After too many years in the doldrums, we knew we had to do something, we just didn't know what.
With more hope than expectation we dragged ourselves round the Autmn Fair at the NEC and decided that the world was a very shabby chic sort of place when the thunderbolt struck. Krystyna had just asked me if I'd seen anything I liked and I was just about to grump out that if I saw another artfully distressed dresser, I'd scream when we turned the corner and our little hearts soared at what we saw - a wonderful display of Abigail Ahern's new range of faux botanicals.
That's all it took. Our minds were made up in that single soaring heartbeat.
I'll digress here for just a mo to explain that whenever we've had a good idea in the past, we have done all the sensible things - market research, business plans, forecasts, projections et al - and comprehensibly convinced ourselves that our good idea was crap after all. Not this time.
9th September we were at the NEC. We found a shop on 10th September. The weekend held us up a bit so we didn't agree terms until the 14th. Then it all slowed down while we waited for the solicitors to do their thing, which took until 5th October when the keys were ours. Stop, breathe.
Of course, it's a listed building so we had to get permission for our refurb from the wonderfully sensible conservation officer at Shrewsbury Council.
Next, decorating which was of course twice as much work and money as we hoped. A huge thank you is well and truly earned by our excellent painter/fixer/floor restorer Mick!
Sort out the tech stuff for the shop. Get the shop signs written in gold leaf by a proper artist. Paint an awful lot of IKEA shelving units to match the walls - Abigail Ahern Hudson Black, what else. And, then....
Suddenly, the shop is filled with stock and we've opened. Time to sort the website - nine days later and we are live and selling online.
We ignored the naysayers and all their boring common sense and just seven and a half weeks after the thunderbolt we opened our doors to our first customers. Nine weeks in total to open the shop and launch the website. If we'd stopped to think, I'm certain we wouldn't be here now. There's a lot to be said for just getting on with it.
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