It seems such a long time ago that I arrived back in the UK after visiting friends in the US. We arrived back earlier than expected, me with a fractured foot from too much walking around New York. I blame my husband who a) has long legs and
b) was on a mission to see as many attractions as possible in three days).
I arrived at the shop the following day on crutches and feeling useless, to a hive of activity. People were building, painting, chatting and laughing. Everyone was excited, after all, we were going to be open in 5 days’ time!
Obviously, this did not happen, and we were left with a small, beautiful shop looking a little sad and empty.
Although we had signed the tenancy agreement in February, due to moving into the shop a few days after the 11th March, we have been unable to secure any government help. This has been a little frustrating and although our landlord has been very helpful, challenging times are ahead. Having bills to pay and no income, we brought forward our plans and created a website with a small collection of the items that would be available in the shop. Having never done this before, it was a steep learning curve and we would be very grateful for any feedback you have on how it is to navigate and if there is anything else you would like to see.
We can now see a glimmer of light at the end of this very long tunnel and have been receiving and displaying work from our artists and makers. We still have a few more to drop off but the shop is starting to look like a shop and we are delighted with how it is all coming together.
As well as displaying goods and learning how to use a till, we have been working to get the shop Covid safe. We have installed a Perspex screen at the desk, moved the till and packaging away from customer contact. We plan to keep the door open and will regularly wipe down touched surfaces. Although we would ordinarily encourage people to touch our items (lots of them are very tactile) signage will be up to discourage this.
We have purchased locally produced hand sanitiser from The Warwickshire Gin Company, after all, we are all about local and handmade. We will be limiting the number of customers allowed into the shop at any one time and for those that are more vulnerable; we plan to have an appointment system so you can book a visit to the shop in the morning before it opens to the general public, please email or call us to do this.
We are hoping, depending on Government advice, to open at 10 am on Monday 15th June and with Fathers Day on June 21st why not look at our online shop or pop into the shop at Yew Tree Shopping Village to get something handmade and unique for your Dad.