Well I can’t believe it’s the end of Wednesday already – half way through the week and where has it gone so far?
This time last week we were busy organising everything for our annual ‘Exclusive Shopping Evening’ at the Fauconberg Arms in Coxwold. We did one last year and it was such a huge success we went for another one. The idea behind it is to raise funds for a charity (this year we chose again to support The Bob Champion Cancer Trust), promote some small local businesses, and bring existing and new customers to the Fauconberg Arms. So last Thursday, Tim and I, Jane of Well Heeled, and Steve and David of Humphrey & Tilly arrived at the Fauconberg heavily laden with selected products to entice supporters to make a start with their (dare I say it) Christmas shopping and support a very worthwhile charity.
We had some lovely helpers too; Sara and John, Amy, Hugh Farry, Wanda, Nikki, Jack & Caitie, and of course the fantastic team at The Fauconberg; Simon & Helen, Verity and Zoe and anyone who turned up to support us and lend a helping hand. These events are a huge amount of work and effort, but I’ve got to say, when we were all beavering away, setting up our wares, with the dining room all lamp-lit, I felt a lovely warm cosy feeling coming over me – we are so lucky to be doing something we enjoy so much. Laura Booth flew in with some originals of racing images; Laura is starting out in her artistic career and received some very positive and supportive feedback about her work.
Anyway, before I go all misty-eyed, lots of our guests arrived and it was all hands on deck! Lots of people purchased products, and enjoyed the hospitality of the pub – plenty of people still relaxing in the bar when we left at 10:30pm……..We raised over £500 for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust – a combination of door money, raffle, gifts and a fab and enormous print from Bob Champion of Aldiniti which swelled the coffers from a ‘buy a square’ competition ran from the pub. We didn’t get home until 11:30pm, and it was an early start the next morning to get the stock back up to Thirsk to the shop, but it was well worth all the effort. Check out the photos on our facebook page
Since then, I’ve been mad busy getting the website populated with gallery stock, images, prices, descriptions, links, blogs etc. I have tackled this mainly in the evenings, because, as every business owner will testify, when that ‘open’ sign turns to ‘closed’ there is a whole other area of the business to manage and keep running. I’ve spent so long sat at a desk in the evenings, my lower back is seriously protesting! I am a Picture Framer and therefore spend most of my time on my feet, definitely not used to seated work. I have been helped and supported by Kelly at CK-Services in getting this new website done, her patience has been tested I think with my lack of progress at times but hey-ho we are all done now thank goodness.
The week ahead brings some interesting framing challenges; pony rosettes, WWII medals, curly posters, fragile and aged letters. All to carefully and respectfully frame, and to give our customers a piece of work which will hang beautifully on their walls for many years to come. I love my work, and it really matters to me that I understand what the customer wants, whilst offering my expertise and creative design skills – framing should be a collaborative process between the customer and framer to make the most of what is to be framed.
Well I wonder what the next seven days will bring us in terms of new business…? This time of year becomes very busy for us, lots of images and objects to frame that will be opened on Christmas Day. Our gallery and gift area are well stocked with our ‘country theme’ products so come on everyone, get yourself to Thirsk, North Yorkshire and support some really lovely small independent businesses – you will get a much more unique gift for that loved one!
That’s all for now, warmest regards, Jo.