Monday, 1 September 2014

Oh dear.

I'm afraid this blog has got itself infested with an awful lot of robotic spam commenters. Probably our fault for not keeping an eye on it more frequently.

I'll be rummaging around over the next few days trying to delete the dross, but may have to disable comments if it gets too much.

Do check us out on facebook, where we are a lot more lively and a lot less spammed!




Saturday, 11 May 2013

Gosh, it's nearly a year since we opened the shop. Wow.

We'll be on short hours (10-2) from May 14th to May 19th and then back to normal. (See our opening hours page for details).

Also hoping to get some more posting done after we've had a little break!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Opening

Merry Christmas everyone!

We'll be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day - open again on Thursday.

Then closed again on New Years' Eve and New Years' Day.

After that we'll be open every day except Mondays from 10:00 to 18:00

Friday, 21 September 2012

Customers

Customers really don't like coming into an empty shop.

I guess I understand that. There's this worry that you'll get leapt on by the owner, or buy stuff you don't want, or get talked to unnecessarily and so on. And there's only so many things you can do to make a shop seem welcoming without there being some activity to tempt people in.

We're really very nice people, and we don't jump on customers as soon as they get in the door - and we completely don't mind people browsing around and not buying things. After all, we've tried very hard to make it an interesting place to look around. But there's still that little problem of getting people through the door in the first place.

Three things seem to help:

First, there's cleaning the windows. If you're outside with a bucket and a sponge, you can chat to potential customers on the street - and nobody seems to mind that at all. And for some reason, they come into the shop more readily (maybe only to escape the conversation outside?!).

Second, there's having things going on inside the shop. Whenever we've had an order in and are restocking - with boxes and bubblewrap and bags all over the place - the shop immediately fills up with customers, who never worry about all the stuff on the floor and happily skirt around us. Demonstrations work as well - sometimes we have a customer come in wanting to make up an item of jewellery in the shop, and we set up a table for them in the window. That pulls people in.

Third is having lots of customers in already. Customers come in waves, get three in there and another five turn up out of nowhere. Strangely enough, this seems to go for the type of customer as well. One minute the shop will be full of pushchairs, half an hour later it is walking sticks, another hour and we are full of nine-year-olds.

Fascinating.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Wheelchairs

You'll maybe have noticed from the pictures, like this one ...


... that the shop has all the stock around the edges and a big hole in the middle.

Every now and then we wonder about this, especially when a new order comes in and we puzzle over where we are going to put everything. And yes, we'd love to be able to carry an even bigger range of stock than we have already.

But if we clutter the place up with islands and stands and sticking-out counters like some other bead shops, it becomes a lot less easy for wheelchair users to get around the place, or maybe even to get in in the first place. And that's a problem. It's a problem for wheelchair users of course, but it's also a problem for us - as some of our best customers come with wheels.

As it is, we can fit in two powered chairs and associated minders and it's no more dangerous than, say, jaywalking across Silverstone on a race day. Usually it is a lot of fun too.

It isn't exactly a bed of roses being confined to a chair in the first place, we don't want to make it worse by having you confined to a chair and not being able to get into a bead shop.

So that big hole in the middle is going to stay.

If you're in a chair and want to visit, do come along. So long as your chair fits through the (standard-sized) door you'll be just fine (some of the mobility scooter things don't unfortunately, but there's not much we can about that).


Facebook

We're on Facebook now.

It's here: http://www.facebook.com/scrumpybeads

Now, there must be a way of joining the facebook up to the blog and maybe vice-versa, but we haven't worked out how to do it yet.

Generally, what happens is all the day-to-day stuff and pictures and new stock notifications and suchlike go on the Facebook page (because it is easier to do it that way). What we'll do here is the longer posts.

Since we've been trading for three months now we are pretty well done with the business start-up. Probably three or four posts to do to catch up with things, and then we will get onto the nitty-gritty of actually making jewellery. Paul has volunteered to be the guinea-pig for this, just so long as Ann exercises enough quality control.

EDIT: Aha! found a way of doing it! There's a Facebook link up at the top right now.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Location! Location! Location!

Location. That's what they all say it is all about.

We're fairly lucky in where we are. If you can see this in one direction:


which is the Grand Pier and probably the biggest landmark in town; and you can see this in the other direction:


which is a spiky illuminated sculpture thingy conveniently close to where all the buses stop; then you have two enormous advantages.

The first is that you are standing on the corner of St James Street about 50 yards from our shop.

The second is that you are bang in front of the cash machine at Barclays on the corner.

(There's a disadvantage too: If you don't step up onto the pavement pretty sharpish you will likely get run over by a number 7 bus.)

We're about 200 yards from the sea wall (*). That's plenty close enough to get some passing visitors, though we do need to give some thought next summer to having some signs up to send people in the right direction.

We're down this street


about 50 yards on the right-hand side. And one of these days we might get a sticking-out sign to compete with all the other sticking-out signs!

(*) being 200 yards from the sea wall isn't the same as being 200 yards from the sea, not here. Because of the tides we're somewhere between 200 yards and a mile-and-a-half from the sea at spring tide, but "on average about a mile from the sea" isn't all that good a slogan. But we're 200 yards from the beach that's for sure.