The main 'front of house' for my business is my stall on Maltby Street Market, it's where I can meet and talk with you lovely people face to face (which I love - do come and say hello!), where potential stockists come and meet me, and where I can judge the reaction to new products or scent blends; It's my store-front and my office, and where I share my trials and tribulations with other small business entrepreneurs - my colleagues and friends.
It seems a long time ago that I first walked down Ropewalk with my picnic baskets of soap.
One post-Christmas Saturday, I met up with some friends down at Ropewalk (as I did most weeks back then, though just for the atmosphere and the amazing street food!) to give them their presents - soap cupcakes that I'd made. They loved them, and one - you know who you are - insisted I should sell them 'Like, maybe here?'. Inspired, I put down my @littlebirdgin and went and found the Market Manager, Tavi Ionescu (who these days is an incredible photographer)!
Long story short: Much to my surprise, without too much convincing, he said 'Sure, when you're ready give me a call, we'll do a trial and see how it goes'. It took me a couple of months (and much paper work), but one Friday night in late spring found me up until 3am, hand stitching bunting for a stall which was due to open the next morning. I was in a total state, not having done anything like running a market stall before: I'd no idea where I was going to be put, how large my stall would be, what I needed to take, how big a 'float' I'd need, how much stock to pack, what I would say to people and of course, I was filled with every entrepreneurs greatest fear - what if no-one wants what I'm selling.
That first Saturday was an incredible learning experience; in the production of my soaps I'd spent months researching, testing, refining and improving the product, but on my stall, I was just dropped in and had to learn, quickly, while on th