Preparing to Launch the Boutique…
I think it is safe to say that this is one of the proudest adventures I have ever had in my life!
In January 2014 when our daughter Lilly was diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t think I would be able to face each day, let alone survive and come away from that with a new career, my own business and now a ‘real’ boutique and atelier. It has been a complete whirlwind. I put my faith in my gut instinct in a time when life was unbearable. From this therapeutic hobby, which helped me cope from day to day, Lilly Dilly’s was born and now I’ve launched my very own boutique!
The last two years I’ve spent morning, noon and night putting my heart and soul into developing a business that could offer clients a completely bespoke service. I knew my dream was to make my creations bespoke and different, unique and stand out from the crowd. Up until now I have worked part-time from my spare bedroom and it has been a real challenge! But regardless of what has been thrown at me, I have never been one to give up or be defeated, and have continued to strive to reach my ultimate goal. A brand, a unique product, and now a workshop away from home and a boutique to showcase my creations.
There were many disasters and hurdles though and lots of things went wrong on the build up to the launch day. The shop refit was not as straight forward as we originally thought because the building is grade 2 listed. This is one of the reasons I love it, but that comes with restrictions. The shop had to change from one open space into two areas so that I could have my workshop on site along with the boutique. With the help of my dearest dad we worked together to design and create a completely bespoke shop fit. Although it took much longer to finish, the result is one that totally compliments the items I make and the service I provide. Plus, it completely reflects the image I had in my head of how I wanted it to be. It is perfect!
But the final test was one completely out of my control. The Sunday before the launch was due, we arrived at the shop to do some last-minute jobs only to find a huge hole in the road. Rubble was everywhere and water was cascading down the street! I think I stopped breathing for a brief moment at that point, I couldn’t believe it! I had organised for the Mayor of Bewdley to attend and cut the ribbon. The Express and Star to write an article and a local bar to host an after party! Not to mention the hours on social media building up momentum to the event. I thought I would have to cancel the whole thing. I was devastated…
Again, me being me, I was determined not to let that happen. I got straight on to the necessary people involved. Then I went to the shop first thing the next morning and literally badgered the workers until they got it sorted. I bet they wish they had not been assigned to that job that day!!! The Mayor came to see me and she was very supportive. Resolved or not she was happy for us to go ahead as planned so that lifted my spirits and spurred me on. Within three days and lots of nagging, the situation was resolved and we were back on track.
On the day of the launch, my stomach was in knots and I was very nervous about how things would unfold. This was such a huge step for me and my business. But I was feeling positive because of all of the support and well wishes I’d already received up to this point.
Looking back now all I can say was “it was epic!” I felt such a rollercoaster of emotions though out the day. My family, friends, business acquaintances and customers came from far and wide to see the boutique and congratulate me. I was showered with cards and gifts, everyone was amazed by what we had managed to do with the shop. The Mayor of Bewdley came as promised and cut the ribbon to officially open the shop. Then we raised a glass and toasted the next phase of Lilly Dilly’s future.
There was one quick moment in the day when I just stood, paused and looked around me. My beautiful daughter Lilly, the main reason for my business launch was sitting there in mommy’s shop with a big grin. The whole place was packed and filled with happiness. At that moment, I was immensely proud and I felt complete. The day was finished off with some drinks and nibbles at the after party. However by 10pm I was feeling totally “pooped” but floating on air! What a spectacular day!
So now I would like to thank some very special people whom without I could not have achieved my dream:
My dad Phil who is my absolute rock and the best shop fitter ever. Jason my husband who is my best friend and lost his wife to the cause for quite some time. My little Lilly who is my strength and inspiration every day. Also, Karen Cannon my business mentor for the belief, support and encouragement throughout my journey. Zoe Martin from Cathedral Belles for her support, friendship and the gorgeous dress in my window. Heidi Neill for her support, friendship and the amazing cake in the window plus fabulous cake for the evening party. Kate Underhill for her friendship and beautiful favours in my window. The Arches Bar in Bewdley for hosting my event. Steve Grove and Mark Daniels from The Little Bar Company for the loan of equipment. Charlotte Arntzen for being a super photographer. Apologies to anyone I may have forgotten and huge thanks to everyone involved on the day, LOVE you all xxx
To see the shop in all its glory come and visit, you’ll find my boutique at:
Lilly Dilly’s, 5 Welch Gate, Bewdley DY12 2AT.