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About our Shop

About our shop…..

Why open a shop when you have two successful Internet businesses?

Well there were two reasons really, the first was that the business was growing and we were running out of space in Jacquie’s house in Cornwall. It had got to the stage where all available surfaces and floors were taken up by boxes of stock. The dining table was two-thirds covered in crystals and six people had to eat their meals squashed around the remaining third.

The second reason was that we wanted the contact with customers that you miss when you are running an Internet business.

The first hurdle was finding the premises. We spent a long time looking for somewhere suitable. Eventually, by chance Jacquie heard of a unit in Charlestown, on the South coast of Cornwall, that had been closed for two years but was now available. She rushed round to have a look and was impressed by its potential. The rent was affordable too.

There were a few problems, the inside looked like a garage with a painted red concrete floor. The walls had been repainted a month ago but were so damp that the paint hadn’t dried properly. There were two stone arches built into the side of the wall, a relic of when it was used as a workshop, but unfortunately, because of a roof garden above them, they constantly dripped water. We realised we had a lot of work to do but we set an opening date for four weeks time and worked out a plan.

first picture of our shop in Charlestown, Cornwall

We had the walls dry-lined, raised the floor, fitted plug sockets and spotlights and decorated like mad. The phone line went in, and then the Internet, it was all coming together until two weeks before we opened there was torrential downpour, which revealed that the roof was leaking. We had to abandon the improvements until the roof was repaired.

The weekend before the shop opened we called in all available members of the family to put up cupboards, and shelves and to help us sort the stock to put on the shelves. We worked late into the night on Sunday and then were all back down the shop at 6am on Monday morning to finish getting everything ready for our 10am opening. At 9am we stacked all our remaining unpacked boxes behind the door and cleaned up ready to open.

On the first day we were pleasantly surprised by how much interest there was. The day went really well and we met a lot of kind, positive and interesting people. We sold a lot of crystals and beads too.

We now have somewhere to store our stock and the opportunity to talk to some lovely customers. One of the best things is that we can walk out of the shop to the top of the lane and look down onto the sparkling blue (or sometimes grey) sea in the harbour. We have even been known to spend half an hour, before we open the shop in the morning, standing on the shingle beach and listening to the sound of the ocean.

The shop sells both healing crystals and beads, we have combined both our Internet businesses into the one space and we feel it works really well. We have most of our Internet stock in the shop with a few different pieces as well. We sell many semi-precious beads, delicas and jewellery components and we are increasing our range all the time.

picture of our shop Crystal and Bead shop as it is now

Update 31st October 2009

Well, we did the very best we could but unfortunately, in the current economic climate, the shop didn't make enough sales to justify keeping it open.

When we thought about it we realised that the part of the business we both enjoyed the most was the Internet and so we made a decision to close the shop and to concentrate solely on the websites.

Although sad, we don't have any regrets. We learnt a lot from running the shop but closing it will allow us to devote more time to the websites and will enable us to seek out and find more new and unusual stock. Plus we get weekends off, bliss.

Jayne and Jacqueline