Bye bye Burton Road

A big hello to you. This seems a very odd blog to find myself writing. Having only just re-signed a three year lease for My Burton road shop in January 2020, to find the doors Closed in June 2020. Does anyone else still find themselves scratching their heads over what has actually happened to us in the last few months? It is absolutely bizarre and takes all of our strength to accept it and follow the guidelines! Anyway, I’m hoping that by reading this little blog it’ll distract you from your troubles for a few minutes, it will also help me “brain dump” which I have found extremely helpful for my mental well being.

So If you follow me regularly on facebook, instagram, or have walked past what was my shop, you’ll of noticed the shop on Burton road is now closed. I cannot actually believe how fast my working life has changed, on march 21st I was stood in my shop serving lots of panicked customers just about to begin their lockdown adventures, to now where I am sat in my office/wool shop writing this blog to you all. I have and always will be an open book, so ill happily explain it all in a nutshell.

During the start of lockdown, I have to say, I didn’t actually give my business a huge amount of thought, My entire thought, anxiety and instincts were to look after my five year old son. I couldn’t help but be thrown back to the days of my post natal depression, where I felt I wasn’t good enough for him, so home schooling him and keeping him entertained took over my mind, I didn’t want to fail him, after some advice from his teachers I soon got into the groove of being mummy, teacher and best friend and shock off all those anxieties.

Once my mind had come to terms with Sidney, I put some thought into my business again, and offered a postal service, it was reasonably popular, and for one person it was a lot of work, but it wasn’t overly profitable, nor what my business is all about. I adore the social aspect of the shop, the groups, courses and workshops. Not only do I adore it, but its my bread and butter. It is by far the most important part of my income, selling wool alone does not pay the bills. Having looked at the figures and predicting that it would be unlikely id of been able to offer the classes this year, I contacted my landlady. I explained I wasn’t going to be able to run my business profitably this year, and id soon be in the negative, extremely stressed, all the while still having a 5 year old at home with no childcare and and my husband at work . And so I asked for help. Help has never been something I’ve been comfortable to ask for, but I figured if you don’t ask you don’t get. I had presumed one of two answers. 1. I’m afraid I can’t help, sorry. 2. lets reduce the rent for time being. I actually received neither of these answers. I got a phone call, and very quickly had to choose between no help at all or terminating my lease and leaving the shop asap. I was panicked and was told to answer very fast as someone wanted my shop. Obviously in floods of tears, with a huge knot in my tummy I chewed the fat with my husband, I even called a friend to talk it through, and it seemed the most sensible option was to leave the shop. I had virtually 3 years ahead of me, with no idea what the future could offer. I didn’t want to plough all of my time and money into the shop only for it to close in the future and be left with nothing. Sadly I made the phone call and accepted the offer to terminate my lease. It was a tad mental clearing the shop out, with my fiat 500 as my moving vehicle, and, with social distancing not allowed any help, nor could I open up to have a closing down sale. So I was physically knackered from clearing out the shop, mentally drained from the upset and the very many messages I received and my anxiety was at an all time high. This was not a situation anyone could of predicted, nor can I imagine would ever go through again. Sadly things weren’t as clear cut as I had been led to believe so I had some very sleepless nights, but I’m glad to say all though it was not the ending I had hoped for, I am now out of the building and free to start my next adventure. I will always hold the memories of my first shop fondly in my heart, and be proud of what it was to myself and many others.

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The empty shell of what once was.

So where does that leave me and number four now? The ideas are endless, my brain has excitedly thought of a million adventures . I am actually at peace with it all now and I’m really intrigued to see what is next. We are all still very much in the middle of this life changing pandemic so I can’t set any ideas in stone just yet, but I promise I’m going nowhere. So many of the messages I received were about my crochet classes, and I literally love teaching those classes so I will of course still be here to teach beginners, and intermediates when the world can safely let me do so. I will also still very proudly continue to stock my favourite brands. I would be lost if I couldn’t buy and sell my favourite wool! I just love motivating people and seeing all the wonderful creations you come up with. As it stands my focus is still very much on my son, and until he is back at school I cannot invest the hours id like to into the business . I am also useless at technology, so I am keeping it simple and selling yarn/stock I already have through my Facebook page. I promise I have so many exciting ideas in my head, but for now id like to just clear the decks, keep you all supplied with wooly treats, and keep my sanity, this seems the best plan for now.

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My new office/shop.

I really hope that has explained things. I did receive some exceptionally generous messages of people offering to pay the rent, and some very teary customers obviously very sad to lose their creative hub of happiness. It was hard for me, as a complete softy to try to block out others thoughts, and I had to think that Number four is ME, SARAH, and I am still here. The building may no longer be mine. But if you still want me, you can have me. I have really enjoyed some socially distanced catch ups with friends I have made through the shop, and it just re-motivates me to keep going, as someone who relies heavily on being needed and loved, Id hate to lose the business and community I’ve built up and the friendships I have made.

How you doing? You still with me? That was all very heavy, but I felt it important to explain. I appreciate having this audience to ‘vent’ too. So a big thanks to you for hearing me out.

Lets change the subject shall we? a quick natter about life, wool, weight gain, bad skin, and my new obsession with the reality trash tv that is ‘the real housewives’ . I have always enjoyed reality tv, I’ve never hidden it, despite my husbands eye rolls, and my best friends asking why I watch that rubbish. But my oh my I have been well and truly sucked into the ‘real housewives of….. New York, Atlanta and Beverly Hills’ . The thing that strikes me most, is that with all there fortune and free time not one of them knits, or crochets??? Just think with all that money, space and time the things you could do. You could drape yourself in the finest merinos money could buy! They even have hired help for EVERY job imaginable, so why not hire a knitter? crocheter? I have 50 million projects I could set others away with. Hahaha it really makes me giggle how different humans are, 4k on a bottle of champagne? No thank you, 4k on luxury yarns? yes please! Oh god, and imagine the craft room with crystal chandelier lighting it all up! So yes I’ve found my evenings are swallowed up by watching other people live their crazy lives. Ive done a little crafting whilst watching it, I’ve not made much, some socks and I’ve been adding a few rows to a scrappy crochet blanket I’ve got. My aim is to finish some WIPs in the next couple of weeks, so thats exciting. I have been trying to get back to some exercise, sadly running really hurt my knee, so I now aim to walk every day, I’m doing well with my targets, but my eating needs to improve. Chocolate and cheese are not my friend! my skin is struggling, I have so many health issues that cause my weight to be heavy and my skin to be spotty, but I’m enjoying trying new products and facemasks to see if I can find a little solution. Im not vain in the slightest, but my spots are painful, thats why I want them to go.

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That important Rainbow that we’ve all become so fond of during lockdown,

I really hope you are all keeping well. Its a huge battle for us all to get through this strange time, emotionally, financially and physically . But I’ve certainly learnt what and who are important to me, and thats the positive I am going to take from this experience. I hope you find yourself in a similar position of finding the positives,

For now I shall leave you in peace, But it won’t be for long! Biggest wooly hugs and kisses….

Sarah xxxxx

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