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Why I am closing my shop.

09 February 2019

Yes it is quite a big change!  And lots of people are baffled about why I'm closing so here are some thoughts to explain.

Snowden Flood Designer Maker shop

I have realised that being a designer-maker, a single mother, a shopkeeper, selling online and at fairs AND running a shop (with bad building signage on the first floor) is TOO much!  It has been fun but it's also made me more and more anxious & stressed & I didn't have much time for the things I love.

 

Snowden Flood shop www.snowdenflood.com

When I moved to Oxo Tower in 2011 I really 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 am such a people pleaser that every time someone came into the shop I immediately became massively distracted and stopped work.  To the extent that for the first 4 or 5 years I barely made any new creative work at all. 

At the risk of oversharing I have always felt that I am rubbish at everything and never really believed in myself.  My father certainly told me so often enough along with several teachers and I also crashed and burned out of education, leaving at 14 after two expulsions. I just had that inner sense that I'm no good. Many creatives share this imposter syndrome feeling I know.  Well, looking back over my time as a shopkeeper I think it's just taken me years to realise that what I was trying to juggle was actually just too much for most people rather than evidence of my rubbishness.

Snowden Flood Antiques Vintage www.snowdenflood.com

I have learned a lot! 

With my son doing GCSE's, the rent going up, and most importantly, a constant nagging unease that I am not doing what I really like doing most of all (creatiive work), it definitely feels like a great thing to be giving up my lease.  So why did that decision make me feel literally ill for ages?  Terrified of sinking without trace. And like a complete and utter failure, visible to the world as someone who'd crashed and burned (even though the decision is right for me so rationally who cares what others think?!)

Snowden Flood designer maker artist www.snowdenflood.com

Final thoughts:

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 the above sounding a bit dark I have had so many fun and happy times in that shop!

I'm really excited to be renting a tiny studio in a railway arch, a short dog walk away from home.

I am still terrified about this change.  I still hope to make a living doing what I love & trying to look positively rather than critically at the things I've done. 

I now think that staying in profit for 8 years (albeit sometimes not paying myself for ages) was an achievement (of sorts)

I know that not everyone can or will buy when they come into a shop, but if you have small independent shops you love to go to because they are a stop on a lovely walk you sometimes do - please just buy a card or even something tiny every time.  If I had £1 for the people who came in every day and told me how lovely, how beautiful, how wonderful, how they ALWAYS came to my shop whenever they were on the southbank - but then left without buying anything, then I could have paid myself a small wage a bit more often. 

Most of all...thank you everyone who did buy and who enjoyed my shop over the last 8 years. 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.

Comments

  • Posted by Mike on March 02, 2019

    Great shop with a bunch of charming staff. You had a great eye for the new, different and entertaining.
    Some of the most enjoyable businesses I’ve been in have lasted only a few years, so can’t see anyone would see your shop as anything other than someone following their passion – and succeeding.

    Good luck for the future !

  • Posted by Katrina Quinton on March 02, 2019

    I finally got to your shop in December, sadly en route somewhere so could only buy a card, but have loved EVERYTHING i have bought from you. Your designs and creativity lift my heart and make me smile. You have created the perfect wedding presents and presents generally for friends who have left London and miss it, and for those who live here and love it. You have created the best mug in the world that features the bridge where my husband first kissed me, which I found in Fortnum & Mason and which led me to you. Your designs are delightful and your backstamp means that people will find you. Your name is mysterious and your designs are beautiful. You deserve your private life and your private space and to preserve your mystery. Your designs speak for themselves and your ability to create more should be nurtured – you make the world a better place and will ALWAYS give pleasure to everyone who comes across your creativity. Thank you so much. Good luck to your son for his GCSE’s and to you for being the mother of a son doing his GCSE’s.

  • Posted by Rosemarie on March 02, 2019

    Thank you – I love your stuff and will buy online. Ever onwards!

    Rosemarie

  • Posted by Victoria Pile on March 02, 2019

    We still have your beautiful tree glasses! I will definitley be buying from you online, or seeking you out at fairs (did see you at Islington recently) Thanks for the bravely honest blog – really hits a chord with us all! Huge luck with the next phase!
    love Victoria x (a friend of Andy and Sophie)

  • Posted by Caroline Underwood on March 02, 2019

    I bought a lovely teapot and two cups + saucers for my friends who moved to Zurich a couple of years a go, as a reminder for them of their London life and to be sure of being able to have a decent cup of tea! They love them and use them all the time.

  • Posted by Susan Mayne on March 02, 2019

    Snowden, we have loved your things! We discovered you on the South Bank and bought a whole set of plates and side plates (that we absolutely love) and various other delightful bits and bobs, some of which you were kind enough to deliver to home (we discovered you lived almost round the corner from us in Herne Hill!). Oxo Tower’s loss is Herne Hill’s gain and we will look out for your shop. When do you open? Love.

  • Posted by Kathleen on March 02, 2019

    I have loved your work for years. YOU ARE DEFINITELY NOT RUBBISH – YOU ARE AN AMAZING DESIGNER. I hope by now you believe that. I look forward to your future inspirations.

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