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What is the most successful idea you’ve ever tried out in your business? Tastings have been really important to us. Recently, we were sampling a Spanish wine, for example, and people enjoyed it because they like being able to try things before they buy them. We also do deliveries locally and people love that too.
What is the best advice you have received? Be yourself. A friend who had opened a shop just before we bought ours and she said: “Be honest about the things you have in store and never recommend what you haven’t tried”. We label our favourite products so people know what we recommend and it works brilliantly.
Who is your retail inspiration? Mary Portas, because she is so sensible and gives such good advice. She’s easy to relate to, down to earth, and straightforward and self-made.
What do you think is the biggest missed opportunity that independent retailers should cash in on? We recommend things and always try and up-sell. I think people miss that opportunity. It’s important to talk to customers and ask what they need.
What’s next for your business? We are looking for another shop. We’re going to look at a property in Surbiton that a friend has told us about. We also have Dickens Day coming up, so we will dress up in top hats and frilly aprons to encourage people to shop locally before Christmas.