WHY HAVING A BRICK & MORTAR SHOP IS NOT FOR EVERYONE
By the end of December we are closed down our brick & mortar store. Like for many it has always been my dream to own a physical shop and I couldn’t be happier I tried it. Having an online store for almost ten years, I’ve definitely had some ups and downs.
I started in 2009 working on my own at home, had 12 employees at one point, slept 4 hours a day for two years, made a lot of money and lost a lot along the way as well. I achieved some great things and failed some equally. And I think it’s important to talk about these things. The online world is very misleading and we can all have an impression everyone is doing fantastic, have loads of followers for no work and people to do all different jobs for them. As you might know yourself, nothing comes to anyone that easy. It’s a hard work, long days and never ending hours. But it’s fun!
Two years ago I decided to open a physical shop and sell original and tasteful gifts including our products we sell online. The start was great, we had a lot of positive feedback, gained some regular customers and met new local friends. We also started to organise creative workshops in our space. However last year, I found myself riddled with worries, absolutely no time for family and trying to run our online and physical store felt like running two different businesses. I decided I needed to change things. I thought for weeks and weeks what I wanted to do, what to keep and what to lose, what makes me happy and what not. Do you know the feeling when things start slipping down under your fingers and you feel like you are living someone else's story? When things start going a route which you no longer want to take? When something which originally brought joy starts draining you down?
I had to let go of something. As much as I loved choosing products from other brands and curating beautiful selection of gifts for kids and adults, it became impossible to do both sides of our business equally well. Our core products are wooden toys and personalised products and I wanted to have more time to develop that side of business. At the end, I decided to let go our gift store as I just can’t do a billion things at once and certain things feel more right then others.
I admit I felt sad and and I was letting people down for a while as I put so much energy, money and time into the shop. But once I decided to do it, I also felt really relieved.
22nd of December was our last day in the shop. We are staying in the premises but will be again only an online shop plus workshop space for creative workshops. With that, we will be saying goodbye to some of our suppliers but you never know what will happen in future. We met a lot talented people along the way and some became friends in real life. And I will be always grateful for this experience and what it brought to my life.
It doesn’t feel like a failure anymore, on the contrary as a success and achievement. I was able to live one of my dreams but perhaps after all I’m not cut out to be a shopkeeper.
And one thing I learnt in past ten years of having my own business, things never stay the same for too long and as much as I love my little company; it’s my work, hobby and passion but it shouldn’t overtake all my life.