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The Journal Entry That Bought Nineteen09

I'm Katy

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A little story about purchasing the historical building located at 1909 Main Street in Cross Plains, Wisconsin.

I’ve never really written this story down, told it many times but never in quite the detail I’m about to. It’s quite personal and it’s a little woo woo so if you have a hard time believing in signs, visualization, manifesting or the power of stars aligning, you’ll probably want to scroll on by. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Having sold real estate for a time in my twenties, browsing real estate has always been a passion of mine and when this property hit the MLS, I was, shall we say, intrigued.

Intrigued might be an understatement since I immediately filled out the form on Zillow to set up a showing. A huge no-no in the real estate world if you already have an agent you work with.*

Anyway, with my experience as an agent, I didn’t really need someone to show me around, I just needed the lockbox combo to get in but there are rules I guess. So, on a Saturday in September 2018, I was able to gain access to the building with the help of a nice, young Realtor.

Did I have a plan for said showing and building? No. Just an impulsive personality and an unexplainable pull to this historic property. Since I was a kid I had always wondered what the inside looked like and dreamed about what I could do with it so when the opportunity to walk through it presented itself, I didn’t hesitate. And I didn’t need a reason.

Just a month prior to this showing, Cross Plains experienced a “thousand-year flood”. It was devastating for our little community; houses and business with horrific damage, parking garages and basements flooded, homes destroyed. I was convinced that this vacant building, currently owned by the bank (foreclosure), was filled to the brim with water. (Remember, I worked in a bank for years so I understand a thing or two about when the bank “owns” a property. Let’s just say no banker was in the basement bailing out water with a bucket.)

I arrived at the showing to a guy fighting with the lockbox at the back door. Ya know when you can just tell when someone is out of their comfort zone? Poor thing had probably never been in a town of less than 30k people. While he fiddled around with that, I walked around the back. The gardens were overgrown but you could see the potential. When we finally got in the door, I put on my blinders and went straight for the basement. I know myself well enough that if I had one little peek of potential it was over so I needed to see how bad the water damage was before I got hooked.

The basement was BONE-DRY. Like not a drop of water anywhere or a hint of musty air. Just clean, bright and dry. How could this centuries-old building survive a thousand-year flood? I would come to find out it was just the first in a long line of stars that aligned.

I didn’t tell my husband I was going to look at it. That’s not totally surprising given our history, but “I was just looking” anyway. I also didn’t have the faintest idea what we would do with it or how on earth we would find the money to purchase it. But for the next few months it poked me.

Then, in February of 2019 the price dropped. Not significantly, but enough to ping my MLS feed activity. We were in Florida visiting my dad at the time; I remember being at the kitchen table when it came across, turned my screen in Dale’s direction, told him I already went to see it and the rest, they say, is history.

The next few weeks are somewhat of a blur but short and sweet:

  • This time I went to the listing agent for a showing. (Again, I’ll explain why in the footnote…this is not something an agent might suggest as you are not respresented as a buyer.)

  • We got off the plane and went straight to the showing where Dale does what he does; crosses his arms, goes silent thinking of possibilities and sometimes scratches his forehead with the brim of his hat. I knew right then he was on TEAM LFG.

  • I met with a loan officer.

    • A little backstory: my first job was with the bank that had the property in foreclosure and is our hometown bank. I went on to the website and happened to see that the grandson of the former president of the bank when I worked there was a commercial loan officer. Jackpot. I made an appointment, told Ben my ridiculous idea of opening a wine bar in this building and away we went.

    • Ben has now become our “dream banker”, where we dream up shit and he helps us make it happen.

  • We wrote an offer; low.

  • The listing agent, doing his job, called all those that had seen it before and told him, “let us know if someone writes an offer” which triggered a firestorm of competing offers.

  • We had to raise our offer and I wrote a “colorful” letter about how cool Dale and I were and how we would single-handedly make Cross Plains better with a wine bar.

  • Overnight, I wrote a business plan with LivePlan, secured a domain name, applied for an FEIN, created an LLC, a logo, business cards and started a Pinterest board. This is just who I am, I can’t help it.

  • After we did all that we could physically and professionally, I journaled. I wrote out a visualization dripping with gratitude on the day our offers were presented to the board of directors at the bank. It was the last thing I could think to physically “do” before I just had to let go and allow the Universe to work her magic. If it was meant to be it was meant to be.

The following is the visualization journal entry the day our offer was presented along with three competing offers:

“I don’t fear the outcome today.

