Ok that's dramatic! But the sudden massive shift in our new 'normal' way of life, has changed the world we live in possibly forever. Corona Virus could be the end of our fledgling business, or it could jump start it, I don't know.....
When i set up the business website in January 2019, I had such good blogging intentions! I was going to chart the progress, the successes, the failures, and everything along the way. So much has happened in the last year, that I don't know where to start.
Crystal and I started by focusing on Bridal hair and make up last year, when we had the amazing opportunity to take over the jewellery shop in Rushden, where I was working at the time. The owners sold us the stock, and we spent the best part of the last 8 months refurbishing the shop, and creating Crystelle Belle Weddings. Our vision was a small boutique jewellers, specialising in wedding rings, bridal jewellery, and some unique one off jewellery designs, to catch the eye of our 'walk by' customers.
We created the hair and make up studio to the rear of the shop, and sectioned it off to make a private room where brides and their wedding party, can have hair and make up trials. We also use this room for wedding ring consultations, and jewellery events.
2020 started out to be an amazing year for us. We met lots of fantastic brides and grooms at the many wedding fairs we attended, We were fully booked with wedding hair and make up in April, May and most of June, and we had taken many orders for bespoke wedding rings, and hair vines and tiaras. Business was great!
Then Corona virus hit. Shattering everyone's world, irrevocably in some cases. We were stunned. We spent the first 3 weeks of lock down in a dazed state really, desperately trying to reschedule the wedding bookings, and put orders on hold. We had 3 months of furture income pretty much wiped out in the first week. Some weddings couldn't be rescheduled due to other bookings, so we lost those completely.
I admit to sinking very low those first weeks. Instead of being a proactive business owner, I thought 'Oh what's the point!' I sat on the sofa and drank endless cups of tea, scaring myself into a paranoid madness with the news! I was terrified of losing my loved ones, and so sad about all the tragic deaths reported. Those who have suffered mental health issues will know, it's a constant battle to function normally, let alone when something seemingly apocalyptic happens! Seeing how others are suffering terribly, or have it so much worse, has never helped to pull me out of a depression, It has the complete opposite effect. I had to turn the news off and retreat into my bubble for a while.
However, this week I reached a turning point. I realised how many times I've broken down in the past, given up and just let things go. We've come too far and done too much to give up now. We certainly can't move all our business online, as it's more of a personal experience at our shop. But I am setting up our online jewellery catalogue, and working more on my photography and instagram skills. I'm also putting together some new collections.
The next few weeks will be used as an opportunity to do things I never had time for before. I have high hopes that once lock down is over, people will be fed up of ordering online, and be delighted to indulge in the sensory experience of shopping at actual stores again.
In the meantime, I hope everyone is looking after themselves, and I mean truly looking after themselves. We will get through this.
See you on the other side!