Well we were in, the floor had been painted, the walls also painted, logo put on the window, cabinets were all assembled and lit and all we needed now were customers, we decided against having a fancy opening event mainly due to the fact that all spare cash had been spent ! so a soft opening in was and slowly but surely people came in, out of curiosity at first I think, just to see what this quirky little shop had to offer, hopefully they liked what they saw and realised that we were different to anything else in the surrounding area.
The first few weeks were quite a learning curve for us, as much as people came in to buy items others came in to try and sell and unfortunately some were trying to fund less than good habits so we had to be quite firm, but fair, and get the message out that we didn't buy items that had been acquired by light fingeredness, thankfully this early stance seems to have paid dividends as we aren't bothered by them now. One early mistake we quickly learned from however was that as much as it was nice to have a lovely window display for people to see your items, at night it was a target, and one evening I was called at the hospital to say that the shop window had been put through and the police were sat outside, so I dashed there to find that a lrage brick had been put thorugh the window and someone had put their hand into a French jewellery cabinet that was on display and stolen a small ceramic Jack Russell.
Now as annoying and upsetting as this may seem it could have been a lot worse, yes the window needed replacing, and yes the lovely French cabinet was smashed but the shear amount of effort that had gone into steaking a small dog ornament that was later sold for £5 showed the lengths that some people will go to to feed a habit. The end result of this was that we had to have metal shutters installed and the lettering on the window was gone along with the French cabinet but hey ho ! you live and learn. Shortly afterwards a passerby gave us a name of who had done it and sure enough that matched the dna found in the claret left on the window so we had our criminal and he was arrested and prosecuted.
That gave us a little wake up call that maybe it wasn't going to be all plain sailing and that we had to be a little more 'street wise' about how we displayed and showed items off, but that said the support we got from our few early days customers was lovely and we moved onwards.
Speaking of customers after a while in this sort of shop you start to build up a few regular ones who come in from time to time, more often than not just for a chat without ever looking at anything, and then leave, but still you have to play the long game with them as one day you never know they may make that large purchase that makes listening to all the stories worth while !
After a little while we had strated to give some of our more regular, visitors we'll call them, pet names as we didn't know their actual names, it made it easier when leaving messages to one another in the hand over book.