Fortune smiled on us the day Lawrie and Margaret from Archbury His & Her Style told me that Margaret was planning to retire. They wanted to know if I’d be interested in leasing Margaret’s shop and expanding into the space.
I was desperate for more space but I was a little nervous about the idea because I’d only been a shop owner for a year and a half at that point. Things were going well but to take on a second lease was a big commitment. Luckily everyone around me was encouraging, my staff, my husband and even the kids!
Then the last of the puzzle pieces fell into place when the landlord was happy for me to cut a 3.8m hole in a double brick wall and the builder said he would be able to do it when the shop was vacant just after Easter this year. So we had a busy few weeks moving fittings and fixtures around, installing new floors setting up dust barriers to protect the stock all whilst trying to trade with minimal interruption.
But NOW we have a glorious warm and inviting space in a prime a corner location. It is a dream come true! I have a storeroom with a door! I have a little office nook for paperwork! We have three amazingly deep, useful window displays on two sides of the building and I have much more room to show off our fabric in a way that people can stand back and take it all in! The feedback I’ve been getting is that your first impression is of colour and excitement! Not a squash and a squeeze.
The other big gain is that we now have a classroom that can comfortably fit 12 on machines, with two ironing & cutting stations with room even for the teacher to get around behind everyone.
The classroom is warm and inviting, with loads of natural light because there are two big picture windows onto Albert street. Most seats in the classroom have lovely framed views to the escarpment over the top of the cute Berry cottages across the road. In winter, the girls who sit in the window have the sun on their backs stitching most of the day. In summer, the classroom is now in the part of the room where the air conditioner is most efficient! Hooray!!