…. Mrs Wellydog. Come along today and shadow me today in the shop.
The first things I have to do before ever starting to think of opening up is, get myself suitably dressed. The shop regardless of how sunny it is outside can get very chilly this time of year. So lots of layers and an an extra fleece is packed in my bag incase it turns very cold. Thermal socks are a must as my feet can get very cold and then I can’t warm up again. We like to keep the doors open, we have no heating in the shop, but even if we did, we wouldn’t have it on, we would still have the doors open as we have discovered over the years, that people don’t like to walk through a closed door. Then I get my lunch ready, and a bottle of squash. There are lots of places to eat Polperro and we do like to support the locals, but it can get expensive to do that everyday. It wouldn’t be that healthy either , with ice cream, pasties, fudge, sweets and all the other lovely goodies, so I do try not to get to tempted, to often .
Today I don’t have anything to pack up from in the workshop, to bring in. The last firing I put on still needs to be checked and finished for any sharpe edges and Steve will hopefully do that during the day. He can then bring that in with him tomorrow, to start to drill. So I can get in my car and drive over the amazing moor to Polperro. We don’t live in Polperro. We like to keep our working day separate from our home, so live slightly inland, where the houses are cheaper and I’m not tempted to work all the time.
My arrival in Polperro is a smooth one today, they have finally finished the resurfacing of the road leading down into the village, so no more bangs in my little mini as I hit the potholes anymore. I don’t have to pay for parking as we buy a season ticket so I can walk from the car straight down to the shop. I know the parking costs are a controversial subject for visitors here, but it is part of living and trading in a tourist area, so we just have to accept it. I open the doors immediately as there is no point in dilly dallying around sorting things out before opening the doors. I can do all that, while people come in. We open at 11am. It’s not usually worth putting the lights on and opening up much earlier. Most visitors don’t usually rush to get out and about and who can blame them.
After popping the sign outside, filling the water bowl for our doggy friends and getting the float in the till. I pop the kettle on. I need a coffee to get me motivated and ready to go.
First job of the day is to go through the pot of goodies that Steve has drilled. Today I have a mix of dangles and bunting. I prefer to put the ribbons on the dangles first and so I cut the different coloured ribbon for all the variety of bits I have. Today that’s little robbins and larger flower sun catchers. I use a piece of folded wire to thread the ribbon through the drilled holes. It’s then tied and ready to go on display. The larger sun catchers need to be priced. We price everything as soon as it’s finished, even though it might be destined for the back store room. When you are busy and need to replace something, the last thing you want to do is fiddle around with pricing labels, so we get it all done first and then it’s no hassle, later on.
By now people are coming in to browse. Most people don’t buy straight away, they want to browse around all the shops then come back to get things later. I do warn then that it may be gone later, but mostly I think people assume, I’m saying that as a sales tactic. But genuinely , things sell and people are disappointed when they come back and we no longer have the item they want. A lot of what we sell are one offs and so it does frequently happen.
Then I move on to putting the rings onto the glass triangles, ready to make up the bunting. Today I have two sets of seagulls, three sets of blue and one of purple to make up. Once the rings go on, they will be threaded onto the twine then wrapped using card and cellophane.
With all the chatting and serving customers, this has taken me through to lunch time. I do like to take a actual break, and it’s usually quiet between 1pm and 2pm.
Today is a chicken noodle soup day, which I warm in the microwave and eat while reading my book. I like a bit of science fiction, so I am re- reading, Shift by Hugh Howey.
The afternoons are always busier, so I switch to the more Mundane tasks. Today it’s stamping some paper bags with our logo and filling up the supply of tissue paper and bubble wrap.
I do get a little bit concerned that our latest metal pictures are not showing up on our slat walls. So I’ve moved couple to above the dresser, so they are on a plain wall. We don’t have many plain painted walls, the slat walls can be very useful to put lots of hooks and shelves on but the dark lines across them, can actually ruin the look of things. I’m not sure they work up there, but I will wait to see the next time I come in and see what impact they have then.
It’s bitterly cold here today so I’m finishing the day off by doing some shelf cleaning. I want to move more to warm up so it’s one activity that does that. It also gets me away from sitting all day at the work table.
All the artists in the village are painting pictures for the Coronation. I painted a portrait which I framed the other day. I will leave a couple of notes for Steve for tomorrow, one of which says that I have left the folding easel and my painting of King Charles, for him to put in the window. I struggle with making the easel stay up , so he will sort that for me. So it’s just about time now to pack up, put everything away and cash up. I will tot up the total for the day and lock up the shop as I leave.
Once I get home, I need to check on the state of some ceramic tiles I’ve been making. Hopefully Steve’s has had time to check and finish the last lot of glass that’s been fired. But if not I will sort those. I know he’s got a lot on his plate at the moment. It’s near the end of the month so he will get the accounts up to date, and work out how much to pay all our suppliers and run payroll. We also need to check on the website as we know the online shop was down yesterday, so a double check to see if yesterdays fix, is still holding. Also we will check if any orders have come through.
We quite often will have a chat in the evenings about work, we are trying very hard to get a better work life balance this year, but when things are on our minds it’s best to deal with them straight away.
Thanks for joining me in the shop today, hopefully see you there in person soon