It’s my birthday!
Just after my birthday last year, and on a day when I was feeling a wee bit hung over, I made a momentous decision – after many years of saying that I wanted to run a wool shop, I put my (well, our..) money where my mouth was, and took the plunge.
I took over The Village Wool Shop from Wendy and set sail on a bit of an adventure. I had never worked in a shop let alone owned one, and my CV (nursing, travel writing and a bit of local government) wasn’t the ideal preparation for getting to grips with a small business. But at the age of (mumble mumble) and after a bit of a health scare, I thought, bugger it, if not now, when?
So today it’s my first birthday and a good opportunity for a bit of reflection.
I’ve met some lovely people this year: regulars who perhaps have a bigger stash than myself but can’t keep away from the stuff, proud grandmas and nanas keeping their little’uns warm and cosy, a few brave souls getting to grips with the first steps of knitting and crochet and sensible people (like myself) who simply cannot tolerate evenings sat in front of the telly without something to do.
I have been seduced (metaphorically of course) by reps offering new treasures and I’ve succumbed, filling the shop with a riot of colour and a heap of goodies. I’ve also been lucky enough to help out a couple of local charities and try my hand at manning a market stall.
I’ve written out a few patterns that I’ve carried around in my head for years and had the pleasure of seeing them adorning the head, hands and feet of others, and I’ve put together a few new things from scratch which has been tricky, but fun too (….and I’d like to take a moment to thank those people who tried out some of my patterns and put up with the errors and mistakes).
Of course it’s not been without its challenges: a high-street shop in the current climate is never going to make anyone rich, and the internet has made some shops like mine redundant already. But we keep on battling.
And I have made some interesting discoveries over the last year: purple is not nearly as popular as you’d think, variegated yarns can be rather difficult to sell and many crafters remain reluctant to use woolly wool for knitting and crochet. This has meant that some of my purchases have proved to be difficult to shift (and you can expect some bargains down the line!)
So on my one year anniversary I am still happy to be running my shop and very glad that I said “bugger it” when opportunity came knocking.
And one more thing? Thanks to all my new friends, valued customers and lovely knitters and crocheters for your support over the last year.