The body of this post came out of a very stream of consciousness very late-night typing-fest in response to a recent discussion about brand values and "who-we-are-as-a-business".  I've tidied it up a little but largely left it alone as it reasonably neatly puts down in words some of the dreams and ambitions we had when we first decided to open a bricks-and-mortar shop.  

Connection is the essence of being a retail shop. 

Our take on this is that we bring together buzz-items, micro-brands, and things that are not the usual fare on the high street under one roof with a contemporary, relevant vibe.  These are things and brands we believe in and want to showcase - be that a Parisian niche perfume, a major French glassmaker, a local cabinet maker, or even students showing their first product design.  We are fortunate in having a space and a voice (however small) that people (sometimes) listen to and this can and should be used for a positive commercial outcome for as many as possible.  

So we share the experience of these products - the physical things and the stories of the makers and brands to our customers in the hope they buy, but we also want people to find a calm, welcoming space to explore at their leisure, to feel and try the products on offer, to talk about them with our staff (sometimes too with other perfect strangers who just happen to be in the store too).  Yes, we do this because we believe this calm, relaxed environment mitigates towards sales.  But we also do it because we believe that in an age of increasing digitisation and accompanying real-world isolation being somewhere different, seeing new and different things, talking to people is vital for each of us as creatures: each of us here has either been told that such and such a conversation has pulled someone out of a gloomy mood, or we are left with the sensation that a chat has brightened someone’s day, usually as much as ours.  

But then creating this mood (we hope) allows a further thing too.  We believe it allows the individual’s mind to make connections and to spark ideas.  Sure, these might result in a sale then, or later.  But who knows how many life-changing epiphanies have resulted from a casual trip to a nice shop and finding the clarity and freshness to dream what might be possible.