Opening at the Jinney Ring

After a couple of years of part time soap making, and developing our skincare range we decided to bite the bullet and get our first shop. While out shopping for fresh asparagus we ended up at the Jinney Ring for a cup of tea and some cake, and found that one of the units was becoming available.

After a meeting with the owners where we showed them our wares and explained how we worked, we agreed when we could move in and when we could open.

I’m not sure if anxious is the right word for how we felt as we drove away from that meeting, once we realised what we had agreed to. It was one thing to do the odd craft fair and market in between working, completely another to give up my job and run the business full time.

Neither of us had worked in retail and didn’t have a clue! Fortunately that didn’t put us off. We got into the unit and quickly built a making area, gave it a good paint and sourced our display cabinets. By a combination of necessity and design we managed to fit out the whole shop from recycled furniture and fittings. After a couple of weeks we started making our stock and officially opened on the 4th of June 2011.

The first few weeks were the worst. Would we earn enough to pay the rent, could we afford the electric, how would we live if we didn’t get enough customers? I carried on doing the odd bit of freelance work now and again to help us through the first year, but we were pleasantly surprised at our turnover and the number of repeat customers we were steadily building up.

After our first year, we were confident enough for Jenny to give up her job and work at the Jinney Ring full time. We really loved it, meeting new and old customers, working together and developing new ideas. We found it to be the perfect place for our business, and it’s a real community of craftspeople which makes it such a great location and why we love it so much.

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