December 05, 2019
So 2019, I’d say, has been fun. We’ve achieved a long held ambition to open a second retail unit on a busy high street and it’s doing well.
I’m so pleased we opened the Skipton shop.. but it hasn’t been without it’s challenges.
We talked in great detail about opening a second shop pretty much since we opened the first one! I’m the type of person who always likes to have a goal in mind and I need to know that I’m working towards something tangible. So naturally, as soon as the first shop was up and running, and it seemed to be doing well, my thoughts turned towards expanding and opening a second shop.
Now little things do seem to have a habit of getting in the way. For us, one of those little (but very demanding things) was the birth of our second son. This lovely, squidgy, sleep and time sapping bundle of joy arrived in February 2017, almost 2 years after opening shop number one in Haworth. I took 9 months ‘maternity leave’ from the business (inverted commas as I stepped away from being in the shop physically however I was very much involved in the behind the scenes running of the business). There’s then the small matter of financing a second shop opening (filling and furnishing a shop eats cash), finding the right unit in the right location, and making the mental commitment to double the existing business and facing all the uncertainty that comes with that.
We viewed quite a few places that just didn’t feel right for whatever reason. They were either too small and expensive, too far away from passing footfall, too large or too far away from home. When we viewed the empty shop in Skipton with its manageable size, high ceilings, bright windows and great location right on the High Street we knew that it was the one for us. Now we just needed to work out the numbers and make the scary but exciting adult decision to step into the unknown and go for it.
As it happened, we signed the lease on our 9th wedding anniversary, had a week of rushing around frantically trying to sort out far too many things whilst also ordering A LOT of stock, looking after both kids (it was during the school holidays) and keeping the Haworth shop happy and ticking over.. then we took off on a plane and spent two weeks travelling down the east coast of Thailand. Conscious that we were now paying rent on an empty shop, we needed to open as soon as possible! As soon as we arrived home, we were straight into painting and decorating and we managed to get the shop open on 1st September.
The shop itself has grown and filled up as we’ve moved towards Christmas. We had the time to catch our breath a little and evaluate what else it needed to be more on par with our first shop. We also had the money coming in to be able to reinvest in improving the new shop.
We are only 3 months in to being a business with two outlets, however feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the good people of Skipton have been very kind in welcoming us to their High Street! We’re hitting the sales figures that I projected (I cannot tell you how much of a relief this has been) and we know that there’s plenty more that we can do to improve our current offering. We’re supported by a great team who have really helped us in achieving our goal.
I think that the most difficult part of change and growth is making the decision and stepping into the unknown. As the business grows, I’m learning to be more decisive and to actively listen to my gut. I think it’s worse to want to do something and to not try. The not knowing would get to me too much! I’m pleased that we went for it and I’m so grateful that the move has been a happy one. Now I just need a 2020 goal!!
Thanks for reading,
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