All year I've had a virtual 'open studio' approach to welcoming any interested customers to my home studio. As a result, I must have met, sold and accommodated over 700 customers to our unfinished-like-a-building-site-family-home! Needless to say, this hasn't always been conducive to family life.
So, when I was offered, out of the blue, an opportunity to use a small retail space in the middle of my local town, I couldn't resist; it felt the absolute right time. The biggest challenge is to balance the business side of things with the actual reality of needing time to 'create and paint'. How can I be in a shop whilst trying to find time to paint, let alone everything else it takes to run a small business? I immediately thought running more of a 'pop-up' shop leading up to Christmas might be the way to go.
And so it was that only four days ago I decided to launch this temporary, Saturday only, pop-up here in Christchurch, Dorset. An emergency dash to IKEA with £50 to spend on 'styling', an order of paper bags, and I gathered up a selection of paintings and all available textiles items, and a shop is born! (I have omitted to mention that I had to ransack our home to help populate the space - including my son's shelving unit, a light fitting from the hallway, a couple of chairs etc.)
I am delighted to say, that 'Day 1' has been an enormous success; thank you so, so much to everyone who popped by. It was a constant stream of customers and I am thrilled to say I virtually sold out of all my stock! This is an extremely exciting time for me; interest and exposure for my work is growing every day and the plans and opportunities arising for 2017 is mind-blowing. But for now, this year's lead up to Christmas is going to keep me on my toes with my new guise as a 'Saturday shop girl'.
An extra large order for a small mountain of new textile items has now been made and will arrive in time for next Saturday, when I can't wait to do it all again.
Thanks, everyone, Sally x
* A huge thank you to Monello's coffee shop and milkshake bar at 12 Bridge Street, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 1EB for being so generous and supportive, and also providing a constant stream of beverages!