The story of girl who could!

by Buffy Frank December 25, 2016

The story of girl who could!

It is with great excitement that I’m writing my first blog post for Crescent Moon! I'd like to start by introducing myself!

My name is Buffy - no I am not a vampire slayer - but he name came from an old TV show called "Family Affair".  It was a long time before I or my siblings were able to live it down, however, we loved it privately!  I love it because it gives me artistic license and I have enjoyed being in the art world and being creative my whole life.  I spent time in the Army and a lot time taking classes in every aspect of art I could get my hands on!

I came from a small town in Michigan, during the time when our parents and their parents worked at General Motors and we knew that we needed to work for our living.  I love Michigan but is too cold for me.  So when the military sent me to California, I was in love!  The military taught me many things about myself, but mostly how strong I could be no matter where or what road I chose to go down for a career.  I started in the dental field in high school and it continued in the military.  Although the military didn't allow much time, I spent some of it in the retail word on the side.  I also enjoyed my extra time being creative with painting and studying art.

After my departure in the military, I found myself in Virginia where I met my husband and had two beautiful children, whom are now grown.  They are the love of my life and I spent 17 years as a stay at home mom. As they grew up, I grew in my love of art and continued my art education, one class at a time.  I worked retail, theatres, and pharmacies part-time, as well as painting murals, and being a Sunday school teacher, Art Director for the Vacation Bible School at the church we attended. I also sat on the board with the PTO where my children attended, and enjoyed it all!  It's hard to say, but I really didn't spend much time during those years thinking of what I would do after they grew up. 

After my oldest graduated from high school I found I had a lot of time on my hands, and it was hard to know that he was off to school and didn't need me so much. I tried in earnest to keep busy, but I was at home during the day by myself and bored stiff.  What I didn't tell you was that I loved retail with a passion. I also love the public!  Working with soldiers in the dental office then in the private sector in orthodontics, I always felt compelled to help others and be social. I tried social media, however, it didn't fill the need for that human to human, face to face need. So, in 2012, a year before my son graduated, I was sitting our beach house just north of Wilmington, NC, I had viusited a gallery and began to think I may be good at this. I didn't feel sure, and I was frightened, but I also had found a great magazine for Wilmington's Women in Business, called WILMA!  I read it cover to cover and it was filled with mom's and women just like me in business's that were prospering and the platform in which they supported each other.  I pulled down deep within myself to at least see if I had a platform in which to grow a business.  My first company was called "Logistic Glamour."  It was for women who are on the go with work or any other callings, and we provided the accessories and support to go "SHINE", in whatever they did. I worked on it for a year, and pitched the idea to a wonderful woman in the business of helping grow small business's and boutiques, to up and coming designer's. She loved it and with the support of my husband and family I went for it. 

The year following was a difficult one as we had a million things going on. My husband and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary, my son was graduating, along with my late sister's daughter up in Michigan all within a few weeks of each other that summer.  I spent a lot of time doing logistics planning for a ceremony at a vineyard with our closest family and friends, with the mindset of honoring all that came.  We made it through so much in twenty years and when they say "it takes a village" to raise children, it also takes one to make a marriage strong and flourish.  It was a beautiful ceremony and my son's graduation was glorious.  All of it though took a toll on me, an di was struggling to keep up energy by the end of that summer.  However, I stuck to my guns and worked arduously on the planning and growth of the company. The end of the year was tenuous at best, but somehow we made it through. I had a medical emergency come up from my prior brush with ovarian cancer, which left me after surgery, on bed rest for the last three months.  I used the time to study and learn all the ins and outs of retail and marketing Art, and women's fashions along with accessories, and home décor. As I grew stronger I laid out plans for my first buying trip set for January. Christmas went very well and then I set off just two days after Christmas for New York, to meet the woman who believed in my ideas, and was the best teacher ever in the world of retail and business.  (If you want to learn more about Mercedes send me an e-mail, I might just share!)

Once in New York, I felt very intimidated and small, however, the beautiful Merced's showed me the way to navigate the city and I learned again that I was stronger than I ever gave myself credit.  The seminars and the classes taught me a lot, but once that was over she sent me to a Atlanta for the biggest eye opening week of my life.  Through it all I prayed for guidance from above, and from afar my husband was a great support.  I must say if he hadn't believed in me I wouldn't be telling this story. He is my best friend and my confidant and I am so lucky to have him in my life. Footnote: we are still married but live apart. But this doesn't matter for I could never replace or want another man in my life.

