Friday, 30 October 2009

View from the Forest Floor

Yesterday evening I went to a seminar about design and retailing with my friend Sonia from Bob Boutique. There were some good speakers with a lot of experience gained at Myer, Westfield etc., and some interesting points were made about the way that retail is changing. There was however a lot of talk about how large retailers can capitalise on the popularity of 'ground up' or 'forest floor' retail such as farmer's markets and handmade markets, which seems sad somehow.

I would have liked to hear a presentation from a small shop owner like Sonia, who has been running her Bendigo store for five years already, and has a better understanding of retail than anyone I know. I often wonder why I bother doing what I do, but Sonia is proof that if you love it, you can get your business through those first 3 or 4 years of pure graft to a place where it is thriving. Here are some of the latest pics from Sonia's inspiring store, especially check out Bob's new wrapping paper (used as wallpaper), and lab specimin softies.

Excuse the poor quality of the photos, we had quite a few glasses of wine by the time we returned to the store and it was hot and late!

Talking of hot, today has been a lovely, balmy day in Daylesford. We were inside in a meeting all day with a very creative pair who are helping us to make over our website, but we did escape for lunch at Cliffy's and a post-work Pimms at A Perfect Drop. Vive le weekend!!


Miss Shivi said...

So who one the breast cancer competition?

I've actually just been look at the Bob website as I saw an ad for the boutique in the latest Frankie magazine. I'm in love with their cat ruler!

Clara said...

Hmm, yes I can see why it'd be easy to feel disheartened by the big business stuff but I would like to say how much I really appreciate your kind of emporium. I have only recently discovered The Lark, but I've just done virtually all of my Xmas shopping with you, and also bought a couple of pieces for our new home. And they are all gorgeous. Especially the boy bunting and the red birthday tablecloth - exquisite, and such beautiful quality and original, heartfelt designs. You don't get this at the big stores, nor do you get such lovely service. So keep up the good work - and yes, thank god for Pimms, so delightfully, terribly British somehow - Clara

sarah-jane down the lane said...

What a lovely shop thanks for introducing me! Still love Lark though, in case you think I am being disloyal! Tee hee.
Have a great weekend Allison,

Sarah x

Peta @ Pippiwillow said...

Sometimes it's really hard to see past all the hard work, long hours, sometimes dwindling profit margins...But please keep in mind that you loved the idea enough to start your business. There are loads of us out there/here who love what you sell and love the idea that the pieces are created by hand and born from a lovely creative mind. An d I agree with Clara thank go for Pimms and friends to giggle/whinge/brain storm with. Peta

Katy said...

I like the wine goggled photos!

art4friends said...

hearing about the big retailers cashing in on the handmade/craft/farmers market movement makes me sad..

I don't remember where I saw it, but I remember seeing a "farmers market" bag of frozen veggies by McCain maybe? I have nothing against freezing veges, but yeh, you get me. It is poo when they do it like that!

Well done on the loss too! And doing it the right way. I hear of so many people starving themselves, doing those crazy shakes and never having "free days"... I mean seriously. What is the point!

Renee x