That first day, stood in the shop for the first time, my imagination soaring, visualising all the great brands I could sell. How hard can it be right?? ………
As it turns out, REALLY HARD! No one can tell you that your dreams are unrealistic, that just because you think a brand is great and you are enthusiastic about them, they might not return the sentiment.
So it started, the excitement I felt as I reached out to all my favourite brands asking if I could stock their products. The crushing disappointment of being told no, or worse, being completely ignored. Naively I would send a second email, wondering why I’d had no response or thinking my email must have gone in their junk box, because why wouldn’t they want me to stock their brand. It embarrasses me to admit it, but for some brands, I sent a third email 🙁
The cold realisation that actually, some of these people really do not want you to have their product, was like being doused in cold water!! There were a few moments when I actually thought I would not get my shop off the ground. Amazing what determination and focus will bring though! I don’t give up easily and I am lucky that If I can’t find a supplier then I will turn my hand to making my own.
There were enormous up times too! During this time I started to listen to a wonderful podcast by Holly Tucker. https://www.instagram.com/hollytucker/. Boy! Is she inspirational, she set up “Not on the high street” and now “Holly and Co” and is such a successful female entrepreneur. She is a massive fan of empowering entrepreneurs, she would even like it taught in school. She believes everyone should open a small business.
She really made me believe I can do this. I avidly listened to her podcast each morning during breakfast and the gloomy cloud of rejection and disappointment would retreat and I would begin again and reach out to suppliers with such confidence and conviction. Some times asking for help or their top tips. Looking back, I expect some of them thought I was completely bonkers!
Some though did respond, and they are my people. The enthusiasm and kindness I received mean I am gradually surrounding myself with my tribe, people with the same aspirations as me, that are so positive, kind and helpful.
I am curating the most exciting shop for dog owners in Devon, I truly believe that. Somewhere to come and shop for the most exciting designer dog products, hand made artisanal dog collars, natural, eco-friendly treats, small brands that take care of your dog and are so aware of the environment and making as little impact as possible. Things that you cannot find in big pet stores, or anywhere else in the area.
We are offering something unique to Plymouth. We only stock dog products, we do not offer other services, clothing, apparel and treats are what we do.
If you are pondering starting your own business if your entrepreneurial heart is fluttering reading this. Go for it!
Expect some hard work and surprises and expect to second guess yourself and doubt every decision.
Don’t listen to the naysayers and the doubters, but surround yourself in your own self-belief.
If you have any questions, ask away below. I am more than happy to share my experience and help others achieve their goals.