“I’ll give her 6 months”.
My first customers confession to me a few years ago. This is what he said to his work colleagues on leaving the shop with a gift for his wife, one of many purchased since 2009.
Where have all those 14 years gone since the door opened at 99 High Street? A cliché I know to say how time flies but honestly it really has. The first few months were terrifying if I am being honest. Naive BIG time!! That first day on 22nd September 2009 I felt like a rabbit in headlights, totally lost and feeling I had made a massive mistake.
Fast forward 6 months and the reality of being my own boss was making me happy and wonderful about life in general. Making friends with regular clients the business gradually grew from my wardrobe rejects into the collective style business I have today. Namely a fabulous, preloved range of clothing and accessories displaying indie brands with High Street names, the gift boutique plus the vintage and boho homewares and not forgetting my very talented artisan family showcasing loveliness evolving yearly.
My next hurdle after thinking this was the life and how great everything was arrived just a couple of years later when the one-way traffic zone was agreed but delays meant a 6-month disruption became an 18-month pain. It was tough but the benefits quickly became apparent when it was completed in July 2014.
So now I could really concentrate and grow the business but after a few years I was not stretching myself enough and wanted more satisfaction in what I was doing and to shout aloud the benefits of preloved in general and how important it is for everyone. In stepped my wonderful marketing team led by Jules (Bloom with BB group) who transformed the business including a rebrand in 2019 working and guiding me along the way.
Having this support enabled me managed the various lock downs and act as a steppingstone to the online business which now runs alongside the shop.
I could not be happier and whilst I am asked if I have plans to slow down and retire soon. The reality is why would I? I can easily walk to the shop from home and genuinely enjoy chatting to customers and being a part of their lives too.
I want to shout out to each and every one of you a one big, massive thank you for all your kindness, making the Boutique your destination shop every time. Allowing me to sell your preloved goodies for you. Telling your friends and family by sharing social media posts is just wonderful too.
Now I will not say here’s to the next 14 years…. but just watch this space.