Today I have an update I’ve been waiting for a while to post! The lovely Sarah Goode who makes jewellery as Pookledo, has been waiting on purchasing and opening a shop for what feels like (and probably is) several years. FINALLY, it’s all gone through and she’s installed in the lovely Purple Pumpkin Patch in Loughborough. We first met Sarah back in her in August 2013 (although I’ve known her for a few years more than that) and last featured her in September 2014, when this was her plan for the year: “Hopefully we will happily be trading in our own business premises but until then, I’ll be travelling to different venues, making contacts, and meeting lots of lovely people.”
Well, she’s got that shop, but let’s see how she got there and what’s happening next.
This is also the first interview to feature my NEW QUESTION! If you own a small business yourself, please scroll down and answer in the comments to get a bit of a conversation going …
Hello Sarah. So (and I think you are), are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Finally we are. Hooray! We got the keys to our new shop on the evening of Monday 23rd November and decided that we should open on the day they switched the Christmas lights on in Loughborough which was Sunday 29th November which meant a lot of hard work cleaning, painting and then getting all our lovely crafters’ stock in place ready for customers to be able to visit.
I’m still going to various craft fairs and festivals, but I’m going to slow down on the events now and stick to the bigger festivals and events I like to support, as being in a different venue every day really does take its toll. I’m going to stay with my market stall every Friday at Coalville Indoor Market, though, as it’s a lovely place to trade. This year I will be focusing on the shop and selling items for other local crafts people as well as myself.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I’ve met so many lovely people on my travels around all the fairs and markets I’ve attended. It’s been a great experience which I have loved.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learned that customer service is one huge advantage that small businesses have over larger companies. The flexibility, personal touch and listening to what a customer says gives a small company the edge.
SPECIAL EXTRA QUESTION: What question would you like to ask your fellow small business owners?
If you have a business idea that you think would work, what is stopping you and can you think of a way around it to make your dream a reality?
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Hopefully we will have regular workshop bookings and events in the shop, which is another thing I am aiming to progress with in the year ahead. Supporting local crafts and handmade artisans in getting their work out there for sale on the high street.
I’m so pleased to be able to report on Sarah’s shop being open at last! See below for a couple of tantalising images!
Sarah’s new shop is at 102 Ashby Road, Loughborough, LE11 3AF and the website is at www.purplepumpkinpatch.co.uk, and you can also find her at www.pookledo.com and on Facebook. Her lovely products are also available via Etsy.
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.