Wow - we’ve celebrated our 5th Birthday and we’re stronger than ever!
When Covid hit, I was really nervous about closing the shop to the public. At that point sales were pretty much 50/50 between online and instore sales, so to suddenly have to rely on online sales only was a bit of a shock to the system!
But even by May 2020, the business was starting to thrive online and thankfully we saw an increase in sales. Plus there were still orders coming in from our local, very supportive customers via Facebook, phone and email.
The boost in online sales certainly helped the business survive and I'm very thankful to still be trading and celebrating 5 years open this year. I’ve even been able to take on extra staff members to help me with the additional workload, including my Mum, Wendy Hall and a new colleague, Jenny Hill. I’m also hoping to expand the team size even further in the future.
When I first opened ‘The Wrong End of Town?’ on London Road, Dover back in June 2016 I was nervous as to how the shop would perform and ultimately survive.
I’d grown up in Dover but I’d lived away from the area for over a decade and had worked all over the UK so I didn't really have too much knowledge as to what the market and demand was. I just knew I needed to combine my passion for creativity and my knowledge of the design and marketing world, into a business that I could do what I enjoyed every day. People questioned my sanity when I said where I was basing the shop. That’s the wrong end of town they said – hence the name, but it’s been perfect for me!
I was so nervous after each lockdown whether my customers would actually want to come back into my shop with all the restrictions that were in place. Fortunately, customers have been eager to come back into my shop. In fact, it's been fantastic to have the support of the local community again - with a spike in new customers and clients!
It's always great when I get to welcome a new customer through my door, as there is so much to look at and so much, I offer in my ranges, there really is something for everyone. With the benefit of having a lot of tools and machinery in house, I can also offer a quick turnaround on the majority of my items for bespoke orders too.
I’m really proud that the business is able to offer such a wide range of products and services through the two businesses, (www.thevintagebubble.co.uk) a personalised gift business and a marketing business (www.themarketingbubble.co.uk). Both businesses provided different peaks and troughs which was a benefit during the pandemic as I was able to adapt my offering to suit how customers shopped.
We’ve also been actively involved in local community projects, including designing the new signage and menus for the brand-new community café that’s recently opened on Snargate Street, the “Sunrise Café”.
Recently we’ve been incredibly busy with end-of-school ‘Leaver’s hoodies’, a popular purchase amongst schools and parents this time of year, to celebrate the finishing of school for children as they prepare to move on to their next academic adventure.
Whether it's shirts for some schools, or the hoodies, some of which are funded by the schools, some are funded by the parents. As these have grown in popularity over the last few years, it has been great to work with a number of local schools. I offer a bespoke design service, all of which can be adapted, and an option to personalise further should they wish. It's also great to see the kids out and about over the summer holidays wearing them! They certainly are a big hit with the kids.
I was also fortunate enough to work with the local council and produce a few hundred bags for The Open 2021 in Sandwich – a HUGE event, broadcast globally with thousands of visitors over the 10-day period. It was an honour to be chosen to produce this merchandise!
Who knows what 2022 what has in store but I’m excited to see what our 6th year will bring!
Love Stacey and the team @ The Wrong End Of Town.