Where there is a will…

Lee Marran, a local resident who has lived in Hartbeespoort for years, tells how the popular ‘Our Shop’ opened.

Lee worked for the waste shop in Schoemansville in the same building years before, until it closed down.

She was encouraged by many whom she had gotten to know over the years to open up her own shop, but says that there simply wasn’t any money.

“I went out to buy some stuff one day and a lady I knew saw me and encouraged me again to open up a shop.” She got into her car, showed God her hands and said “Look God, my hands are empty but I would really love to open a shop if it is Your will but I have nothing.”

Lee’s late husband, Roy, went out one day and, without saying a word, returned with a key to the old waste shop. “He said he had asked for first option on the shop, and they had given him the key without us even having paid a deposit. It was so strange, he hadn’t discussed it with me and said he just felt I might want the shop.”

As Lee sat down one day to think of a name, she says she prayed and really wanted to use her shop not only as a business, but as a base from where she could reach out to people and work for God. “I realised that without Him, I would not have had this business so I decided to call it Our Shop.”

Lee had nothing to fill the shop with. “We had no capital to invest in stock.” Within the first month someone had paid the deposit on Lee’s shop as well as a month’s rent without being asked to do so and from there everything just fell in place. Although the beginning was a humble one with just a few zips and a bowl of buttons, things quickly grew and in no time, Lee was mending clothing and doing all sorts of sewing and crocheting.

Lee and Roy were in Durban one day, shortly after opening. “We stopped at a material shop and the Indian owner heard we were opening a business. He started cutting off and folding meters and meters of material we couldn’t afford and just wouldn’t stop and listen when I said we do not have money. His material was absolutely exquisite and very expensive.” Before they knew it, Lee and Roy walked out with bags and bags of material at a fraction of the price it would normally have cost them. “He said he liked it when people start something and did so in memory of his brother who owned the Jubies material shop in Brits and had passed away not long before that.”

As the years went by Lee experienced blessings she says she really cannot describe. “One woman came in and just dropped of rolls and rolls of material she had purchased in the East but said she wasn’t going to use.”

For 17 years Lee and a woman who offered to partner with her in the beginning, something she also considers a huge blessing that was sent her way, ran a very loved, frequently visited shop. Unfortunately, due to a brain operation, Lee started having difficulties with eyesight and paralysis and could not continue running the shop.

“It breaks my heart that I had to let it go, but I sold it to wonderful people who are doing so well,” she says. “That little shop was my heart and enriched my life and helped me learn valuable lessons every single day for 17 years.”

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