We’ve now passed our first year anniversary and have learnt an awful lot in our fist year of trading. Its fair to say we’ve made mistakes (too many to mention!) and we started in difficult economic times with the uncertainty that Brexit brings looming. But we are learning and growing. Sitting behind a screen and running an e-commerce business is not an easy way out to start and build a business. Yes, it’s relatively straightforward but unlike a physical store, you don’t get to meet your customers and gather feedback. So in our first year we decided to spend a good deal of time getting out and about. Van hired, loaded and unloaded several times, days and nights surviving on way to much coffee, stodgy carbohydrates, a few G&Ts, we have hit the road and throughly enjoyed meeting you all.
So where have we been ? Well, clearly the budget was not huge for a start up business so we attended a lot of school fairs, charity fairs and pop ups at friends houses. For anyone starting out in a retail, asking your friend to host a gathering for you is a great way to expand your reach and get customer feedback.
With a business in home accessories being mobile is somewhat tricky. Lugging around hefty boxes of ceramics, a few lamps, cushions, throws and even rugs is not for the faint-hearted I can assure you and there have been times when we have simply spent hours at a place only to realise that it’s not where we will find our target audience. But overall the pros have far outweighed the cons. A year on and we are now attending bigger more substantial fairs and events such as the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair, where we shall be again in November for the Christmas event. Set in a wonderful location, the clientele were delightful and could not have been more complimentary about our stand. Comments such as “oh my goodness it looks so fresh, crisp and beautiful, I just want it all” to “wow it looks like a version of Neptune or the White Company with a twist”. One visitor even saw our image in the magazine and came to the event especially to see us! It doesn’t get much better than that.
We also attended the Wild Tweed show in High Wycombe the first to be held at the shooting ground. A two day event it was a wonderful blend of high end shopping, events for the kids, food stalls and stage featuring some fabulous bands and DJ. Calendars permitting we’ll likely be back next year so watch out for it if you are in the area.
As for the future, well we are currently applying to further large events in London and the South East so keep a tab on our Instagram for updates and we’d love to hear from any of you if you have attended fairs further afield which you’ve really enjoyed. Its not problem to load the van up n the new year and hit the road. After a season of excess we will certainly be craving the exercise!
And just for a laugh, the infamous “Floss” video..