It's been a very busy few months and an extremely steep learning curve (vertical, almost) since we bought the shop in June 2014.
We have weathered our first Summer, survived Goose Fair unscathed, made our debut at the wonderful Dickensian Evening, enjoyed a hectic Christmas, had our first January Sale, and launched this website. We are now officially into Spring. And with Spring, our thoughts turned to our next challenge: refurbishing the shop.
Under the previous owners the shop had become somewhat tired and lacklustre, and the elderly carpet was ...... well, let's say 'interesting' (we're being kind to it; it had worked hard over the years). Consequently, we decided to begin our refurbishment with some very practical, smart new flooring. We engaged a commercial flooring specialist (Walter Wall Flooring of Exeter) to do the job for us, as our lovely shop - and you, our customers - deserve the best. Walter Wall Flooring offered a great range of floor coverings to choose from, and once we had made our selection, five days of chaos began.
On the Sunday before the carpet was removed and the floor fitting began, everything from the front of the shop was moved to the back, including all of the display cabinets. We were delighted to discover some of them had concealed wheels to make moving them easier. Of course the largest and heaviest, home to the Moorcroft Pottery didn't, and took a great deal of grunting, groaning and muscle to shift. On the Tuesday morning we were back before daylight dawned, to move everything back to the front of the shop on the newly-laid floor, plus all of the cabinets etc from the back of the shop to the front.
By the Wednesday evening all of the new flooring was laid and looking splendid. Walter Wall Flooring had done a fantastic job, and we were astonished how much larger the shop looked. Due to reopen on Thursday morning at 9am on the dot, we had another very early start to move all the cabinets etc back to their original places. Dusting and cleaning then began: who could have guessed that old carpet had harboured several tons of dust! By 3:30 that afternoon, when Google were due to come and photograph and video the shop, we had just about finished. Phew!
Next to arrive will be a brand new, comprehensive security, fire and CCTV system, then we will begin redecorating. We plan to accomplish this on Sundays and in the evenings, to minimise any disruption and avoid the necessity to close the shop again.