Late into 2019, Kirsty, Emily and myself were sat around chatting about the year passed and our hopes for the year to come. A resurgence of the roaring 20's we thought.
Obviously, we didn't realise what was on the horizon.
"Have you heard about this Corona thing?" "That's a beer isn't it?" "Yeah it's a beer but it's also like a flu or something?".
Even come February when Em and I had annual leave we weren't really taking into account that some places across the globe were starting to close their doors and windows to the rest of the world. No, we were just excited to have a holiday before the big Rockamilly boom that we all had planned. We were franchising....exciting or what?
Come March, we'd had some scary headlines and obviously the rest is history. Quite literally.
A global pandemic was not what we or anyone else had planned for in 2020. The year we thought was going to be our golden year of change looked as though it was going to be the year we struggled the most.
And in all honesty we were worried. We worried if, when we locked those doors for the final time, would we be unlocking them again?
Amazingly, thanks to you, our loyal customer base and Kirstys inability to be knocked down, even in the face of an invisible virus, we indeed unlocked our doors this week and opened up to the world once again.
So let me tell you what Team Rockamilly did whilst the shop remained dark and silent for nearly 3 months.
In our team zoom (anyone else so thankful for zoom right now?) we discussed how we'd keep things ticking over online, we'd host viewing parties, create content from our homes, launch another exclusive with Irregular Choice. We'd make sure that we remained the warm, colourful place that you have all come to love. Only we'd have to be digital for the time being.
Whilst the online store boomed (and it really did, we couldn't have expected just how much our online sales would grow) our physical store looked a little tired. She was dusty, her paint was chipped. She deserved a make over, in fact she'd put in an official letter to HR that she was over due some TLC and we all agreed that now was the time to get her looking top notch again.
We got to work like something from a Disney film. Window displays that had been bright and keeping Leigh colourful were removed. Kirstys loyal and hard working husband wall papered and refreshed those areas. We had new lighting put in, we painted our till area BRIGHT PINK.
Most importantly though and our new favourite thing within the shop. We gave her a new floor. She has a black and white check board floor. Now for someone who loves Alice in Wonderland, this was very exciting to me. Imagine how beautiful that floor will look in our photos. Against our signature flower wall. The contrast with the colours, the floor, the lighting. Our store has never ever looked better. It was exciting. It was like opening weekend all over again.
Except this time, we'd put arrows on the floor to indicate a one way system, a notice on the window to tell people that whilst we love you all, we can only have 6 of you in at a time. Hand sanitiser dotted around the shop and making sure that everything is cleaned down so much more than usual.
So here we are, we're open. We're thankful, we're so happy to be back and from the people we've met this week so are you. We know it's going to take a little getting used to but we're ready. We've still got all the plans we had right at the beginning of 2020 and they will start rolling out soon. New team members, a franchise to reveal, new stock, new surprises but ultimately the same colourful, quirky and safe Rockamilly you loved the first time we unlocked those doors.
See you all soon.