Friday, 30 July 2010


When does a shop become a shop or more specifically, your shop? I think I can honestly say it is when your name goes above the door. I found Shaun Grantham in the Yellow Pages. His father was a traditional sign writer for 40 years. His career began when he was a young man and he got his first job at the Bentall department store in Kingston-upon-Thames in the 60s. His job was to paint the tickets and promotional material for window displays, back in the days when computers occupied whole rooms and things were made by hand. He then signed up for military service and was trained as a sign writer painting the "MP" onto the metal helmets and army vehicles etc. Forty years later and his son Shaun is using those very same skills to paint shop fronts, long boats, pub signs etc.

Shaun laying out the sign for us to approve and to place

The back of the sign is charcoaled, then taped on the fascia board.

Viewing the sign positioning, from across the road.

A ghostly hint of the final product.

The first painted element - the number (the postman will be pleased).

Next, the "Nicholas"

Shaun is left handed and does such a superb job. The paint is imported from America and comes in little tins with vintage style sign writing labels. It is an enamel paint.

Next, the "Steele"

Followed by the email address and the beautiful art nouveau inspired border


Tomorrow, Shaun will complete the border but I am sure you will agree, what an improvement!
Several people popped in to see what was going on as up until now the shop has just looked busy but not very distinctive. I think we can safely say, we are now on the map. Hooray!

Meanwhile; inside
Steve put up some picture rails.

I stamped and tied tags on all the bags.

And of course I undid all the displays I had done the previous day to do them again. (much to Steve's dismay and many "stop faffing!"s)

We had an early night last night as Shaun had worked so hard (ha ha). I can't wait to go back to the shop this morning and see the sign. It all feels very real and yesterday it finally hit us, we are a shop in West Wimbledon and people will know us and visit and hopefully love us and shop at us. What a responsibility and a joy!

Happy Friday all.


  1. Looking good Holly and Steve. Laura says she wants to live in your shop!!