Sunday, December 17, 2006

the diary of a shopgirl...

I come from a family of shopkeepers and for a long time I was determined not to be one too. Then one day I woke up and it was all I wanted to do. It was as simple as that. Fourteen years ago my family opened a little gift store in an old house with a shop front. Back then our dream was to create a place where people felt comfortable. A place where even if they only had a little to spend, they would find that special something. It would of course be beautifully wrapped. Years later our little shop has grown and changed but I think we have managed to stay true to our vision. Along the way we have made some wonderful friends and hopefully made a few people happy. We have watched children grow and have had the privelege of sharing a little part of peoples lives.


I know a lot is said about the commercialisation of this season. It's certainly the busiest time of the year for us, but it's still a thrill for me to see people taking pleasure in the simple things... writing cards and letters, buying a box for handmade biscuits, choosing an ornament for a favourite teacher, taking the time to travel across town to find the perfect treat for someone they hold dear.

We have worked really hard over the years to build relationships with our suppliers, a mixture of importers and smaller local companies. Selecting a collection of goods for each season is such fun. Of course a great deal of hard work goes in to making it seem effortless, but it's a challenge that I love. And then there's that great moment when it all comes together, when someone gets what we are trying to say and it just works. Those moments are really special.


For me, blogging has primarily been about own my personal journey into motherhood and finding my creativity within that realm. One of the most powerful things about this community is it's the ability to foster connection among people. I spent a lot of time thinking about this post. Revealing things about myself doesn't come easily to me but recently I have found myself wanting to write about my experiences as a shopgirl. This might be a one off post or maybe one day I'll write some more. I guess what it comes down to is that I've realised again how lucky I am to do something that I really love, something that allows me to connect with others on a daily basis. That our little shop still exists is testament to the support of many people over many years, testament to the power of the smallest exchanges. It's something for which I'm incredibly grateful.

16 comments:

Jo said...

I have a little shop that I visit every know and then when I need a special gift. Sometimes those special gifts end up being for me! But I love that I can walk into a shop where they know me and my children by name, that I can wander freely and chat, that they will wrap my gift beautifully and that they take such care to find such wonderful little treasures to stock at a range of prices. I would love to visit your shop Sarah, it sounds like my kind of shopping. If only there were more little shops like yours.

Miss Dot said...

I know what you mean, my parttime job while at Uni was in a family run gift shop. I was there 6 years and loved helping people find that something special and then wrapping it with extra care. I think the over commercial aspect of Christmas that most people are talking about is more about people buying any kind of crap from a huge soulless department store from a sales assistant that doesn't care for an inflated price with no thought at all. I am sure you don't stock like that, sell like that or ever plan to! that's what makes shopping in your store different I am sure. Merry Christmas!

eireann said...

I love this post. Thank you for it, Sarah.

When I go home, I want to keep a shop, too. I can't get it out of my head. You're lucky to be doing what you love, indeed!

x.

rebecca said...

You are lucky, I would love to own a shop like yours - a dream job! Would love to hear more about it .....

Nichola said...

Yes...i'd like to hear more about it too please.

lisa s said...

so glad you shared....

i wish i could visit your shop....

it is a true gift to feel you've followed your destiny!

fiona said...

such a lovely post. it's such a blessing to have a love for what you do. the world needs more shops/companies/organizations like yours that really care.

oh, and wish I could visit, too (maybe next year!) xoxo

Nonnie said...

Thank you for sharing. I would also love to have a little shop. Sounds like yours is very special.

Alison said...

I hope you keep in doing what you're doing - between the shop and the blog - for a long time yet. It is the small details which make everything special .

Shell said...

Ok, now I'm intrigued! I want to know where the pretty shop is!!! Are you going to tell us or just keep us wondering?

I'd love to own a shop, but I'm afraid that I have no business nouse at all. So, I'm content just to visit and buy from them.

Merry Christmas shop-gal!

michelle said...

I'm another one who wants to visit your shop. Your photos look delightful.

Bel said...

Love learning a little more about one of my favourite bloggers. I look forward to walking in to your little shop one day, and will next time I'm in Brisbane.

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for the walk around your shop, for those of us who can't visit in person. It's wonderful to hear about your philosophy behind your shop, and such a wonderful philosophy it is! I miss those comfortable places where getting in and out quickly isn't the main goal, where I can chat with the owner.

jenny vorwaller said...

can't wait to hear the rest sarah :) xoxo

K said...

What's wonderful about you Sarah is that you may not be able to reveal things about yourself easily...but when you do, we can relate to you wholeheartedly and most of us gals feel exactly the same way. As a fellow Mum, I too would be eternally grateful to be doing something (workwise) that I thoroughly loved and enjoyed every.single.day!! Keep enjoying your days and best wishes for 2007.

shopgirl said...

Im the real shopgirl


www.siyansblog.blogspot.com