We have warned the locals that we are coming so now the work begins.
Here is a little sneaky peek of the inside of our domain. We were kindly left some fixtures and fittings by the 'shop clearing fairies' and we have been accumulating bits and bobs ourselves.
When I came back from my holidays in November I had no idea what was awaiting me. The past 2 months have been a whirl of sleepless nights and heads full of shop and stock and partnership agreements. But now at last it's all coming together and becoming REAL!! Who'da thunk it?! Me - a shop keeper?!!
So today was the first day with the keys as I said. I whizzed (as quickly as my trusty Bongo camper van will allow) round to pick up Sandra, the lovely Megan (her daughter and our Saturday girl), a table and chairs and a box containing the all-important tea, coffee and mugs. The mugs didn't make it! I lifted the box to put it in the van and $*%CRASH*!#!! the bottom fell out along with all the lovely new mugs. :( Not a good omen. One or two survived but four are in little pieces in the bin.
We dropped Meg off at college without further incident and drove to the shop. I confess, if the knees and ankles had allowed us to we would have skippied to pick up the keys and running was almost on the cards for the return journey.
WE WERE IN!!
We now have a two weeks grace period before we commence trading so no time to lose. We off-loaded the stuff we'd brought with us...without any breakages this time...and I took the van home. There is roadside parking outside the shop but only for 30 minutes and the traffic wardens are vicious!
Our first visitor (apart from the many friends, ex-customers of the shop and other people we know in Lichfield who popped their heads round the door to wish us well), was Mr Swift - the haberdashery agent. After a catch-up, a bit of therapy and several Jaffa cakes we gave him our first order. YAY!!!! There will be stock.
The lovely Tina came a-calling next. She is the rep from Gutermann threads and sorted us out with the all-important sewing threads. Well you can't have a sewing shop without thread can you?! She came bearing gifts of cake and biscuits. Other reps who visit us please take note! It'll be touch and go as to whether the thread fitments will get to us in time for opening as they have to come all the way from Germany. Tina has promised to put the hard word on them and we've ordered some separate reels just in case so we won't be totally threadless.
Once they had gone we decided to tackle the cleaning. Sandra plugged in her vacuum cleaner which promptly started to smoke and smell of burning!! Luckily my mum had popped in and, although she claims to be retired, she is secretly the vac-cleaning fairy. With screwdriver in hand she took it to bits and cleaned out a whole warren of dust bunnies. Sadly, the demon parking warden interrupted proceedings and the vac fairy had to leave to avoid a ticket.
OK. No cleaning. So we went to buy paint instead. White or magnolia...? Decisions, decisions.... We came back with rollers, paint trays, undercoat, primer and a huge tub of magnolia. Well the walls are that colour already so we thought it would mean only one coat was needed. :)
In a final flurry of activity Sandra, Meg and I decided to move a few fitments around and look at the space we have to work with. It's soooooooooooo exciting as you can now begin to get a glimpse of what the shop will be like when it's up and running. *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEAALL!!*
On that high note we decided to call it a day. I did however pop back with my OH and DD to show them our handiwork. We also dropped off our old fridge so now we'll be able to keep our milk, sarnies and any other goodies cool. My fantastic OH also sorted out the 2-year old problem of the improperly flushing loo! Halellujah!! At long last we don't have to hold down the ballcock or use a bucket to make it flush properly. Little things.... :)