I’ve mentioned my shop dreams a few times here on the blog but I haven’t really gone into detail about my previous experiences, or why I want to open a shop in the first place. As you know, I am working up to the launch of my new shop at the end of this month, so I thought now would be the perfect time to share my journey so far…
I think I have always wanted to own a little shop in one form or another, and I have certainly always loved making things and sharing them with other people. My first attempt at my own business was when I was 17 and I set up an online shop called Laceflair (haha – I know) selling vintage and handmade jewellery. I learnt a lot about product photography and website design, but made barely any sales as I had no idea about promotion. Then I went to drama school and didn’t have time to keep the shop running so it fizzled out.
my old business card - hehe!
Even throughout my degree I was quietly plotting my next shop venture. I loved thinking about branding, taking product photos and creative business planning. My only problem was that I didn’t know what I wanted to sell – I didn’t have a niche. I was putting a lot of thought into what I wanted my shop to be like, with not enough thought into the actual products – a little backwards right?
My next proper dabble in the handmade marketplace was at Christmas when I sold at my first craft fair. Some regular readers may remember me sharing lots of plans and work in progress pictures… It was a busy and exciting time, working around the clock to make enough stock to fill up my stall while also keeping on top of my other design work and holding down a “pay the bills” job. I sold Christmas cards and decorations, advent calendars and various other seasonal pretty things, and the stock I didn’t sell at the fair I put up on to an Etsy shop.
After Christmas I took a little break from shop planning while my set design work was picking up. I have done a lot of theatre work, but designing a special wedding for my friends really made me realise that I want to continue my career in event design. I discovered that event design pulls together the two things that have been battling for my attention for so long: my freelance design work and my dreams of a shop… It was in designing the little decorations and details for the wedding that I thought – “I could sell these”. I feel that in designing decorations and props for parties, I have finally found my niche!
So that brings us up to date – I’m still very much in a state of flux, but very excited about what this next adventure might bring. After a lot of “back to the drawing board” moments and conflicting ideas, I have a really good feeling this one might stick.
Thanks for reading this wordier than usual post, and hope you will stick with me as I muddle my way through the next steps…