I hope Kevin V {the real estate agent} has a good day – I know he will be busy and probably overwhelmed. Universe, please help guide him.

Our idea will allow me to use all of my skills to provide jobs, a place for people to feel comfortable laughing with friends, maybe shedding a tear and learning new things.

The space will allow me to shine through customer service, creativity, design, marketing and coming up with new ideas all the time.

I know the Universe will do what’s right for me. I am on a path that will allow me to open up all my doors to receive abundance.

I receive freedom in this endeavor as I will feel free to try new things.

I look forward to providing staff with a purpose and know that this will bring us closer together.

This will be the opportunity to put all my enlightening over the past few months to the test. All the work I’ve done up to this point is made for this opportunity.

I know the other offers out there are just to make sure we are serious about this.

I am so grateful for where I am right now. I feel comfortable in my own skin, I feel stronger mentally and physically than I can ever remember and I am confident this can work and I know it will be successful.

All the goals I have written down could be attained with this adventure.

I want to prove to myself that I can do it – the honest, authentic, right, brilliant way that I know I can.

I have been able to see clearly and I am so grateful for all the things that have happened so I may open my eyes to all the brilliance and beauty in this world.

I know that I am but a vessel sent here to awaken my true purpose; to provide inspiration for those that need it, to quit drinking, get healthy, try something new, start a business and ultimately live their most authentic lives.

My goal is not happiness because that comes and goes. My goal is that I can live true most of the time in my purpose:

  • To inspire

  • To give of my gifts

  • To share my gifts with the world

My gifts are:

  • Inspiring others

  • Compassion & Empathy

  • Creativity & Idea-building

  • Tenacity

While I can’t wait for spring, I recognize that Mother Nature is just giving us a little more time to straighten this out before we need to work outside. I am grateful for the extra downtime.

I know she will not let us down, I can hear the birds chirping so I know spring is on the way.

I grabbed my mug: “Gather here with a grateful heart”. I will hang this at Nineteen09 because that’s what I plan to provide; a place to gather with a grateful heart.


I can see myself unlocking the front door on a sunny warm mid-morning.

Blue bag strung across my body, coffee cup with tea in hand. Maybe I fluff the abundant flower pots on my way in.

I walk in to a clean, refreshing room filled with light and good, quiet energy. I set my bag and cup down on the white quartz island and set about turning the lights on.

I can tell the employee from the night before took extra time to straighten shelves, wipe down and clean floors.

I turn on the computer and look at last night’s sales, so grateful for the community that has contributed to our abundance.

I make a mental note of everyone that has visited and say a little thank you to them.

I grab my mug and bag and head upstairs to my office to start the business day.

I check on finances, social media and emails.

After I spend an hour or so there I go outside to tend to the flowers and patio.”

It worked. The offer was accepted in March 2019.

But we had another hurdle to get over: financing. We had to swallow so much pride (so much), check our egos at the door and ask for {financial} help. Not easy especially since we were turned down more than once, but in the end, no one gets through this life without a little help.

Side note here: looking back I realize we could have never done this without help and Dale and I have vowed to pay that forward. One of the things we are most excited about as we become more successful is the ability to help, financially or other, anyone that wants to pursue a dream. We want to be the ones to say yes. It’s our favorite.

Again, after we felt we did everything we could, I journaled. Gratitude journaling feels weird at the time, writing about being thankful for all that you have even though you don’t have it yet, but looking back on it 4 years later, it’s other-worldly.

I could write this about my experiences today almost word-for-word.

After acceptance, but prior to the financing approval:

“I am so grateful for the approval of the building and business loan we are receiving.

I am so grateful to be able to sit in my own office, enjoying the bright sunshine that is flowing through the windows and ceiling all around me.

I am so grateful for our guests that are sitting with their friends laughing and relaxing. They have chosen our place to share their company with.

I am so grateful for the photography community that has embraced our studio idea so that we may afford all office spaces for ourselves.

I am so grateful for my brain so that I may learn new things; about owning a building, three businesses and inspire others to do the same.

I am so grateful for Dale’s handy work and that heis eye for detail and work ethic has gotten the doors open in record time.

I am so grateful for my yoga practice for it has given me the mind space I need.

I am so grateful for the creative community for their willingness to teach classes and workshops in our new space.

I am so grateful for the bank and others for they are willing to take the risk with us and believe in our dream.

I am so thankful for the team of employees we have. Their dedication and loyalty to us and our guests is what keeps us as one of the top wine bars in Dane County.

