Bye Bye Crafty Shop Bristol

Wow, what a roller-coaster ride it's been having a shop! Now my little shop in Bristol is closed I thought I'd write a post all about it from beginning to end.
I hope you find it interesting and inspiring, it's been the best and hardest journey I've done so far so enjoy!

What made you open a shop? I get asked this a lot and it's been a toughie to answer. There's lots of reasons but here's just a few:
  • I'd always wanted to have a shop (since a little girl)
  • I wanted a place where customers could always find me (I'd sold at markets before that)
  • Because I wanted to (I'm one of those people who need to do things rather than wonder 'what if". My mum always said "theres no gain without risk" and life's too short for regrets.
So after selling at lots of markets, and they ARE hard work, I decided to open I Love Crafty Shop Bristol. I wanted to keep my cute, kitsch style like I had created on my stalls such as this one.


With the help of my sister who's a production designer in the film industry we started looking for inspiration for shop design.


I loved this shop front with it's grass, cute exterior and windows full of lush goodies!



When I was on my honeymoon in San Francisco I came across this charming tea room called, The Crown and Crumpet which had a tiny gift shop which I fell in love with. It was soooo beautiful and full of handmade trinkets, a true feast for the eyes.
For me, to make my shop look half as sweet, quirky and interesting as this one would have been a dream come true!


This is the mood board I made for the shop. I knew I wanted pastel colours, as they are my favourite and reminded me of Disney, another HUGE inspiration. I wanted the shop to feel like an experience, not just be a space with products you could buy. I wanted to grab peoples attention and create a space like no other. I hope I did this!


This is my sister Kate's design, we wanted to paint a sky on the celling so we'd always have blue skies and it was very important for me to have a tree in the shop. I was inspired by a photo shoot by Tim Walker. We made one from a old shelf unit, chicken wire a plaster of paris and after a hour of auguring about how to make it we did!


So we open on the 14th August 2010 thanks to all my family helping with the painting, cleaning and getting the furniture in. It was a great day, and I felt very lucky and tired!


You can see the edge of the tree with baby clothes hanging from it in this pic.


As well as selling my own crafty work I wanted to sell other local artists work. I was amazed by the amount of lovely, talented artists there are in Bristol and here's a few of them in front of the shop. Thanks to all of you who made the shop what it was!


We had our 1st birthday in 2011 and I hung bunting from the celling. it ended up looking like the inside of a circus tent and was sooo pretty!


Just before the new year, my little shop closed for business. I was very upset and it was a really hard decision. I'd loved having my shop but times are hard and in the end I had to decide to close.


So after a month of planning, 2 weeks of decorations and a year and a half of being open it took one day to clear out. I didn't feel sad, I found it quite therapeutic like it was the end of that particular chapter of I Love Crafty and my life.


The tree was the hardest thing to get out! It's now got a new home in a shop on the road where I live so I see it all the time, weird!


As much as I loved my shop I felt like it wasn't the right time to dedicate all my time to it but I'm soooooo happy and proud that I did. I met soooo many amazing people and friends through having the shop.
I don't regret having it or closing it, I'm just thankful for what's come out of it!

And now you can visit I Love Crafty in your own home on our online store here as well as selling at local markets and happily my jewellery is now on sale in shops around the country.
I've got lots of plans for I Love Crafty, this is only the beginning!

Thanks for reading this! Hope you like it and remember, I Love Crafty loves you!
XXX

13 comments:

  1. Your shop looked absolutely beautiful and I am so sad I never had chance to come and have a look around. I've just 'pinned' some photos to my pinterest page as the shop looked so pretty. I really admire what you achieved setting up your shop. So many people never give their dreams and ideas a chance. You actually did it so good for you. An amazing achievement. I'm glad you didn't feel too sad when the shop closed. I have no doubt you will be succeed in whatever you do. You have really inspired me to give an idea I have a go. I will let you know what happens! Keep in touch and I will hopefully get to meet you at one of your markets. Also I read that your 'Dress a Girl' blog button design is being made into bumper stickers in America. Fantastic!! x

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  2. Your shop was beautiful as are you. You'll be missed in the Arcade but I wish you every success in whatever you do next, you are a 'do-er' so I'm sure it will be great. Don't be a stranger! x

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  3. Thanks guys! It's been good to write about it and Sew Scrumptious go for it! Keep in touch! xxx

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  4. Laura, I shall miss popping in to see you in your candy, cute little den of lovely things. I am so pleased that my dolls and cards did so well in your shop, you wouldn't beleive how much i needed that confidence to get started, so thankyou.
    I wore my little flower earings on Christmas day (they matched my lipstick a treat!) Hope to see you soon! Much love Sarah, Curious Pip.

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  5. Thanks for writing about your experiences, it really helps all of us who are thinking about setting ourselves up but are too scared just yet! Congratulations on doing what you wanted to do! x

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  6. I think its really inspiring that you actually took a leap of faith and opened up such a wonderful shop and obviously now you dont have to wonder what if - im so glad it hasnt been heartbreaking for you to close and that youre still going to keep ilovecrafty alive and kicking! congratulations so far and hope you feel really proud of what you have achieved already!

    lucy xx

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  7. Thank you, Laura, for sharing your adventure with us. Your little heaven struck me as a meeting place for like-minded makers, not just a beautiful wee shop. I look forward to seeing you in the future. Well done sweetie!

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  8. Thanks sooo much guys! Much love! xxx

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  9. This was such a lovely post and seeing your whole journey is amazing. I honestly, honestly think I Love Crafty is the cutest shop I have ever, ever visited (and I shop a lot hehe) and I'm so glad you're continuing the brand. Hope we get to work together this year! All the best, and thank you so much for letting me be apart of the shop.

    xoxo

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  10. I loved reading this, thanks for sharing your story it’s so inspiring. I run my own business too, and it really can be soooo hard at times. It’s sad that the shop has closed but things happen for a reason, I’ll watch this space! Good luck :)

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  11. A beautiful shop it was and good luck for the future,look forward to seeing more from I Love Crafty

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  12. Love the photos of the shop in San Francisco! I kinda want to go there now too!! I'm going to miss your cute little shop so much! Good luck with all your online stuff, can't wait to see what you do next! Melvina xXx

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  13. Hi Laura - just found out your lovely shop closed. Just to say thanks for all your support to me and well done for having the guts to follow your dreams. I've know doubt I will bump into you at a craft fair in the future. Take care. Cathxx

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