This morning started, as my mornings now tend to do, with a delivery. This delivery was five sets of shelves (for stock) and a butcher's block (for when I finally get council approval to serve tea, coffee and snacks). The next visitor for the day was the Birch Haberdashery delivery man with a truckload of big needles and crochet hooks.
Deliveries are a major part of setting up a shop, it seems. The opening inventory order arrives and totally fills your shop with cartons and packing. Once you unpack it, the empty cartons fill your lounge room and cause your visitors to worry about your sanity. The unpacked stock, though, barely fills a single bookcase. Every time a customer comes in, you find yourself explaining that more stock is in transit and that you will order in anything they want that is not available. Sometimes you also explain this to neighbours, friends and relatives who stop by to see how you're doing. When you start running really short on stock, you explain it to cats and lamp-posts...
You will also receive deliveries of shop fittings - which is where the workplace injury comes in! In the immortal words of the sages: "Grasshopper, the shop assistant has put 17m of packing tape around that shelf for a REASON. So take it easy with the scissors, yes?". There may also have been an immortal sage who staggered around a shop with blood dripping from their nose after a shelf had fallen on it, alternately invoking Divine Assistance and describing the act of love - but probably not.
Number one retail tip: if you have bruises and cuts on your face, it is much harder to develop a good rapport with your customers. At least it stops me blathering on about stock - I am more concerned with explaining that the Womens' Refuge is actually up the road and around the corner... no - this is nothing, just had a shelf fall on me, looks much worse than it is thanks... I think about suing myself for millions and retiring, but suspect that this has been done before.
By midday, the bruise is going down nicely and the cut is almost invisible under a thick coat of concealer. Now it's time to turn my attention to our class schedule once again! Classes are a big part of what we offer - most of the point of the shop is to develop a community and to spread the word about knitting.
The Birch delivery is related to our first effort in that regard - free knitting classes on 21/9 for the High Vibes Street Festival. I sincerely hope that at least some of the 70,000+ people who come through on the day want to learn to knit and crochet, as I've got two cartons of needles lined up, ready to go. I also have some lovely ribbon - but no wool as yet. That will no doubt be tomorrow's delivery...
Yesterday, I finished working through a course schedule with our first instructor, a local spinner, dyer and artist. She is happy to teach a beginner crochet class for two hours on Wednesday nights - exciting!! October's project is a hat and scarf - November's project is Xmas decorations.
Our second instructor showed up on the weekend to talk about doing some classes - she wasn't sure what she had to offer or what we wanted. As a sample, she produced a jumper with a replica of part of the Bayeaux tapestry on it. I immediately begged her on bended knee to run cable and intarsia/fair isle classes a.s.a.p.!! She is working on it and says she'll get back to me. I am crossing my fingers, as it would be lovely to have something for advanced knitters as well as beginners.
Better go - got a delivery guy at the door and an ice pack to replenish!