December 18, 2018
We’re a week away from THE BIG DAY. The one everyone’s been working towards for at least the last few weeks. That’s right, Christmas Day is fast approaching, and I thought it might be a nice idea to give you an insight into what the run-up to Christmas looks like for us.
As everyone knows, Christmas is a crucial time for all Retailers big and small. It’s been great fun for us – after all, we’ve been given permission to put up even more fairy lights in the shop, listen to festive bangers on repeat and speak to lots of happy, busy people. We always feel privileged when someone decides to buy from us and it’s amazing to think of all the gifts that will be opened on Christmas Day that have been designed by us. It’s also a bit of a nerve wracking time – have we ordered enough, have we got the designs right and do we stand out in such a crowded marketplace.
Christmas for us generally starts around August (which I know is late compared to a lot of retailers and designers) when we start to plan out and work on any special festive designs and any other designs that we want to get finished ready for the Christmas shopping season. It’s also around this time that we really start to order in larger numbers from our other designers and from the suppliers of the components that we use to create our own products. We base our orders on past experience and how well we anticipate that certain products will sell. We’ve gotten pretty good at this but there’s always something that runs a bit short and something else that we end up with too many of. It’s all a learning curve!
By the middle of November we aim to have all our new designs finalised and most of our stock in place (though we often tend to have more ideas that we try to squeeze in along the way). The baubles, trees and fairy lights go up at this time too (we have a no Christmas music till December rule!). Decorating the shop itself can take 3-4 days and this year I spent a good day cutting and stapling lots and lots of white paperchains for the shop windows.
Our online sales tend to really pick up towards the end of November. This year we decided to dabble with our first official sale and we ran a great offer to coincide with Black Friday. Lots of customers took advantage so we were very happy with the response. Our days, and more often than not evenings, are then spent making and packaging our orders, serving our customers in the shop and making stock to keep the shop full. It’s a really busy and intense time trying to keep up to everything whilst keeping our two small children alive, fed and happy at home.
The run up to Christmas sees some fabulous weekends in Haworth. Each weekend is very Christmassy of course and has a different theme. We have the Christmas Market weekend, Torchlight Procession and the Brass Band Weekend to name a few. There’s a rather awesome group of very dedicated business owners from within Haworth who generously organise and co-ordinate the events. They’re awesome, busy weekends and it’s so good to see so many people supporting independent businesses.
We also did our first corporate order this year and we managed to turn around an order for 300 bespoke design coasters and personalised mugs in a week. It was long hours but we were so pleased to be asked and we couldn’t turn down a chance to take on that sort of work and the potential exposure it could bring to our business. This was the first week of December so on top of the online orders, shop and home life it was a pretty manic week. We do have two lovely ladies who work for us part time and assist us to manage the shop and their help was invaluable, particularly over the very busy weekends.
On a personal level, we have two very excited little boys at home. Our eldest is now a fully paid up member of the Santa Appreciation Club and our littlest spends his day hassling the baubles on the Christmas tree. We’re so looking forward to getting a few days off over Christmas as a family to chill out a bit and enjoy the magic that this season brings.
Here’s wishing you all a very merry and sparkly Christmas!
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