The Shop is back...but not as you know it

I thought I'd update you on the shop situation as it's been about six months since I closed it.

tigerlilly quinn lifestyle shop

I set up my shop about two & a half years ago as something I'd always dreamt of doing. I used to work in a small boutique after university & was involved in visual merchandising, buying & general running the shop. I loved everything about it, I loved how it felt to help someone pick the perfect outfit for them, I loved dressing the window & the mannequins & leafing through the wholesale catalogues at the new lines of fashion & homeware from my favourite brands. I told myself that when I was a 'proper grown up' I would one day run my own little shop, it was the dream.

About a year after Tom and I met I started this blog (almost 7 years ago!) I bumbled along with it for about three years, blogging about this & that and nothing in particular & then Wilf was born, I started blogging daily, engaging with community & after about a year earning a very small income from it. A year after this I had saved a small amount of money & thought 'lets give this retail thing a go'. I invested in some wholesale items from independent designers I loved & also a few bits from larger wholesalers and I had a small shop!

Things went along quite well for a while, with the readership I'd built up from the blog I was getting a fairly steady about of sales and was able to invest it all back into more stock and a little extra and it grew like that for another year. Shortly after this I became pregnant with Mabli, I was very sick for about four months and found it increasingly difficult to keep up with both the blog and the shop, I was putting all my earnings from the shop into buying more stock and keeping up with both meant I also had to turn down blog work. I found that some days I was so sick I couldn't move off the sofa and all of sudden orders were building up, I was finding I wasn't happy with how I packing them, I didn't have the time or energy to wrap beautiful packages, it was as much as could do to shove them in a box with a bit of tissue paper and crawl down to the post office.

tigerlilly quinn lifestyle shop

I found this time in my life really overwhelming, I felt I couldn't put the amount of effort into both the shop and the blog and was doing both half heartedly. To compete with other shops popping up all the time I was running lots of offers and sales and barely making any profit at all. To keep my shop fresh I thought I should buy different and new lines but really it just meant that things were stacking up and nothing really was being sold. I even found my friends buying items I sold in my shop from other sellers even though mine were cheaper and local, probably because I had over 300 products and they couldn't keep up with what I sold. I felt like I couldn't keep up with sharing shop updates and blog posts and it was all becoming very hard work for very little return. I also found that I was getting approached a lot more for work on the blog and that one post on here that might take a days work would equate to the same as a whole months takings in the shop (that's not saying I charge a lot for the blog, it's mainly to illustrate how badly the shop was doing!).

I ran the shop until I was 38 weeks pregnant and then by then I felt like I couldn't do anymore, a good thing really as a week or so later Mabli was born. After a flash January sale I boxed up all the hundreds of unsold stock and told myself to not worry about it for now, having a newborn around and running the blog was enough to think about and I'm so glad I made the decision. I've found I am enjoying blogging more and feel so very thankful I don't have to balance tons of orders on the pram to the post office (my most hated part of owning a shop!).

Still, the part I LOVED so much about owning a shop was finding items I was so excited about showing people, I got a real buzz from 'buying' but wasn't massively good on all that comes with selling physical items. I know my weaknesses and I'm not too proud to say I guess I'm not a good shop owner, I don't like the admin that comes with items lost in the mail, packing orders and sending them but I do love finding and sharing products I love.

SO this is where we come to the fact that the shop is back...it is..but not as you know it. I'm working with a site called Showroom where I have curated a shop from my favourite items from stores I love that can be bought from my site and packed and posted through theirs. For me I think this is the ideal situation! I'm only choosing products I absolutely love and think you will too.

There is a 'shop' tab on my header bar and you can add any items you like into your basket just like a normal shop, a confirmation email will then come from the shop that it originally comes from and your item will be sent directly from them but I take a small percentage from each sale.

I really hope you love the shop in it's new format. Thank you so much for all those who supported it in its old format. I got such a kick out of getting lovely customer emails saying how much they enjoyed their orders or shopping with me time and again. I think you'll like the pieces I've chosen for this one.

P.S If you are a blogger interested in setting up a shop like this on your blog you can sign up here.

P.P.S for those interested, I'm still deciding what to do with all the stock that I now won't need but I'm hoping one day to sell it on to another business. If you might be interested in that, do drop me a line!

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