One Month On -22nd January 2018
One Month On – 22 January 2018
Today it is one month since we first opened the doors of our shop. What a huge learning curve it has been! There have been so many new systems to learn, and new ways of doing things. Our first customer challenged us with having to do multiple sales on the eftpos machine as well as load it on the Vend programme which is our Merchant Point of Sale system. For those of us who have never needed to know this stuff before, let me tell you – it comes with some serious challenges. It was time to get this brain out of the 20th century!
There have been some moments when I have just had to say to customers ‘please bear with’ as I try to do the maths, or figure out which button I should be pressing to get a total purchase price. It hasn’t been all bad though. We have met some amazing people, who have been very patient as we have worked out how to do things. I’ve always been the one on the other side of the counter – so to be the gal that knows how to run this shop I’ve stepped into another realm…
One friend suggested not putting too much pressure on myself and said just do a hand written record of sales. Like when you have 3 customers standing at the counter and your brain has gone to mush and you just can’t think straight and you’re trying to do it fast and you just feel like screaming H E L P ! Admittedly that’s only happened once, but it was enough for me to not want it to happen again…So I resigned myself to do the hand written note thing. Well wouldn’t you know – I haven’t actually had to resort to that, because I am actually starting to GET this system now and I can enter a full sale with multiple items on to the machine. I have to confess that I over charged a couple of customers, but they were gracious enough to point out my mistake and have since been refunded the difference in full!
There haven’t just been trials with till machines and computers – after all this is a Sewing Centre. We have fabric to measure and cut. In various lengths. Multiplied by a number to get a retail price. Added to another number to calculate the GST.
We have haberdashery. We have gift items. We have linen and we have chairs. 4 arm chairs to be precise. We were given chairs last year by various people and we got them reupholstered so that our hand quilting ladies could sit comfortably and stitch as part of a group. Since our classes haven’t started yet, we have the chairs dotted around the shop – 2 are near the front door. We have been asked several times if we are an upholstery store. We have been asked quite a few times if we will be doing upholstery classes. We have been asked umpteen dozen times if our chairs are for sale! Up until now the answer has been no, no and NO. But we are starting to recognise a trend here and so we have now put a price on a couple of the chairs. Of course if we sell one, we need to replace it with another one. We picked up another rocking chair that needed some loving last weekend. It has been beautifully re upholstered this week in similar fabric to the show stopper we already have, and it is now for sale in store.
In the past week our first newsletter has gone out to the customers on our new data base. You can sign up to that too if you go onto the website and subscribe. We will be starting classes in February with Beginners and we will slowly add more options as we find our groove.
This next week we have Julie coming from Bernina to help us launch and show us how to demo sewing machines. We have gradually been unpacking the various sewing machines and overlockers from their boxes and we’ve been having a few test drives. Each machine is different, and I feel very privileged to now have my very own Bernina 770 tucked in to a lovely Kensington Horn Cabinet with cupboards, drawers and wheels. It’s like a mobile sewing room that can go anywhere. For now it will be living at the shop, and I am busting to have a real play with this new machine. It has all the bells and whistles and it can even embroider all by itself. As you can imagine, with all the buttons I have been learning to push lately, I’m taking my time psyching myself up to drive this Mama. I have plenty of samples to sew together, it’s just a matter of finding the time and space to give it my full attention.
We are enjoying the tourists who come to Taupo, many are only passing through for a day or two. The locals are beginning to re-emerge after the town’s been overtaken by holiday makers since Christmas. For us now the serious business must start. As we have one month tucked under our belt, we can start to look ahead with some clearer goals and a better understanding of what we can expect. We need to look at our stock and decide what we need to add.
We have been really blessed with lovely customers and a very warm welcome to Taupo. If you are one of those people reading this, thank you for welcoming us so positively, and for your encouragement and support. We acknowledge that we are a work in progress, and we will never know everything, but we will have a jolly good try to find out the answer to any curly questions you may have.
I’m learning to delegate jobs I can’t (or don’t want) to do to others who are better equipped to do certain tasks than me. The most important thing right now is to LOVE what we’re doing, and LOVE what we’ve been called to do. There’s not much point going in to something like this if it’s no fun. My note-to-self this week, as I edit this blog is let’s have some FUN!