Three and a half years ago I took the plunge and opened one. THE NEST. The name came from a feature that my favourite designer, Tricia Foley, used to do for Country Home magazine. She used to turn a dull room into something beautiful and her own house is stunning. The name of the feature The Nest really epitomised the meaning of home to me.
The reality of running a shop while working full-time with two young children, however, was that it was a lot harder than I had assumed it would be.
My small business had been going for years with me making things which I then sold either to order or at Christmas parties in customers homes. When I first opened the shop my theory was that I would only sell things I loved and which I would have in my own home. I also planned to make a large amount of the shop's stock. The more popular we got the more stock we had to buy which left me with more paperwork and less time to make stuff. I ended up having to fill the shop with stuff I didn't necessarily like that much but that I knew would sell. This was not what I intended for the shop when it all began or even before then when it was just a dream keeping me awake at night. Unfortuntately due to the recession my kind of shop suffered - the first thing people stop buying are little treats and bits and pieces for the home. I fell out of love with the shop because it kind of lost the look I had originally intended for it and because of the amount of work involved in staying afloat to pay other people and not myself. I closed the shop in July and haven't looked back. The decision to close the shop was one I didn't take lightly and was a huge source of stress for me - I think nurofen profits went up in dramatically thanks to me! But I have since learned that it was the right decision. I now have more time to make stuff which is my passion and I am constantly learning new techniques and developing new skills. I also feel that the shop is still alive albeit in my head, and just moving in a new more exciting direction.
I kept many of my customers as I had a large mailing list and used to have shopping evenings leading up to Christmas. Many of these now contact me to order things or call up to the house to see what I have to sell. I am sharing a shopping evening with a friend (who was and still is also a really good customer of mine) this week and have started to book home parties to sell my wares. With my discovery of the blogging world and ETSY a whole world of opportunities has opened up for me - both in terms of me 'meeting' like minded crafters most of whom are so more skilled and talented than me and by the fact that I am getting so much inspiration from you other bloggers. It's amazing how addictive this is. Thank you all x
Recognise the bed? It's now in Lily's room (for the time being)!