***I just realized I didn’t publish this blog – it should have been shared on 26th May! As they say – better late than never. Lots has happened since then, but I’ll update that soon)***
Well … we did it. Four weeks to the day after getting the keys to our new shop we flung open the doors and were greeted with a steady stream of new friends and customers and lots of oooohs and aaaahs at all the gorgeous new products. The whole range hasn’t made it on to the web shop yet, but we will get there as soon as there’s a moment to draw breath. If you’re near Northampton please pop in and see us.
The building itself turned out to be much more of a ‘project’ that we’d fully comprehended, but with all the focus initially on the shop front and shop floor we still stayed within our four week target to get open. While we were doing the work we had lots of visitors, most of whom nodded sagely when we said we planned to open within four weeks – a few came right out and said that it would probably take us much longer with a laugh. They obviously hadn’t met Mr Mooch who has the biggest capacity for hard work that I’ve ever seen. Mr Mooch didn’t actually do all the work himself – he had the help of our secret weapon, Chris (who quite frankly can turn his hand to anything) we hammered, replaced a whole set of floor joists that were completely rotted, stripped (paint), painted, screwed, pinned, sanded, drilled, plumbed, wired. While all this hard work was going on I drove to lots of builders and decorator’s merchants – we’re close friends now, I’ll miss those guys. There’s still a bit to do upstairs, but we’ll be ship shape by start of July.
So now we have a lot of shout outs of thanks to everyone who has helped us on our way to this point …
- First of all Phil, former colleague, gift shop owner (The Gift Shop, Warwick), all round nice guy and font of knowledge. We probably wouldn’t be gift shopping if it wasn’t for your help, support and advice in the early days. You’re a legend.
- Anna-Lou of Muddy Stilettos, Northants who gave us some coverage in the early days that gave us a much needed boost while we were just a little online venture. The continued social media love we get from Muddy Stilettos has been hugely beneficial
- Karen – our wonderful friend who has been there with words of support and encouragement since day one. Every time we had niggling doubts Karen was there with just the right word at the right time to keep us going. And when it all got a bit frantic towards the opening Karen was there at the end of her working day and over the weekend to help us price and unpack (but really – why would anyone need a pack of six 100th birthday cards). We love you bird.
- Our band of loyal pals Graham, Jo (tip run queen), Rosie, Tim, Millie and Charlie for all your help during stock in. There’s no way we’d have opened on time without your help. We can’t thank you enough for giving up your weekend after busy weeks to lend a hand.
- Northampton Borough Council who supported us with a Vacant Unit Grant and Shop Front Grant. The whole experience with the council has been fantastic – from the regeneration team, to the conservation team and planners, we can’t speak more positively about our experience. We literally couldn’t have done this without their help, support and advice.
- The gorgeous Barbers who have been there and done that on the whole refurbishment thing and helped us find all the right tradesmen to keep us on track – you guys rock.
- And finally – Debbie … aka my Executive Assistant, who has helped us to keep our house ticking over and jumped in on the night before we opened and helped us to price and merchandise 1200 greetings cards (after they got delivered late).
Stay tuned for more moochy news soon …