I work full-time as a partner in a niche firm of solicitors and have teenge twin boys. I love both and they each take up alot of my time. But they are not the focus of this blog.
This blog will chart the trials and tribulations of a complete novice starting up a designer dress agency and vintage boutique in the middle of a recession with no previous experience. Oh…and who is a complete technophobe. What could possibly go wrong?
Now and Then was initially christened Pink Unicorn but that soon went. In that guise my first foray into selling preloved designer wear and good vintage began. It was a really inauspicious start at an indoor fair in Septemeber 2010 named Posh Booty. Good idea (even if the name was a bit suspect) but due to a seeming complete lack of advertising the footfall was about 20 – half of whom were my friends coming to see what on earth I was up to.
There never was a Posh Booty second event but I was bitten with the selling bug – plus my dining room now contained a clothes rail and stock. I looked around and signed up for the local Chelmsford vintage fairs run by TrulyMadlyVintage. I found a level of success selling at the fairs but they were only on about 6 times per year. The focus was also on vintage whereas I believe any good design is worth keeping in circulation. I therefore looked around and spotted a venue which I thought would work in both layout and location – Chicagos in Chelmsford. After some persistence in chasing down the manager they gave me some dates in 2011.
Chicagos worked well, although not always as well as I had hoped. A particular problem being the lack of decent lighting. However I made some great contacts, met some great people and learned alot. But still it wasn’t enough exposure.
So in August 2011 I opened an online shop at www.nowandthencollection.co.uk I needed help and that was supplied by Ian at ticketyboo media who was really great. He got it off the ground and showed me enough that I have been able to keep it going – not easy when each item is unique!!
But that still wasn’t enough exposure so I needed a shop. I looked at quite a few empty units and none were right. Then one day I passed 17 Baddow Road, Chelmsford – PERFECT. I signed up on 12th December 2011 and opened on 28th December 2011. I was off work between Christmas and New Year but returned to my full-time job on 3rd or 4th January 2012. In that time I got my three first Boutique Sales Consultants (BSCs) ina and trained up. BSCs really are sales asistants plus and I have been pretty lucky with staff – all are more than up to the job and I am happy to have them each represent the Now and Then brand.
If you also like just dressing up in vintage clothing then you may also like http://www.diaryofavintagedoll.wordpress.com