"If you are going through hell...keep going"- Winston Churchill
Ask any retail owner how they feel about January...chances are they will reply with a pained expression followed by the words "tough, quiet and long". As a retail owner myself I know all too well how tough January can be. As a retail owner in the small coastal town of Aberystwyth, January is not only quiet, as in devoid of sales, but emotionally brutal. Like a cruel mistress, Aberystwyth retail makes you feel so attractive, so wanted at Christmas, but come January you are dumped, forgotten, and empty with out as much as a good bye!
Through out January the only consistent contact I am likely to have in the shop will be the postman and the window cleaner on a Friday. I know other small town businesses can relate to this and therefore I realize I am not alone when it comes to the January Barren. Apologies.... but this does not comfort me. January does something very strange to my well -being....it throws everything off-balance (including my bank balance!) and suddenly the magic that is retail at Christmas seems too much like a distant memory and I begin to doubt it ever existed! "You are only as good as your last sale" starts to play loudly in my head and I find myself going to the dark side!
So.....so this January for the sake of my mental health and general attitude to retail, I was determined to do it differently. I would not let January reduce me to a quivering wreck. I would not measure my sense of self -worth and ability as a business owner against January Sales! (I realize how silly this must sound!) I was going to embrace the quietness! I was going to use this limited time to re-cap, re-charge and carefully plan the next season. Like a master of mindfulness, I was determined to find joy in the everyday solitude and fulfilment in the little things.
Well...well today is the 31st of January. The left over Christmas chocolate in the shop has now been eaten. All I can confidently say is that I got through it. Despite everything...despite January...I am determined to keep going!
Above: Handmade fruit decorations all lovingly made by Pollyfields. The shop just smells amazing and lasts through to Christmas. Another reason why I love autumn!
What is it about the autumn that I love so much! The older I get the more I appreciate this time of year. Weirdly, the autumn is for me a time of renewal, a chance to start a fresh and a feeling of endless possibility. I love the change in temperature: leather weather my friends and I use to call it when in our teens. I could finally wear my favourite jacket (black biker jacket) without melting along with black doc martins! Bye the way this is all very fashionable again with teenagers and the fact that I wore it the 1st time around makes me older than I care to think about! In fact I still wear leather and recently purchased a pair of biker boots based on a model I bought in 1992. Dressing your so called “age” and other fashion disasters is another blog topic that I am very keen to write about. However, for the purpose of this blog entry I would like to focus on nature’s amazing ability to give us autumn every year. Along with mind blowing burst of colour, I love the smell…slightly damp and rich of soil. I love that the nights get darker and that it feels appropriate to put my pyjamas on at 6.30 because well…the day is over for me quite frankly and I want to be comfortable! I get to light candles and finally eat food rich in carbohydrates without feeling guilty! Have you ever tried making sausages and mash in summer?? It just feels wrong somehow! My husband gets very confused and keeps looking for the salad! So yes… I say yes to autumn!
As this is Broc-Mor’s very 1st blog post…a big thank you for taking the time to read our post! In the process of having our website built it quickly became clear to me that a blog would be an asset to our site. Why? and who am I? My name is Berith and I am the founder of Broc-Mor Gift and Home. A small but very lovable gift shop located in Aberystwyth, Wales, UK. I am also a mother to two children, plus a wife and proud dog owner to Ludo our chocolate lab! Like most women these days….I have many roles to play and find the juggling act between work and home life rewarding sure…but lets be honest ..exhausting! It is with this in mind that I thought Broc-Mor’s blog as well as hopefully inspiring you with our lovely choice of gifts could also be a space where I could write down my thoughts and experiences of what it is really like to run a full time retail business as well as trying to be perfect mother, perfect wife, perfect friend. Don’t worry! I am so far from perfect (whatever that means exactly ) ….which is also the point of this blog! I am tired of being bombarded with images of amazing career women ….with their amazing lifestyles and their amazing children that I thought wouldn’t it be nice to have a blog that really reflects what its actually like to be your own lady boss these days? Warts and all? A kind of director’s rant but hopefully with a positive message…like its ok NOT to be perfect. It’s ok to make mistakes and talk about them openly. For example….I am actually terrible with money!!! And if I am honest I am still scared to death that my business won’t last …that I will somehow mess it all up because I am not smart enough! Mind monkeys I call them. These negative thoughts that constantly put pressure on us to be more than we are! They need to quite frankly f*ck off! Which I make a point of doing daily! And recommend you do the same…literally out loud but preferably when no one else is listening otherwise things could get confusing very quickly! So wish me luck as I take the plunge with our very 1st website. Did I mention I know absolutely nothing about e-commerce!! ?? I’ll let you know how I get on shortly.