I have a love / hate relationship with Christmas - there I've said it!
On a personal level I love waiting until December before I start buying gifts and deciding what we are actually going to do over the festive season……it feels more wintery and shopping to Christmas music gets me in the spirit of the season.
As small business owners we can bemoan the fact that retailers like John Lewis started their campaign in September. We can think no-one’s really going to be buying gifts now and people are already fed up of being bombarded with things they “must have” for the perfect Christmas.Or we can take a different approach and make use of the buying knowledge and spending habits of the consumer that the big retailers have and make it our own.We can decide to be organised and ready for the festive season and because we're more likely to know our customers’ names we can look to make the whole experience far more fun, personal and enjoyable - we small independents can make it a relaxing, rather than stressful time!
The gallery's historical financial data shows that between now and the end of December we will turnover a large proportion of our annual revenue which will then hopefully see us through the quieter months of January, February and March. As with all retail businesses we've still got the same bills and wages to pay even though we might have much lower income in these months so a little cushion is needed! We're so thankful for a good summer as this means we have the cash flow to invest in new artists and products and to make the gallery look amazing for the festive season.
One of the small changes you'll see over the next week or so is the new, dedicated area for our stationery and smaller products such as leather bags, journals, notebooks, notelets, funny pencils, photo frames, photo albums etc. We will also be sprucing up a couple of the alcoves and bays with a lick of paint and some ingenious LED lighting - hopefully making it a better buying experience for you.
Owning a small independent business can feel relentless at times, the constant re-inventing, keeping up with the beast that is social media, trying to make your voice heard amongst so many other amazing voices - trying to find that elusive “thing” that makes you choose us rather than someone else to spend your £s with.....but it's also the very thing that makes it all so exciting.....finding those products and artists that do exactly that,make you want to step over our threshold, browse our web shop and ultimately take the decision that we've got the perfect gift for you and your loved ones.
But even if you don't buy anything from the gallery I hope that you'll enjoy looking at all the amazing artists we will be promoting over the coming weeks on Facebook, Instagram and our webshop and the brilliant products that our contemporary craft makers have designed and made. Wherever you decide to spend your money this Christmas we hope you'll keep it independent and handmade wherever possible.