221 The Charm Merchants*
*Eldovian Era 1713, 24th day of the 6th month*
Iah smiled warmly as she opened the case that the two workers had just set on the table in front of the customer.
"I hope this satisfies your request, Mr Rensmitt," Iah said, her hand swept over the contents as she reiterated his order, "Ten belts inlaid with protection and truth charms, a locking and unlocking charm set and a large clarity charm".
She opened the separate boxes for the clarity charm and the lock set. The charms they usually sold, what they considered 'small' were about the size of a large grape or a walnut and could be found on the shelves out front if they were not placed in a specific order as Mr Rensmitt's were. If any customer desired a medium charm, which was roughly the size of a chicken's egg, or a large charm, which was about the size of an apple, they could place orders for it. Mr Rensmitt had taken advantage of this special order deal offered by Moonshadow Charms, and Iah could see the satisfaction on his face as he appraised the charms before him.
"Excellent," he said, "You must thank your craftsman for this work".
"I will do just that," Iah smiled back, "If there is no problem should we settle the bill?"
"Of course, of course," Mr Rensmitt smiled, digging in his bag for his purse, "I believed the owed amount was 432 gold as you already had the 10% deposit, yes?"
"That is correct, Mr Rensmitt," Iah smiled before he handed over the pouch he had which Iah promptly handed to the workers to count, "The belts are quite something, Mr Rensmitt, I'm sure your subordinates will be quite thankful to you for caring for their safety".
Mr Rensmitt chuckled at the praise, "So long as it keeps them and my business safe from the unexpected, it is more than worth it. This Clarity Charm was more for my own interest, I have heard great things about it".
"The Clarity Charm is a favourite among the tired and stressed thanks to its properties, even despite its steep price," Iah stated, "Though I do not recommend using it more than once a day. Having the Mist's power flow through the mind repeatedly can have some unwanted side effects".
Mr Rensmitt nodded seriously before the attendants behind Iah tapped the table they were working at twice, a sign that the money was all present and accounted for.
Iah stood, closing the box that held her customer's item, "Thank you for your business, Mr Rensmitt, Ben and Taylor will walk the crate out to your carriage if you desire".
"I would greatly appreciate the help, my old bones aren't what they used to be," Mr Rensmitt smiled as he shook Iah's hand gratefully then followed the two workers out.
Iah the coin back into the purse and handed it to a passing worker in the hallway, "The accounting room please, the Rensmitt Order is completed".
"Yes, Lady Moonshadow," the worker stated before she walked confidently out of the consultation room.
Iah still wasn't used to the name. The success of the business had practically bought it for her. Falla hadn't thought anything of it when Iah had protested, "You're a successful businesswoman now, it's a good idea to take on a last name. I don't think Rassa would mind that you take on his".
Thanks to the money she now had, Iah had opened up accounts at the bank for Kit and herself as well as all the children. Most of them, thanks to Moonshadow's success, had gotten apprenticeships at either Falla's business or elsewhere on the Island. Only a few of the younger ones remained at the Ruin.
When they'd abandoned the Ruin for the six months after Sharli and Rassa's deaths, it hadn't sat well with Iah. As soon as she was earning enough, she'd brought up the part in the contract that specified that Moonshadow was supposed to sell the charms. Falla had been impressed by Iah's insistence, and had allowed the switch. Falla still earned 35% of the profit from the charms themselves, but Iah held the rest. Any inlays or the fabric pouches for holding the charms Falla earned 90% of their profit, with Iah only getting a share for distributing them.
Still, despite how things were divided, Iah had no room to argue. They were earning 70,000 gold in just their regular stock every week, not to mention the special orders. Their growth in business was unprecedented. Despite moving the main business back to the Ruin, the flow of traffic hadn't stopped, in fact, as the buildings around the Ruin were bought and rebuilt by Falla and Iah as well as many others, the entire district seemed to bloom in a little over a year. All thanks to Moonshadow Trading.
Iah had kept thinking that eventually the profits would slow. After all, the Charms weren't disposable items, but even after more than a year the business seemed to only be growing. People were coming from all over the world in order to buy their products, many begging them to build a shop in their countries. Iah and Falla had certainly considered it with the profits they were getting, but they barely had enough trustworthy staff as it was, besides, if they wanted the product, they'd come.
Iah came into the front shop where there were half a dozen customers browsing the shelves and talking with the attendants.
"Ah, Lady Moonshadow," Mei, one of the attendants, approached when she noticed Iah had entered the room.
"Yes Mei?" asked Iah.
"Lady Startree arrived whilst you were with Mr Rensmitt, I've directed her up to your office," Mei said.
"Ah, thank you Mei," Iah smiled, "I'll be up talking with her if I'm needed".
Mei nodded respectfully as Iah turned and made her way back down the hallway. She passed the consultation rooms and the two storage rooms for new stock and special orders, then turned towards the staircase just before the large workroom that Olly and Kit would have been in had they been there. The only use it had now was the access to the vault. Iah then climbed to the second floor which held the accounting, records and public relations offices as well as the staff rest room. She avoided that hallway and went directly to the third floor.
The third floor of the ruin held her office and the staff meeting room at the back, but at the front were her main living quarters. When the business had taken off, there had no longer been enough room to house all of the Ruin's original tenants, so Iah had bought two buildings with apartments and had them redone before allowing the older ones to move in there and pay monthly rent at a very agreeable price. Falla had thought Iah was being a little too lenient when she'd heard the price, but Iah considered them family and never saw a problem.
Iah had bought many other buildings over the past. Most were currently being rebuilt, but one had been designated as staff living quarters, and another five that she'd rented out for businesses. She'd been hesitant to deal with others at first, too cautious of those who wanted a piece of Moonshadow's considerable profits for themselves. But those she had ended up dealing with were all previous customers of Moonshadow whom she had gotten along with well. They either rented the building spaces from her, or had signed a deal to encourage the growth of their businesses by allowing Moonshadow to invest with them. In return for Moonshadow owning 51% of their business shares, they were able to work and live in the buildings Iah had available to them rent free. Falla certainly thought that was too generous.
But Falla didn't run Moonshadow. Iah did.