Because of the success of the shop and how we have run it professionally, with consistent branding and eyes on the main prize we are starting to see rewards for the hard work. The shop is currently run by volunteer members, no-one receives a wage and everything is done on a wish and a prayer! However, we are now appearing on people's radars who are keen to see us do well and being invited to discussions and meetings that will have lasting benefits. Customers are constantly asking 'how long are you here for?' and 'this City needs shops like this' and we are seeing more and more returning customers bringing their friends with them and the best bit is the till keeps ringing which supports our artists and makers get one step closer to becoming their own bosses. Without these volunteers the shop would never be open, and the opportunities for the future of everyone involved can never be realised. We know everyone has other commitments to contend with but just doing a half day or a few hours now and then really does make such a big difference plus those in the shop get to see the real customer reaction to their work and often end up picking up commission work after a conversation. And thank you to those that for varying reasons can't get into the shop so offer time in the background on other essential tasks such as keeping the membership up to date.
Only yesterday we had a really positive meeting which could see us get much closer to realising some of the aspects in the business plan such as a resources shop for artists and makers where we could buy wholesale fabrics or packaging and re-sell them to members at a better price than they can currently find. We are one step closer to setting up a photographic studio where members can take good quality photos to put onto their etsy or facebook pages which we know is something that so many are asking for. We are one step closer to being able to run peer led classes and courses to support the many local artists and crafters out there which again is something that people have been asking for.
We also got mentioned in The Guardian which also helps bolster our credibility and our plans to be around for a long time yet. So, apologies to those that are a little dischuffed but we really are working on something much much bigger than just one small shop which will in time help hundreds of local artists and potentially give us a permanent retail outlet to showcase many more makers. And as always thank you to the many that are making it happen and believing in the idea, keep spreading the word!