Closing my bricks and mortar shop
01 March 2019
Yes it is quite a big change! And as lots of people are baffled about why I'm closing I thought I'd share some thoughts to explain my decision.
Being a designer-maker, a shopkeeper, selling online and at fairs AND running a shop is a lot of work. I am well organised but a shop generates a ton of admin. Yes really a ton. So I have to either be a shopkeeper or be a creative but doing both while running it alone (and to the high standard I work at) is not possible any longer. Well not without turning into a deranged person. Besides, it feels like time to try new things and to simplify - while focussing on creative work at the same time.
When I moved to Oxo Tower in 2010 I meant it to be a workspace - a workspace that hopefully paid for itself in selling items to passing trade. What I didn't factor in was that I like meeting all the customers from around the world, and frankly I'm a bit of a chatterbox. Every time someone came into the shop I immediately was distracted and stopped design work... (that seems to function in a different part of my brain from the social bit). It's not easy to make new creative work like that!
It's been wonderful. It's just that I realise it's time to return to design and creativity and hopefully some new challenges to push myself a bit too.
I have learned SO much from being at Oxo Tower.
With my son doing GCSE's this year, the rent going up, and most importantly, a constant nagging unease that I am not doing enough of what really drives me (creatiive work and learning), it definitely feels like the right thing to be giving up my lease. That's a scary decision though. I'm terrified of sinking without trace. But I know it's right for me now.
I will really miss meeting the amazing people that came through those doors.
I feel so lucky to have stocked the work of some great designers whose work I love and respect
I've been REALLY lucky to have been helped by very many really supportive friends and workmates, Sophie Abbot in particular.
Despite jumping into the unknown a bit now, I'm grateful for so many fun and happy times in that shop.
I am still terrified about this change. But that's not a good reason to stand still is it?
I am so proud at what we (because you the customers are a HUGE part of this) have achieved - winning the best loved Southbank shop Time Out award last year and frankly even just being in profit for 9 years in a difficult retail environment ...all major wins!
Most of all...thank you everyone who bought from me and who enjoyed my shop over the last 9 years. People who have visited from far away lands every time they've come to the UK because they love the shop so much - you are amazing! I hope you will come to open studios and that I will see you at events. (sign up to be on the mailing list to hear!)
If you read this and visited, I'd love to hear your thoughts about your memory of the shop. Thank you all so much. x