Six months in
We can't quite believe it, but March 3rd 2023 marks six months since we opened the doors of our new shop.
We got the keys in mid July and then spent the next two months stripping back what once was a bike shop, taking out every screw, filling all the holes, and repainting absolutely everything to make it our own.
The cost of everything is so high these days, we opted (and kind of had no choice) but to do everything our selves. We had some incredible help from family (Noel and Tina, we would have been lost without you!), and it was exhausting but between us we pulled it off somehow.
We laid a new concrete floor (had to paint that too!) and there were so many important decisions to make... and to make fast - as we couldn't continue very long paying rent with no money coming in! So we also enlisted the help of an interior designer that we had worked with in the past, called Ali Kirby. Over a couple of hours Ali asked such good questions about our likes, dislikes, what colours would and wouldn't work with our products. She took into consideration the buildings around us, the tone of the red brick outside, and what we hoped our furniture and shelving would look like inside. With her help we landed on a colour palette for inside and outside that we love.
Getting help with colours was one of the best decisions we made as we were able to tick it off, move on and thankfully avoid any costly mistakes. The talented Andrew Greaves did a great job for us with our signage and a few months later Vini Bustamante painted in the freezing cold and bitter wind and gave us the shutters of our dreams!
On the 3rd of September 2022, just when we thought our arms were about to fall off, we rather excitedly, and really nervously, opened the doors of our new shop!
Opening the doors was so scary, and I felt so sick! Leanne sent me next door for some food (and to breathe!) while she opened up and I came back a few minutes later a functioning person again. I shouldn't have been so worried, as when we opened, there was such a gorgeous wave of well wishers and people sticking their heads in to cheer us on. It was magic, and such a huge relief.
The shop was not yet exactly how we wanted it to be (and it still isn't!), but if we've learned anything the last few years in business, it's that you cant wait around for perfect. You have to just get stuck in, start somewhere, and keep building.
November brought the absolute shock and joy of being nominated for, and winning the lifestyle category in the Eir VIP Publishing Power of Women Awards. Leanne and I let loose and had such craic. It was a real buzz to be around so many inspiring women and hear all about their businesses. Our table had so many interesting women including Áine Kerr from Kinzen, Rachel from Happy Days and Sarah Breen of Complete Aisling fame.
Christmas was a total whirlwind. We had a good panic about what to stock and I regularly had dreams that it was Christmas week and we had already run out of everything. It's been a whopper of a learning curve. Having said that, we have had the pleasure of adding some gorgeous new Irish brands to our shelves including Sorrell Reilly, Sugarloaf Botanics, Aoife Slattery ceramics, Jill & Gill, Cramtaya and A Little Idea. We also started stocking books, gorgeous cards, and added pots, vases and homewares by Bloomingville into the mix as well.
We regularly ponder how or why our customers are so great. We have the friendliest heads walk through our doors. We are thoroughly enjoying the chats and also not knowing who will come in from one day to the next.
We've also expanded our little team and had the wonderful Lousie join us and it's been so much fun and great help having her around.
There's been really tough days (and weeks), and like every other business we worry about whats to come, but we're here for it and we'll continue to work like mad and build this hopeless little business as best we can.
Thank you so much to all of you who have sent us messages of support, and come in to our little shop. We're so happy we took the jump and went for it, thank you times a gazillion for supporting us along the way.
x Team HB