Retail is a Rubik’s Cube which can never be solved!
Picture it – Manchester 2015 and I stumbled into a rather colourful store in Chorlton, completely at random, right after being told I had no future. A bohemian paradise of art and vintage fashion, the shop was an Aladdin’s Cave of local independent talent. “I need to be here,” said my inner voice. For once it was right and I requested a space to sell the artwork I was producing at the time. After being rejected I went away, plotting and scheming until I had something sparkling and commercial to show the world. By March I was selling my greetings cards and prints, with no idea what was just around the corner.
After a very successful run, the owners decided to close the shop and move to the majestic wilds of Scotland. Panic set in amongst the traders. There was no way we could let such a unique and vital business close, and so a group of us bought the business as a kind of co-operative venture. Thrown so suddenly into cold corporate waters, we had a fight on our hands and had to learn how to survive as an independent store in a high street full of mighty chain stores and businesses operating as charities.
My business partner and I have had to hit the ground running, and we owe a lot to the sound advice of the previous owners. Retail is a Rubik’s Cube which can never be solved! Late nights and playground fights, skipping meals and making deals. People said we were mad to take on such a many-headed monster, but the experience itself is invaluable.
Against all the odds, we are still here supporting over fifty local creatives and providing a rare alternative to the high street.