Wow, that didn't take long!!! Did I blink and miss 12 months!?!! Was it really nearly a year ago when I blubbered like a baby in front of 150 people at my opening party!?!!
Yes, indeed, this does seem to be the case! And SO MUCH HAS CHANGED.....yet so much stays the same!
I'm still dangerously passionate about supporting the handmade industry in Brisbane (I always will be, it's part of who I am). I still wake up each morning and pinch myself - did this opportunity REALLY come to me? Did I really take this MAMMOTH task on? Did my husband SERIOUSLY support me in this crazy business venture!?!!
Yes yes and yes.....I can gladly say that one year down the track, I still have that fire in my belly when an item sells, and that tear of excitement when customers announce this as their 'favourite gift shop' (and it happens on a regular basis!).
Well, our location for a start!!! We have been lucky enough to find a BEAUTIFUL new spot at 368 Brunswick Street. Still in the Valley, still supporting handmadies, still taking NO COMMISSION ON SALES!! The new shop is bigger and busier than our lovely first location - but don't take my word for it - best you be getting your lovely self down to visit me!!
VICKI'S TOP 5 LESSONS LEARNT IN THE LAST YEAR
- handmadies come in all shapes and sizes, from all different walks of life, with all different levels of enthusiasm and baggage - I love them all and their 'stuff' and am ALWAYS AMAZED at what new work comes through the doors with each new submission.
- location, location, location - I hate to admit it, but those real estate agents know what they're talking about (curse them all!). We had a great following in the original store, but since moving to prominence, our sales nearly doubled in the first month, and our profile in the Valley has increased dramatically. This also goes for artists who display their work in store - it's all about location and being SEEN!
- We aren't markets or a gallery - we're that space in between. We are ALL HANDMADE MEDIUMS, we are a place for artists to trial different products - but we are solid bricks and mortar, with PINK WALLS that scream out individuality - there isn't anyone else like us!
- Our (artist's) customers are never one offs - they discover us, and they return often - they appreciate that the shop evolves over time (as the artist's range changes), and they love to be a part of the handmade revolution.
- And on a personal note, if you do nothing, you get nothing back - if you work hard setting up - then sit back and expect the world to do the work for you - all that the world will do - is revolve around you. Business in any form will always need you maintaining and promoting. Feed that creative beast, but make sure you're sharing your story, or promoting others - as long as you WORK AT IT.
So they are the most recent things I've found out - only took me 12 months.....and I'm sure in another 12 months there will be more to add. As long as you're doing what you are truly passionate about, it will all work out.
A big thank-you to Vicki for sharing her thoughts, we wish her all the best for the next 12 months and beyond. To get your handmade fix pop in and say hi at 368 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. And keep early August free for their 1st birthday celebrations!