So, this is it! The only 'shop' in Wimbledon we could afford. (I should publish this pic with a health warning). My husband has nick- named it 'Medusa' - all who gaze upon her shall turn to stone.
Now, what on earth would two responsible, relatively sane adults be doing, in an economic climate like this, setting up shop? One might well ask?
Take one over-worked, under-valued teacher add to the mix a hard working, post recession, manufacturing industry evacuee and tadaaaaa! you have the directors of the much anticipated and dreamed of "Nicholas&Steele."
So where did the dream start? I think I can date it to the moment I said "I will."
We were on holiday in South Africa, staying in the romantic village on the Garden Route, "Wilderness," fabled to have been named so, after a young Englishman in the 1800s dragged his new bride to live on his farm and she called it "The Wilderness. " To this day, many a young husband has taken his new bride to honeymoon there, enjoying the long stretches of unspoilt beaches, the idyllic turn of the lagoon and the moody beauty of the Knysna rain forest. And that is how I came to be proposed to in the bath! All previous attempts had been cruelly cut off at the underpass by inclement weather; the romantic walk on the beach that nearly resulted in the rescue services being called, the incredulous look on the recepsionist's face when we showed up at the canoo hire shop, picnic packed, only to be told there was a ban on going up the river as it would endanger our lives....to the restaurant that claimed to be the most romantic of all that played ten versions of, 'Barry Manilow does pan flute Hits of the 80's,' and served prawn cocktail...needless to say we were the only diners that night. In desperation my, now husband, asked me to marry him in the safety of our candlelit bath. The cynch was, my ring came presented in a beautiful pouch tied to an Art Deco car mascot- a notion more romantic to me than all and I knew it was love!
A year later we returned to South African shores and threw a wedding to weep over,(and that was just my bank manager) full of vintage detail and logistical conundrums but perfect all the same. The only issue was that upon our return to Blighty, my need to acquire vintage grew stronger until one day I leaned over to my husband and uttered the words every man dreads; "Honey, we are going to need a bigger house." It was then that he said "or somewhere to SELL everything!" that the penny dropped- I needed my own shop and so , here we are over a year later, one lock-up loaded with stock, A victorian shop counter in the garden, several fairs under our belt, school fetes, Chritmas markets and a year of trading at The Packhouse in Surrey, on the threshold of our dream.....Our Medusa
Stay tuned, as over the next few weeks I am going to drag you along on this adventure, warts and all! There is nothing glamorous about setting up a shop. Just hard work, a will of iron and a pocket full of blessings from above.