SO <deep sigh>
It's been a busy week in The Hive. If you're outside the UK, you might not realise that we've been put into a second national lockdown. We've had to shut our shop to real life visitors, but we are allowed to continue trading online, and the children can still go to school. We're still open, by the grace of God, and everyone is still healthy. We intend to carry on this way until Christmas 🤞
Despite having had strict COVID-19 cleaning protocols in place since March, Dom and I decided it was a good opportunity to have a deep clean before the Christmas rush. By which we mean take literally everything out of the studio and clean it before it comes back in. All the cupboards emptied, professional cleaners in - you get the picture. It was HARD WORK.
(fuelled entirely by chocolate biscuits and coffee)We've had a big move around - as the business has grown we need more space for picking, packing and warehousing. We also have more staff in to help over Christmas, so we needed to ensure that everyone could socially distance adequately (100% easier when there's only 2 or 3 of you in at any one time!) My office is now in the old store room, and the big office is now the warehouse.
Which is very exciting to an old girl like me.
Want a sneak peak?
I'll be going live on Friday at 5pm GMT on Facebook if you want to have a guided tour 😀
ANYWAY. The exciting thing (although it did not feel exciting at first, I've got to admit) is that we have got a whole lot of stuff here that we'd forgotten we owned.
Can you empathise with that? Stuff you buy with good intentions, and store neatly away and then forget about? Stuff that is brand new, high quality, too good to get rid of, but not quite what you need in your life at the moment? THAT STUFF. Isn't it the hardest to know what to do with?
This goes back to the story of Mrs Bee. When we first started, our business did not look the way it does now. In fact, we made hand made teepees. Then we made fairy dresses. Then wedding dresses, and bridesmaid and prom dresses. Then quilts and teddies made from baby clothes. We have done a WHOLE LOT of things along the way that, for one reason or another, did not turn out to be the business that Mrs Bee is now. I don't believe any of it was a mistake - it has all led us to the place we are at now, and allowed us to grow as people and develop the skills needed to run a design business and retail empire. If, when I was an English teacher, you told me we would run a design business I would have thought you'd lost the plot. The distance between there and here was unimaginable. But could I sew? Yes. And then, in order to be better at the sewing, I needed to learn to tailoring. Then I needed to learn how to use Photoshop and other digital design tools, and marketing. And Dom taught himself to use an embroidery machine, then a sublimator and a digital vinyl cutter. And he taught me (he had been a school teacher too).Then we taught other people. And we kept learning, trying stuff out and reflecting, until we found ourselves here, with this business. And maybe that is what someone needs to takeaway from this blog, that baby steps can lead to giant leaps....)
So, I am sitting here surrounded by this beautiful stock that we bought when we were an embroidery business that traded at local farmer's markets, wondering what to do with it. It's all excellent A quality stock, it's just not what we're focussing Mrs Bee on at the moment. We need the space, as we have a big delivery coming at the end of the month.
And then I had an idea - MYSTERY BOXES!
We will sell a box of Mrs Bee goodies. We will charge HALF the retail value of the products inside.
- You get some fun Mrs Bee bits and bobs, and we send some of our lovely gifts to people who will value them.
- You get extra stuff for free, and we sort out our store room, in time for our new stock arriving at the end of the month.
- Perfect if you have a bunch of people to buy small Christmas presents for,
- Perfect for die-hard Mrs Bee fans, because you get exclusive merch.
Tell us about yourself by answering a few questions, and we'll personalise your box so it's entirely unique to you! You can choose to receive
- ADULT GIFTS
- Family Friendly gifts
We have very limited stock. and started off with 50 boxes on Friday evening. They are selling fast, so head over to the website now and check them out before they sell out!
I am confident that this will provide excellent value for our customers, whether you buy them to split between other people you need to buy gifts for, or you buy them as a wee treat for yourself.
Right! Back to the sorting - I have yet more boxes to unpack onto the new racking in the warehouse! I need to get this place looking respectable in time for the Facebook Live on Friday at 5pm!
See you Friday! Tell me in the comments that you've read my blog when you get there!