Rushed off my feet!

Well, I think that after a tough few weeks – we have finally got back into the swing of things at the shop and are starting to feel comfortable again after a few teething problems.  What with the sign not going up for a couple of weeks, website not finished yet and stock not arriving when it was supposed to, We were living by the skin of our teeth.

But I’m pleased to say we have had a fantastic response to the new concept.  There have been a  few ‘that’s a shame’ comments about the fact we’re not selling the kids second hand clothes anymore, but generally it’s been a very positive reception.

We’re so happy to be able to stock such wonderful brands.  I have tried to bring in different styles of interior items, just to see what the general feel is and it’s good to see that there are already some firm favourites!

We are lucky enough to display some illustrations by local author and artist, Rachel Pank and have had lots of interest and even a fantastic sale for her within two weeks of being open.  Well done Rachel!  I think you’ll agree her illustrations are fantastic and are a joy to look at.

As if re-opening a shop with a new name, brand, concept and website wasn’t challenging enough in the middle of my kids starting new schools…I decide to open up a concession in Birmingham!  Crazy I know but I guess you just have to ride the wave and hope you don’t drown!

Don’t get me wrong, it was my choice to make my life a little more hectic but Birmingham has taken on a life of its own.  Once I interviewed for new staff, decided on stock, hired a mobile credit card machine, which incidently doesn’t have any signal within the shopping center (that’s a whole other blog post), sorted out insurance, advertising, signage…the list goes on, well I was kind of hoping it would look after itself and I would pop over once a week to see how things are.  Wrong! I’m constantly worried about it, because I’m not there and as it isn’t just around the corner, I can’t just ‘pop’ over.  I’m in constant communication with the staff, who are fantastic by the way, and have to keep replenishing the stock as I don’t like to keep too much in storage there.

But enough of my ranting, I feel like I have sufficiently got everything off my chest and …things are doing great. The online shop should be ready this week and our discount cards will arrive on Wednesday.  If you would like to receive a discount card and take advantage of £15% off when you spend over £25.00,  then all you have to do is sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.  Once I send out the newsletter to say the cards are ready for collection, you can take full advantage, straight away and make some fantastic savings.

See you soon

A successful day

Today I went to Top Drawer, which is a brilliant trade fair specifically aimed at home, gifts and accessories, with some kids items too.  I only had 2.5 hours to get around Olympia as I had to get back for the school run, and let me tell you…that is not a very easy thing to do. Especially when there are so many fantastic products on display.  I’ve been to Top Drawer many times before for Love Me Again but this was the first time I was going for Home & Kids with my ‘interior, homeware and gifts head’ on.  I can quite easily focus on stands that have items geared towards children but I now have this whole world opened up to me and I was like a kid in a sweet shop.  My eyes were darting to and fro and my bag was bursting with brochures, leaflets and business cards.  I met some lovely people and was once again amazed by how talented the people of Britain are.  There are so many makers and producers of beautiful things from right here in the UK.  And yes, sometimes they are a bit pricier than some items made elsewhere in the world, but the love and care that goes into crafting these items, often to order, is amazing.  The fact that we can tell our customers where or how a cushion, lamp, bag, illustration etc… was made, even the story behind some designs, gives them all a great depth that I feel our customers really appreciate.

On another note, we have a special project coming up in Birmingham.  We have been asked by The Mailbox shopping center to set up a concession there for the three months leading up to Christmas.  I can’t wait but I’m also slightly overwhelmed by the amount of work and time it’s taking to set up.  I’ve been spending a bit of time in Birmingham, checking out the space and interviewing staff and I know that once it’s set up, I will have to go there at least a couple of times a week to check on everything.

We are one of five independent companies who have been asked to participate and will run in conjunction with the celebration of  the 10 year anniversary of Harvey Nichols being at The Mailbox and the launch date will also run alongside Birmingham Style Week.

So if you are in Birmingham anytime between the 23 September and the 30th December, then pop in and say hello.