The long awaited day is almost upon us when ‘non essential’ (I still really dislike that phrase) retailers are able to re-open their doors. Not only are we very excited to be able to see our customers in person from Monday - but we are also longing for you to come and see the little things that have changed and the new stock we have in store.
We are really looking forward to seeing everyone - but of course it isn’t without some trepidation. We still have restrictions in place; masks, hands being sanitised, screens, and limited numbers in the shop at one time. But we hope that it won’t take away from the joy of being able to be there in person.
You know I have been very honest on my social media about how the last year has affected us as a business - and yet we have had it very much luckier than some. Our online sales have helped to keep us afloat (just about) and having our community always there supporting us has done more than you’ll ever know and we thank you all for that.
But there’s a long road to recovery for independent small businesses like ours and we will still need your help to make that journey. That’s why I thought I might list some of the ways in which you can help us and all the other similar businesses that feel the same way.
Here are some of our suggestions.
Be kind and be patient
The people running the shops you visit have not been at work for an unprecedented amount of time. Like you, they are excited to be back, but they will be unused to being on their feet all day. They may be anxious at the start - and they’ll definitely be tired. They’ll also be as frustrated by the restrictions we have to adhere to as you are. It’s hard when you’re a small business as you can’t afford to have people on the door helping to guide shoppers. Instead, be considerate of others, be kind and be safe.
It’s not nice to have to wear a mask - we know. But unless you are exempt, please wear them. Also consider the staff serving you and how long they have to be in their mask for. We can’t just whip it off for a burst of fresh air every now and again - so we ask that you don’t either. Trust me, its hard work having that mask on eight hours a day in the shop - but fingers crossed it won’t be for much longer. We've still got quite a collection, take a look HERE
Find a small business to support
When you’re looking for inspiration to buy something online and you add a few words into a search bar, it’s often the huge retailers like Amazon that fill the first page - maybe even the second. It makes it so hard to find a small business to support. But once you have found one you like, bookmark them on your computer and keep going back. Having customer loyalty makes all the difference to us; digitally or in-person.
Engage with small businesses online
You may have noticed that during lockdown we have been putting some hard work into our social media, emails and blogs. It’s been so lovely to have had feedback from people saying ‘I read your blog and really enjoyed it’. The problem is, that unless you comment on it online, leave a message or share it, then we have no idea how it's been received. As a heads up, when you’re commenting on an Instagram or Facebook post, comment with four words or more. It really helps to boost our page’s visibility. Sharing it as well would be the cherry on top!
If anxiety gets the better of you and you don’t feel you want to come back into the shop quite yet, then Insideout will still be offering click and collect. Browse the website and find what you like and then place your order. You’ll then be sent a notification when it’s ready to collect from us. Alternatively, you can browse for the item you want and then head straight in to the shop to see it in person before you buy.
We really are very excited to welcome you back to Insideout in Tavistock and Exeter. Thank you for all of your support - together we’ll make 2021 the best year yet!