Friday, 2 September 2011

Thank you. xx

It's exactly a year since we first opened this little shop. And what a bloody year! I still can't get over it - I'm always telling people that it feels like no time at all (I remember all the feelings that I felt back then; trepidation, fear, excitement, pride...) but then it feels like we've been here forever and I just can't imagine not being here.

It's the best job ever and that's the truth! The most rewarding, exciting, fun and the most challenging. At my age, it's fantastic to be able to really create something and I'm proud of what we've made.

  • I love that we have customers who pop in just for a chat, and customers that give things like bookshelves in return for buttons or buttons in return for nothing but a bit of space in their living rooms. 
  • I'm glad that people come in to ask for help and that sometimes they ignore it because they've done their own research.
  • I'm honoured of the stories that I've heard and the feelings that have been shared to me. The miscarriages, the health scares, the redundancies we've seen throughout the year, the family arguments.
  • I'm proud of all our customers that the only difficult customer that we've had 365 days has been a non-crafter!
  • I'm grateful that nobody's been awful when we've not had the yarn or needles that you needed - and that you've had the patience to wait until we could order.
  • I'm amazed that people book and rebook our lessons just to hear me wittering on (and that they bring CAKE - amazing, drool-worthy, covered in chocolate frosting and chocolate eggs cake - you know who you are...).
  • It makes me smile and giggle a bit to think of the fun that we've had going to the pub together.  
  • I remember the outpouring of love when little Sunshine died. 
  • I'm a bit teary when I think of the concern you've all had for me when I've looked tired, ill or stressed.
  • Incredulous that people have visited us from as far away as Australia, America, India and even South Yorkshire!
There's more - oh believe me there's more! But I want to say something a bit serious here too. 

It's been only a matter of weeks since I spent over 12 hours refreshing my screen again and again to see where the next place smashed up or set on fire in Nottingham was. A frightening day and night. We avoid talking politics here and the rest of our internet outlets (though not in the shop...) because we all have such differing views and what's the point of disagreeing with somebody when you've got something you can be agreeing about? 

We'll not change our tune here - no politics - but I will tell you that as a small business owner it's a terrifying time, the recession (especially any 'double-dips') and the associated 'cuts', the riots and the march ahead of superstores like Tesco. It's definitely hard and I'm working 60-70 hour weeks. When I'm not updating the website, talking to customers, knitting commissions, doing figures, speaking to suppliers, talking on facebook, writing and teaching lessons, I'm, well, I'm asleep. I live and breathe this place. And I'm not alone - other little business owners are doing the same thing but we've had one little Nottingham knitting shop close over the last few months so I want you to know how appreciated you are. Honestly and genuinely, I can't get over how much you've supported us and how much you care. It's quite incredible. 

We're in a bit of a flux at the minute - Liese's hand over to June, getting the webshop up and running properly and training the volunteers that are working to hard for us (so appreciated!) but we're confident we'll make this coming year bigger, better, brighter, funnier and definitively more colourful than last and I'm glad you'll be there to share it with us. 

Thanks for allowing me to play with wool all day - and be paid for it! 

Love Eleanor. xxx

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