OK, it’s not been a week yet, but we’re pretty close to it. Anyone who tells you that running a shop is easy is either a liar, has a huge number of self-motivated/ managed staff or is a little bit loopy. I didn’t think for a moment that it would be ‘easy’, but equally, I wasn’t aware of quite how much goes on behind the scenes day-to-day.
I should have realised though. My parents ran a shop when I was a child and they worked their socks off. My father-in-law owned a garden centre and did the same. But seeing from the outside is very different from actually doing! I am not complaining. This whole experience has been a huge learning curve for me and Mr Frog, which I am sure will continue to get steeper over the coming weeks and months ahead.
You know what makes it worth it? The fact that we still get excited by what we’re doing. The fact that opening a box of books or a bag of goodies from a publisher fills us with glee; that’s magical to me. And the fact that children come in to have a good old nose at our glorious selection of books. They are interested in what we have to offer. Don’t get dragged into the media hype that kids don’t read, it’s a myth. They do read, they just do other things too.
The future is looking bright for Chicken and Frog. Long live the book!
The keys were finally handed over on Friday, which is great because we can get in there at last. It’s also a little terrifying, because we can get in there at last!
We keep on saying naive things like ‘Oh it doesn’t need much doing to it,’ to convince ourselves that the two week deadline we now have is not completely crazy. But it is; it’s doable, but slightly unhinged at the same time.
If you happen to find yourselves pootling along the Ongar Road in Brentwood, you may spy a lovely little shop which now sports splashes of purple and green. That’s us. And if you happen to see a tired looking woman with similar splashes of paint in her hair, that’s probably going to be me. I should qualify the ‘tired’ with ‘happy’. Yes, it is exhausting working full time, being a mum to three radishes (four if you include Mr Frog) and starting up a new business, but it’s also totally exhilarating. After years as a dream, we can see Chicken and Frog Bookshop becoming a reality and it feels good.
The shelving should be in and up by Thursday, ready for the books which are due to be delivered on Friday. Our sign is coming early next week, we’ve got loads booked in for our opening day and the painting is almost done.
I don’t mind admitting that I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself right now. I love the fact that all weekend I have heard people making positive comments about a new bookshop as they walk past and see us working away.
The next couple of weeks promise to be crazy busy. I’ll keep you posted.