass House and Bradstreet Glass, together, grew month over month, with the second year being better than the first.  Jodeliece Bradstreet was booming, and eventually inventory (and space!) had to be increased.

During the autumn, it became apparent that their holiday sales season would do well enough that by December they would require an upgrade to a commercial warehouse/workshop. They found one that suited them nicely, and in the beginning of October they began planning. But then…

With Hurricane Michael storming up the Gulf of Mexico with no signs of slowing down, Debbie and Allen realized they were going to have to evacuate. Leaving behind a workshop full of fragile, breakable, expensive glass was not easy, and Debbie frantically tried to protect their inventory as best as she could. But the couple finally made the decision after midnight on October 10th to load the pets in the car and get out of Dodge.

Hurricane Michael developed quickly and was projected to hit their area as a Category 4 or 5 major storm, but no one could have predicted the devastation it would leave in its wake. When the couple and their pets returned to their home on October 11th to survey the damage left behind, Allen and Debbie found their home, office, and workshop extensively affected, including their beloved wooded backyard, which was part of the initial draw to the home.  And the new commercial space they had been hoping to move into, completely gone.

Debbie and Allen returned to find uprooted and broken trees leaving their landscape unrecognizable and their workshop inaccessible.

 

The damage was well beyond easily reparable, and on October 12th, Debbie and Allen closed both stores to assess the situation and determine how to move forward once again. With no clear idea of a reopening date, they kept looking ahead knowing only that they would indeed, somehow, reopen. And it would have be an event!  So, very optimistically, Debbie updated the announcement on the closed storefront, already planning a Grand Re-Opening Sale.

Eighteen days of no power or water (though luckily a roof over their heads), made it difficult to make any solid plans.

Like the rest of the community, they spent long days clearing tree limbs and debris for workers to access the damage, pulling water soaked carpets, checking in on neighbors, tarping roofs, and drying sheetrock, spending every free moment securing water, ice, food, supplies, more batteries, cell phone service, and Wi-Fi.  Communication with family and clients, as well as everything else, was slow and difficult.  The money earmarked for the business inventory and expansion was gradually being consumed by costs of living in what quickly became the “new normal.” 

But after utilities were finally restored, and repair work commenced, contractor logistics issues made it quickly evident that Jodeliece Bradstreet would have to forego the holiday sales this year.  No Black Friday, no Small Business Saturday for them, and no Cyber Monday.  November and December were completely out.  Not only would Debbie and Allen not be able to expand their small business, they were quickly draining their investment and feared they might not have enough left to reopen at all.  Repairs dragged on. 

With rent and expenses still due for every passing day, without new inventory and without the holiday sales boom they had planned and hoped for, they scrambled to reduce their overhead.  Allen took on a temporary job in disaster recovery, which entailed 12 hour days, 7 days/week, leaving Debbie to tend to the business alone. 

After extensive research and analysis with scant Wi-Fi connectivity, she sourced a smaller, less expensive home in Orange Park, with a move in date in December.  Agonizing over the budget, scrutinizing every detail, she determined that after a do-it-yourself pack and move, and by squeezing both stores into a tiny space, they WOULD be able to reopen their workshop and supply store in January, at SOME capacity – they really could make it!

So, Bradstreet Glass’ Grand Re-Opening will take place in January 2019, with brand new inventory and amazing discount codes for their loyal customers.  As always. So look for email updates with the grand reopening schedule and coupon codes as their relocation progresses.

 

The commercial warehouse is on hold, once again, but it’s a small detour that continues to provide a 2019 goal for Jodeliece Bradstreet.  With their plans diverted but still within reach, even a natural catastrophe won’t stop Allen and Debbie from creating a magnificent stained glass life and helping their customers achieve theirs.

They value their customers and clients as an integral part of their journey, and they look forward to seeing you in January at Bradstreet Glass’s Grand Re-Opening Sale.  (Not just a sale – THIS one’s a celebration!)

 

 

Contributed by Amanda Cannady from "Beautifully Made Words".

BeautifullyMadeWords.com

 


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7 comments

  • I’m so sorry your beautiful space was ruined by the storm. Looking forward to your return in January. Love doing business with you. Suzie

    Suzie Nunley on
  • Thank you so much for your comments and well wishes! We very much look forward to the reopening and work daily toward that goal. Can’t wait to see you all again! :-)

    <3
    Debbie & Allen

    Deborah Koenig on
  • My name was incorrect on my last comment.

    Lydia Kuust on
  • So glad you are going to be able to recover from this devastating loss. We’ll be looking for your come back in January!

    Susan steingress on
  • So proud of your dedication. We need more stained glass suppliers, not less. May you prosper and grow. Merry Christmas v

    Emma Johnson on

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