How we made it through the Pandemic
Our business was still quite new when the Pandemic started. I was in the process of trying to prove that quitting my job and starting the business was going to be worth it. The business was not supporting us as a family and we needed my Nav to support us through his acting work, which during the pandemic was going to be impossible.
Once shops were forced to close, I remember packing the shop into boxes wondering if they would ever be unpacked. I felt defeated, I was embarrassed I’d quit my job to start a business and it was just about to fail.
Nav has always been 100% supportive of what I’d chosen to do. But I remember so clearly having a conversation in our kitchen at the start of lockdown about how we both needed to somehow get a job as soon as possible and forget about the business all together. It was hard to argue, we needed to support the family, my dreams for the shop couldn’t be the priority. But I knew if I’d let go of it at that moment there would be no going back.
I tentatively suggested taking a huge risk, (I tried not to let on how desperate I was to keep hold of the shop) retail businesses exist exclusively online, why couldn’t we do the same? In my usual style - no experience or knowledge but some hard graft and plenty of blind optimism we decided to for it. We bought more stock to offer a wider range, we offered free local delivery, free gift wrapping, stayed positive on social media through scary times and worked hard to improve the shop and reach out to customers.
What happened next was unexpected. Some of our customers started their Xmas shopping… in March, others bought vouchers, shared our posts recommended our shop to friends. It was an emotional time, each order felt like a deliberate act of support. It gave us the boost we needed to invest in more stock and sort the backend of our website and shipping procedures, so we were able to trade online properly.
The show of support at this time lead to a shift in the way I felt about the business and the relationship between us and our customers. They had made us feel the shop was valued, and a strong desire to open our doors again after the lockdown helped drive everything we did.
Our customers chose to support our shop. We opened our doors after the Pandemic in a much larger shop, offering a wider selection of carefully selected products. We continue to try and find the best of what is available and will always be grateful for every order someone chooses to make with us.
The learning curve was almost vertical as we made every mistake possible until we figured out how to run the business from home, with two kids, during a lockdown.
A business doesn’t survive on the goodwill of customers, it’s not sustainable, we know we owe our community of customers more than just gratitude, we want to offer them genuine value and continue to do that in every choice we make when running this business.
The shop is now stronger than ever, we run the business with a new energy. Whether you ordered from us during lockdown or you are new to us and have never ordered before, if you’ve read this far - you are part of this amazing community we’ve found and we will always do our best to make the shop something that people value.