I always want to write a book or at least a diary about running a gift shop but I’ve never got the time. On one hand I have so many ideas I want to share on the other hand I feel like I am still very new compare to others who had their shop for like 30 years.
Since we have the pop up, we’ve never stop working. It’s like I am busy before I even get out of the bed.
Opening a shop isn’t as fancy as I thought. Years ago I was day dreaming with my best friend, dreaming we’ll open a gift shop/ book shop/ cafe and we thought we would be chatting to customers, drinking coffee, open and close whenever we feel like. Well obviously we’re very stupid and dreaming too much!
Running a shop is HARD WORK and it’s even harder for a designer! Getting products in from other suppliers are difficult enough but designing your own is even harder. I have to draw, source the materials, communicate to factories (if I am getting them made in bulk) getting samples, more communication, more samples, and things are not according to plan you have to find another factories. The process may take 6 months to a year! In between this process, it’s a lot to learn and there’s also a lot of self-doubt. I don’t know if people will like my design, whether people will like that particular product, and I don’t know if people prefer this colour or that colour, the lists go on.
Behind the sense there’re also lots of invisible stress because I have emails to reply, social media campaign, stocks to order, photoshoot to organise and if I am late for one thing, everything will delay. As an artist or a writer, I draw or write when I feel like this, as long as I submit the work before the deadline is fine but running a shop is doing different things in daily basis. it’s particularly hard for me because I can’t break up a drawing to do in different days or weeks, but sometimes I just don’t have the time to do one drawing in one day! Not to mention I need to get into the right time right mind set to draw. It’s all very hard.
I hope sharing this insight with you make you appreciate independent designer more. It’s not that easy.