Lock down 3, month one

Lock down 3, month one

One month of lock down 3 already gone. January did feel like an eternity if I'm honest but we are into February now, snowdrops in the garden, daffs poking their heads through so it feels like Spring is fighting its way to get through, and our shop will hopefully be open soon.

I've been in the workshop almost everyday with Mark. I can tell you its not easy. There is only so much tidying up to do! We've made and sold some footstools in January, re-upholstered chairs for customers, finished off a chair which is heading to Sheffield, and currently Mark is in the process of making two 1920's style sofas for a customer in Chester.

We've restored a few pieces for the shop which are on the website, taken some orders for new pieces to be made, so keeping busy. It does feel different from the first lock down. There are more vehicles on the road than before, but its feels scarier than the first lock down as so many more have been ill with the virus. Thankfully, we've been lucky but taking care to make sure when we deliver we are masked and sanitized before and after delivery. Customers have been brilliant, staying at a safe distance but it doesn't feel good having to leave quickly when we have delivered. I do like a chat with customers but now is not the time to do so.

It's also our 20th birthday in May. Yes 20 years since we opened our shop in Shrewsbury. I still believe that there is a future for the high street but you need to come and support the high street retailers before its too late. Shrewsbury has many independent retailers who are here to offer great service which you won't get from Amazon. We all will be welcoming you back as soon as we are allowed to.

In the meantime, I will continue to be the apprentice in the workshop until the shop can be opened. Please do get in touch if you wish to discuss any pieces for sale.

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Goodbye 2020, hello 2021

Goodbye 2020, hello 2021

Well, 2020, what can I say? It's been tough. January was a great start to the year. We were busy and looking forward to our best year. Then we were hit by rain, and more rain which caused Shrewsbury to have the worst floods for decades. We had to close the shop because we couldn't get in. All roads in and out were flooded. It was pretty grim. Shrewsbury even made the national news.

Just as we thought things couldn't get any worse, Covid 19, Corona virus hit the UK with vengeance and we had to close. Schools closed early for Easter, but it will be over in a few weeks, perhaps a month or by the end of April we thought. How wrong could we be. We carried on working in the workshop as we had orders to fulfill until our supplies ran out and we couldn't get anymore until our suppliers opened. They re-opened and ran out of stock as the factories making upholstery sundries had been closed. They were now having to social distance so less people working and less stock being made and going out. The NHS (quite rightly) were given priority over anyone else, so we had to make do, and do what we could. 

June re-opening was a bit of a damp squib if I'm honest. I think many people were still too scared and worried about coming out. July picked up and we had a great month. 

August's drama was our son's A level results. Not what he was expecting but after a stressful few days, the results were over turned and he got what he deserved. University at Liverpool Hope was waiting to welcome him. When the virus started to spread again in September, our son's Computer Science course was online only. As parents we were worried that he wouldn't be able to come home for a weekend if he got homesick so we all waited a few weeks to see if things improved. It got worse in Liverpool with the city going into the highest lock down in the UK. Our son, initially not happy about staying at home, was then somewhat relieved that he was able to study from the comfort of his own home. When some of his friends caught the virus from other universities, he understood our concerns and was happy to continue working from home online.

November lock down arrived. It was cold and miserable in the workshop. I can honestly say that I was not enjoying being in there and I now have more sympathy with Mark when he is grumpy from working in a cold environment. Is there such thing as a warm workshop?

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