I am so grateful for all the positive press we’ve received in magazine, the papers and online.

I am so grateful for my kids’ patence, help and willingness to participate. Their positive attitudes have made the process a pleasant experience.

I am so grateful for the abundance of money that give us the freedom and security I’ve never had before.

I am so grateful for my health and the clarity to learn lessons and receive all the good things this life is offering me everyday.

I am so grateful for friends that can recognize my talents and have faith that I will find my way in this world.

I am so grateful for all of the support for Nineteen09 already. We will be so successful which will be measured by a steady income, security and the energy in the room on any given day.

I am so grateful that the things I get to do for money doesn’t feel like a job.

I am so grateful that planting flowers and making the space look nice is just part of what I do now.

I am so grateful for the strengthened relationships this path has brought to me.

I am so grateful I am able to recognize all the gifts this life has to offer me.

I am so grateful for the people that have told me I have inspired them to do better when it comes to self-care.

I am so grateful I am no longer scared to stand in my truth.

My truth and authenticity is my best quality and if I remember that everyday I will never ever fail.

Failure is only a lesson to do better next time.

I am so grateful to be able to sit on this bed, have the time and the freedom to write.

I am so grateful sitting at the desk in my office being able to look back on the past few months and rejoice that it has all come together exactly as it should have.

I am grateful for the quiet.

I am grateful to have a full plate to keep me busy and my mind sharp.

I am grateful for Dale and his ability to see the big picture.

I am so grateful for my home, the green grass, even the snow which makes me even more thankful for the beautiful Wisconsin spring and summer days ahead.

I am so grateful for a boss that is happy for me.

I am so grateful I took the time to take a step back, clean out the clutter in my head and soul so that I was able to receive all of thse wonderful gifts that I have been able to look at as the miracles that they are.

I am so grateful for the genius minds that came up with Pinterest. The fuel that feeds my creative mind is so inspiring.

I am so grateful for the money that is coming my way and that it may teach me the value of my talents, ideas and worth.

I am so grateful for yoga and the way it makes me feel at peace. My body has changed and become so much stronger, lean and stable.

I am so grateful I have the knowledge to recognize my struggles but then give myself the grace to learn from them.

I am so grateful for the habits I have broken and the ability to practice rather than just everything being black and white.

I am so grateful for all of the support we have received about the building so far and how much we are about to receive.

I am so grateful I will have a place to work and call my own.

I am so grateful for all of our guests and customers that are willing to spend their hard-earned money with us.

I am so grateful for my kids and their willingness to come along on this adventure.

I am so grateful for the amazing artists that allow me to buy their creations to make others happy.

I am so grateful to the Universe for giving me and the people around me the talents and faith to bring these dreams together.

I am so grateful for all of the ideas that others have offered as suggestions for the business.

I am so grateful for finishing the 90 days alcohol-free because it gave me the confidence to do be able to do it again.

I am so grateful for the coffeeshop as it’s provided me a place to work and connect.

I am so grateful to have faith in the not-yet-seen.

I am so grateful for Dale’s talents to help bring this dream in to reality.

I am so grateful I had the courage to stand in my truth.

I am so grateful for the vulnerability and humbleness I was allowed to share with so many.

I am so grateful for all the amazing lessons I have learned to bring me to this very day.

I am so grateful for the feeling of anxiety because it lets me know something is not right.”

We worked like dogs for 83 days straight in order to open the doors to Nineteen09 on July 18th, 2019. It was a perfect, friggin’ hot, day to open the door to a dream. The dream was not so much to open a bar, but to create a space.

That space opened the door to another space, then another, then another and more to come.

Reading this over again, it’s hard to believe it was written in March 2019. Every single thing I was grateful for then stands true today.


*Working with another real estate agent while you already have one, or even if you don’t, causes an issue if the purchase goes to closing. There is something called “procuring cause” meaning if you work with an agent to see a property and the agent has done some work with you, they may be entitled to the commission even though you already work with someone else. Keep this in mind if you are shopping around for property. Loyalties and who’s working for who can get blurry.

* We decided to work with the listing agent, knowing full-well that he was ‘working for the seller’. The listing agent is bound legally to work to get the best situation for the seller, NOT the buyer. I decided to do this for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was confident in my skills as a former agent

  2. This was a foreclosure so while the bank needs to get out from “under water;” they are not in the business of selling or holding on to real estate.

  3. The bank has no emotional ties to the property so I didn’t see the need for a buyers’ agent to help negotiate.

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

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