Shop – Ready to go
So….August has flown by in a flurry of designing shop displays, meeting more artists and crafters, unpacking stock and redesigning shop displays again, as one of my less attractive traits is that I am never 100% happy with anything I do, even though I give it 110% and everyone else’s comments are so complimentary.
I have also had to deal with the frustration of electricity and internet suppliers, both of which have caused me more than a few sleepless nights – but one is now sorted and the other I have managed to get a work around in place until it gets sorted – so that’s a positive, as I really thought I may have to delay the opening as I wouldn’t have been able to take card payments (hence the worrying in the early hours on several occasions).
After many hours of arranging and re-arranging, the below pictures show the fruits of my labour (you can see many more elsewhere – see Social Media Updates)
On Friday 28th and Saturday 29th, I advertised locally that even though the shop was still closed, if anyone wanted to pop in for a preview they would be most welcome. The little shop bell jingled several times, including a visit from a lovely family who were staying at Lochcarron for a few days. On leaving, they very kindly posted the below review on my shop Facebook page. Hopefully this will be followed by many more once the doors open for real on Wednesday morning J.
“An absolute hidden gem of a shop! So many beautiful handmade gifts, I wanted them all. The owner was so nice and welcoming, please take the time to visit if you are in the area or even if you’re not!”
– First review received on Facebook following a pre-opening visit from a family staying in Lochcarron on Friday 28th August.
Social media update
Whilst I realise I am not a social media wonderwoman, I thought I had made a pretty good attempt at seting up my very own website. I followed countless online tutorials, trawled my way through YouTube videos, spoke to other people who had set up similar sites and sent the final version out to many people, including family members to proof read, criticise and generally assure me I was on the right track. As soon as I got the “all clear” www.freedomworkskishorn.co.uk was released to the world at the beginning of August. Two weeks later, one of my son’s (Sam…..yes, I am naming and shaming….or actually I should be thanking him) came up from Bristol with his girlfriend to stay for a few days. I happened to be working on the website (and yes, he was one of the people I had previously asked to proof read it) when he looked over my shoulder and collapsed in a fit of hysterics. Apparently everyone that I had asked to check the site for me had totally missed that in glaring, capital letters on the opening “Home” page, I was proudly announcing that the shop was situated in the most glorious area of the Scottish HIGLANDS…….not a Highland in site!!! Needless to say, within minutes the website was taken off line and replaced by a holding page that stated the site was being taken down while my son put things right! I am now proud to announce that the website is now back up and running and that I now live in the Highlands again, thank goodness…..the Higlands were nowhere near as attractive! I have now spent the last few days taking lots of product photos of a selection of the goodies available in the shop and I will be loading those onto the Shop page of the website over the next few days – so for any of you that cannot make it to the shop for a while, don’t think you have to miss out on what it has to offer…although obviously you will be missing out on the “The owner was so nice and welcoming “ side of things ;)
Facebook page: Freedom Works Kishorn @Kishornshop
The facebook page is all up and running – I have now managed to get the shop opening hours on there and loads of posts, photos and information, so please have a browse. I would be really grateful for any reviews, comments and shares in order to help me spread the word.
Yes, thanks to Sam again, I now have an Instagram personal and a shop account/page/thingy (you can tell how good I’m getting at all this technical lingo!!!) I’ve got loads more pictures on here too (and I have a feeling I am going to be taking the Instagram world by storm as when Sam set me up, under the “Gender” section I am not “female”, “male” or “prefer not to say”……under the “Other” I am on there as a Jedi – so may the force be with you and all those that visit my page.
What’s happening elsewhere in the higlands highlands!
August saw a dramatic rise in the amount of traffic in the area, including the North Coast 500. For an area that relies heavily on the tourist industry this increase has been met with mixed blessings. For many, myself included, it is a blessing to be able to share this gorgeous area with visitors from far and wide; to pass vehicles parked in layby’s while the passengers eagerly take photos of the spectacular views that I am lucky to be able to call home. Unfortunately the current situation we all find ourselves in with regard to Covid 19 has meant that others are not quite as welcoming to this increase in numbers, with isolated almost vigilante tactics being seen. I hope to be able to report more favourably on this in the next newsletter.
On the weather-front, there have been some lovely warm, positively “summer” days which have brought with them a decrease in the levels of lochs & burns and a dramatic increase in the ferocity and numbers of the midges.
The sunshine has also encouraged the heather in the area to start it’s purple glow over the whole landscape, while the buddleah in my garden has come into bloom, along with the welcome addition of many Red Admirals.
The lillies are filling the whole area with the most gorgeous scent and the sunflower, while definitely a “late bloomer”, shows promise of things to come.
In this section of the newsletter I hope to be able to showcase a different artist/crafter each month that are selling their stock in Freedom Works Kishorn.
So to kick this off I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce you to the artist I had the pleasure to meet last week in Broadford on the Isle of Skye. Morag Archer contacted me to ask if I would like to have a look at her work with a view to stocking some pieces in the shop and I’m so happy she did. I picked up some beautiful examples of her work and I hope that you will agree they are adding a stylish and colorful mosaic charm to this area of the shop, ready to grace many a home.
So that’s the end of the second newsletter………and by this time next month I will be writing to let you know how the first month’s opening has gone. If you would like to read about anything else in these newsletters, please email me at [email protected] . Until next time, May the Force be with you…..Ali x