Sunday, 20 October 2013

Having a shop - two years on.

The colours of autumn in the garden
This week the shop celebrated it's second birthday. It was a quiet affair. No gold balloons and cupcakes. I opened in a recession and whatever the government may try telling us I think the recession is a whole lot worse now. If anyone asks me if I recommend them having a shop now I would have to be honest and say no.

I meet the most interesting people in my shop. I love the sociable side of it and I love the beautiful work I am lucky enough to sell. People tell me they love Handmade Happiness - the concept and the whole look of the shop. Many people enjoy looking round and often feel inspired to go and make something themselves when they leave. In that way HH does what it says on the tin - makes people happy!    

The problem is money - people hear about gas and electricity prices going up and everyone's talking about this coming winter being the worst winter we've maybe ever suffered and they think they had better not spend any of it. So shops like mine which sell non-essential things suffer.

I know people will come in and buy Christmas presents from my shop. And yesterday I had a delivery of the most gorgeous Christmas cards too. November and December will be brilliant. It's now -October I'm worried about. You know me I have to be honest!


Anonymous said...

I think handmade happiness is a fantastic and inspirational place. Being able to place my paintings in a shop full of original, quality items, full of colour and texture, is a wonderful thing.

What customers get from handmade happiness is the opportunity to buy something that is made well, with care and time devoted to it. Something beautiful, a little bit of treasure for their home.

I have noticed that the high street shops pick up on trends so quickly these days. There seem to be an awful lot of knitted, scandinavian style christmas decorations this year, for example. But although it cannot be denied that they are very pretty 'en masse' they are not 'special' and certainly not individual.

I think there are an awful lot of people who appreciate quality and style, and who are willing to pay for it. But I also think people resent the early christmas retail push by the big stores. And, let's face it the vast majority of people are struggling to put food on the table and fuel in the car.

I hope that things start to change soon, because Handmade Happiness is a rare kind of shop. The kind of shop that when you decide you fancy a 'cuppa' out and a browse around some lovely little shops, you hope you will find. But you hardly ever do! It's inspiring, exciting and very, very welcoming.


Anonymous said...

I know small businesses have a very hard time these days, over here as well. I hope you can make a killing over the Christmas season and that will take you through some lean months.
Are there any other ways of getting people in to buy?
A Christmas event with hot toddy and mince pies?
I know I've never been to the shop, so it's hard to know all that's there, even though I look on this blog daily - but I'm sure there's plenty of things that people could afford as part of their Christmas shopping - cards, ornaments, buttons ... just have to entice them in to do it. Much love Hazel

jenny said...

Thank you for your wonderful comments. I am really lucky to have friends like you.x

Ruthie said...

Hi Jenny!

Your shop is just lovely. Kind of like a craft version of a unique eatery rather than a chain! Let me know if you fancy any of my Autumnal bits in there :)

Hopefully Christmas will be a very successful time for you indeed :)


Ruth (Roobies Ruth!) xx