I am happy to present to you our fourth local business spotlighted in the Pay it Forward feature – A + H General Store.
Our recent Lake County business featured was Sandra Campos, owner of Fixin It Up with Sandra Shop, who chose to Pay it Forward to Sabrina Andrus, owner of maker. and the A + H General Store.
The catch is that I will not choose the next business to interview, but the current spotlighted business will choose who I will interview next. Local businesses will Pay it Forward.
The A + H General Store is a one-of-a-kind store offering hard-to-find specialty foods, vintage gifts, nostalgic candy and games, gift cards and more. Sabrina has been known to help create personalized gift baskets and brilliant meals available at her store – everything from Lake County Hats to local honey and much more.
1. Why did you decide to start your own business?
I started my own business for a myriad of reasons. I was back here in Lake County during a sabbatical from leading a nonprofit based in Oakland, where I had been living for 7 years. I wanted a new adventure; I wanted a new outlet for my creativity and to be my own boss. I’m a lawyer by training and decided to take the leap and bring some of my favorite things to the Main Street of my hometown. Moving back to Kelseyville also allowed me to be with my mom more as she was fighting an illness. Owning my own business gave me flexibility.
2. How do you deal with fear and doubt?
I process my fear and doubt by talking freely about them with my wonderful friends. When I was first introduced to the researcher Brene Brown’s work, I was smitten. She talks about the importance of speaking about our shame, our fear and our doubts. To be courageous and name them, examine them. Because shame, fear, and doubt all thrive in silence. So I recognize these feelings as another way to learn, to grow. It’s a lifelong process for sure!
3. Where do you see your business in five years? Ten?
I currently own two retail shops in downtown Kelseyville, A+H General Store (founded August 2018) and maker. (founded June 2019). In five years, I expect to have a larger presence around Lake (and surrounding) Counties, while also expanding into some new directions. I’m somewhat vague about it, admittedly, because I am a firm believer in being open to new directions, perhaps ones I would not expect. Above all, my business will still be bringing me joy in five, ten years. That I know for certain.
4. How do you set your business apart from others in your industry?
For each of my shops, I have a very clear vision, one that I use as a litmus test for every decision I have to make. Is this product or this maker or this event in line with my vision? So while I maintain openness to new opportunities and direction and value my adaptability, I am firm in my overarching goals for each shop. A+H is a communal space full of hard-to-find specialty foods, quirky and cheeky gifts, and vintage games and candy, and ready to help my customers try new things or put together the perfect meal or gift basket – While maker. is my homage to local artisans who make beautiful products with their hands. You want bright colors and whimsy? A+H is your spot. You searching for well-crafted, locally-made gifts in a gorgeous space? We’ve got you covered at maker.
I’m a bit of a wanderlust. So when I’m in new places, I’m constantly doing market research. What are the new trends in food, in jewelry, in marketing? How can I translate what I love about what I learn into my shops back home?
5. How did you market your business when it was brand new?
Two words: social media. And of course, we always rely on word of mouth!
6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
In this exact rainy-day moment, I’m dreaming of being poolside in Palm Springs, where I can also find more inspiration for the shops.
A+H General Store – 3925 Main Street in downtown Kelseyville, open 7 days a week from 11-5, with expanded hours during special events.
@aandhgeneralstore on Instagram and Facebook
maker. – 3915 Main Street in downtown Kelseyville, open Thurs-Sun from 11-5.
@we.are.maker on Instagram @hellowearemaker on Facebook
Sabrina has recommended Kyle with Terped Out Kitchen – her favorite food truck!
Stay tuned for Terped Out Kitchen!