Following my trip I had homework to do, in the financial end.  Excel and spreadsheets weren't my strong suit. I made a calculation error and through myself into a helpless fear of failure. I frightened and I was in territory that no one in my immediate circle of friends had knowledge in the background of the field. so I very much felt I was in uncharted waters. The next month on his birthday, My brother passed at just 45 very suddenly and we still don't know what exactly caused his untimely passing.  It was just 4 days prior to mine and we were just one year and four days apart.  Although he lived in Michigan, we had a very strong bond, and I never knew a day without him.  He was my Jody!  I will always love you sir!  I had taken some time out to collect myself after my calculation mistake in California, but his passing, I returned to Michigan to see his three daughters.  The grief for them was awful.  I had taken an occupational therapy class while in CA, where one class they had us make worry stones.  I hated the thought of carrying a worry around and offered a better idea to make "Hope Stones"!  Something inside me said the girls needed them to remember my brother's word's of encouragement and nicknames for each of them.  And while trying to remember all the phone calls and his funny nicknames, I decided to go to the craft store buy all the supplies and bring them to the girls.  So, when I went to Michigan I had 40lbs of rocks in my suitcase, and art supplies.  I was told later by the girls that it was the most honored thing I could have done for my brother and them.  To which is why I decided they would be in my first brick and mortar store!  I make everyone and all the proceeds go to the local ovarian cancer research foundation chapter in Wilmington.  SHE-ROCKS.org got $2,016.00 this year from our "HOPE STONES."

For the most of the year following his passing, I pondered my life. I was so angry and sad for the loss of both of my siblings, I felt lost, again.  I tried to believe I would soon be gone too, or that I was left behind to be sorrowful and suffer forever.  I told myself this wasn't happening, but it was and I was stuck in trying to figure out again what I was here for. I was seeing a therapist who said my losses and trauma had caused me debilitating mental health issues, and I struggled with the thought of never working again.  I had helped so many friends and family members get out and do their passion and I was teaching my children to reach for the stars, while I ended up in bed of exhaustion nd grief.  I was sick too many times to count and grew to hate myself and lost my will.  That October I had a very sudden trauma of the loss of a friend to suicide, and I thought this isn't what I want!  What am I to do?  My doctors said I was trying so hard to make others happy, and I was trying to fill my happy basket and getting frustrated because it was just a sieve. I was told to stay in my bed grow a backbone and learn to say no to others.  See I am everyone's mom if they'll let me!

Very soon after the doctor's instructions for bedrest again, and too many Law and Order's I started to bring my art materials into my room.  I must mention I had and have the best friend in the world who became my home healthcare aide, and every morning when she arrived, she sang "Good Morning, Miss Buffy".  Marta, I love you!  If it were not for her also, I would not have made it.  She brought everything for any project I could dream up.  She assisted me, and crafted alongside me, for almost 8 months.  I started making my own silk flowers, and giving them away, and "Hair Bows", and I started the portrait of both my sister, and brother and I that never had been taken.  I was merging three different photos into one portrait for my family.  I drew in earnest and crafted so much, my husband would have to clean off the bed just to go t sleep at night.  I know he loves me, it was a disaster top clean up. 

I slowly got stronger with the help of my family and therapy, but still didn't have a direction of where I was needed or wanted to go.  I bounced around to NC and VA as much as I could.  While in Wilmington, I was told about the downtown app they were making with the local business's, like art galleries, restaurants, and more, so I put it on my phone, to try it out.  In April of 2015, I saw that the Crescent Moon was for sale, and I was devastated to think it would be gone.  I had met one of the most talented artists ever there and she had been such an inspiration, telling me once an artist always an artist.  In a millisecond of time I thought about it, but then said to myself "NO!"  Well, to make this long story short, I didn't tell anyone, and kept my eye on it and wondered if I had what it took.  I promised myself if I told no one until I asked to purchase it and got a yes from that owner, then I would say something, for to tell someone what your going to do, before it's settled, it leaves open a place for criticism.  I knew that I could not handle and it took me three more months to work up the courage. 

I believe that everyone needs something to live for, and if I can be of assistance, then I am here. I wanted Crescent Moon to be there for anyone else who needed the inspiration, so I set out to help it recover from the financial burdens it was suffering and the loss of such a big history in Wilmington.  Crescent Moon got it start down in the Cotton Exchange as a "Little Glass Shop, With a Big Attitude".  It's growth into it's current location at 24 N Front Street in Downtown Wilmington, NC just two blocks south of where it got it's start, was and is the perfect place for such an Art Venue.

Art is number one here at Crescent Moon, and so are our Artists.  Our website is a tribute to them, and the gallery is where they shine!  We have brought the very best artists together, with so many different media's. To call us eclectic, is not wrong, it's what we are!  We are bringing in new artists all the time, and love showcasing it for the public to take home.  We bring the most reasonable prices, for the best quality, anywhere!  I know everyone, and love them each individually. They come from across our country and brought together here in Wilmington, and now to you our broader audience.  I hope you enjoy their bio's and thank you for your patience as we load their works and photos over the coming months. 

I'll continue my little story of how the little girl "Buffy" could, and I hope it inspires you and you enjoy our other products for your enjoyment, fashion and technology needs! 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, and all other Holiday's this season brings.  May you have peace, and remember to pay forward the blessings in which you've received.

Buffy





Buffy Frank
Buffy Frank

Author