Grand Opening

Allegra’s Gallery had its grand opening yesterday. Aiden and Andrew’s Bridal and Formal Wear salon has been open for business since last month, but yesterday was a celebration of the birth of their new venture.

Despite the cold and wind, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was the start of a warm invitation for family and friends to experience the excitement of the day.

When customers walked through the doors, they were greeted by, well, “Bright and Happy.”

Newly arrived gowns sparkled under the light cascading down from the chandeliers. Upbeat music flowed from DJ Raymond’s sound system. The open floor plan welcomed exploration.

But most importantly, each newcomer was greeted with hospitality and a smile. Even window-shoppers couldn’t help but get caught up in the happy, energetic atmosphere.

Let’s face it. Most women, regardless of our age, love to play dress-up. A beautiful gown and glittering shoes let us become princesses for even a moment. So, it was extra fun to watch the ladies step onto the platform and view themselves for the first time in the mirror.

A little girl, the daughter of a bride-to-be, jumped up and clapped her hands when she saw herself in her junior bridesmaid dress. A young lady shimmied to the music in the blue prom dress. A wife paraded and posed in her gown as her appreciative husband became her paparazzi.

The most touching moment for me was when a young lady, who serves our country, finally found her wedding dress. She had tried five dresses the day before. But when she put on her first pick in Allegra’s, a new arrival, that was it. The dress was perfect. No alterations needed. Her excitement was so contagious! She twirled and danced as her mother snapped picture after picture.

At one point, there were two to three customers waiting to check out with their purchases. Over the course of a couple of hours, several gowns and shoes were sold. It obviously was a successful Grand Opening.

As a doting Aunt, I couldn’t have been more excited for Andrew and Aiden. But I also couldn’t have been more proud. They used the launching of their store to help advertise other small businesses as well. Makeup specialists, custom decorators, a photographer and a videographer were all able to showcase their talents and receive inquiries that hopefully will lead to clients. They wanted to spread the “wealth” with those vendors and not keep the blessings just to themselves. And Andrew and Aiden wanted to make sure to include those who matter most to them – their family and friends.

Just before they cut the ribbon, Andrew offered a prayer and asked Yahweh to oversee their new business. Even with all their preparation – networking, advertising, purchasing – he and Aiden placed their hopes and dreams in Yahweh’s hands.

In his Sabbath message, Uncle Louie shared a message about Joshua. In Joshua 1:7-8 (NIV), Yahweh encourages the new leader of His chosen people: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Louie then pointed out that “success” in Yahweh’s eyes is very different from the world’s view. Doing the will of Yahweh, walking in His path, glorying His Name, and finding and doing what Yahweh has purposed for our lives – these are what make us successful.

We all want Aiden and Andrew and Allegra’s Gallery to succeed. If the Grand Opening Day is an indication of the days, months, and years to come—a day filled with bringing happiness to people, helping others with their own business dreams, including family and loved ones in the blessings, honoring Yahweh and keeping Him the focus of every thought and decision—then Andrew and Aiden have already succeeded.

Psalms 90:17 (Jerusalem Bible): May the sweetness of Yahweh be on us! Make all we do succeed.

To Aiden and Andrew – May the sweetness of Yahweh be with you on your new journey.

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