Well hello! there it's been a little while since my last blogpost and so much has happened that I thought I ought to give you a roundup of the last few weeks at Tailor Made Living.
On a personal level moving the business back into the shop and out of my living room has done wonders for my mental health. After trading from home for 3 months, I will never again take having a place of work for granted. Yes, in normal circumstances I work from home quite regularly and there are definitely upsides but having somewhere else to be, away from domestic chores and 24/7 parenting duties is bliss!
On a business level, it has been a difficult period, we closed the shop in March and traded solely online throughout lockdown. I had to adapt quickly in order to survive but somehow, I really enjoyed the challenge.
Once we were told we could reopen, our first task was to ensure we were COVID compliant. I was so worried about getting it wrong but I soon found my groove. People have gone out of their way to visit and wish us well, it has been really heartwarming.
For a while, we weren't allowed to open our cafe area so we served takeaway coffee alongside our gorgeous lifestyle goods. It worked well and I used this time to do some soul searching and number crunching on the viability of reopening the cafe whilst we are still in full-on pandemic mode.
Financially speaking, reopening the space didn't make sense. We would have to increase our overheads in order to manage health and safety risks. Social distancing measures would negatively impact the number of people who could browse and shop, resulting in a loss of income. The cafe is just not viable right now.
The question then, is what do you do with all the retail space you're paying for but aren't using? The answer is simple: you make the most of it!
I've repurposed our former cafe area and increased our retail space. I'm proud to report that we have added a very cool space dedicated to men where you'll find some really great gifts* for the boys in your life. We've given our homeware area a bit more space too and it looks divine!
The last few weeks have been incredibly hard work, at times it felt like I was starting the business all over again. There have been many early starts, long days on the shop floor and late-night shopping trips to Ikea - my husband is a saint - but it's so worth it. During lockdown I reasoned is that if you are going to go to an actual shop instead of shopping from the comfort and safety of your own home, it really has to be worth it.
There was nothing else for it, I worked my socks off and it's paying off. I couldn't have done it without the support of my team - Mimma and Tracy - and Simon (the husband) They have been instrumental in transforming Tailor Made Living into its current form.
I am really proud of how the space looks and my heart genuinely skips a beat every time someone says how beautiful it is. I've taken great care to reconnect with the concept and values this journey started with: namely, a place where you can discover beautiful items for yourself, your loved ones and your home. The shopping experience should feel special, we want you to leave feeling inspired and valued. Hopefully, you'll enjoy the music, appreciate the fresh flowers and indulge the scent of our favourite essential oil candles. With any luck, you'll be swinging a bag full of Tailor Made goodies in your hand, a bit of everyday luxury just for you!
PS: Browse out stunning ceramics here
*lookout for our new range of men's t-shirts launching on 1st August