Today I got shot down by not on the high street and here’s why I’m ok with it.
May 21, 2018
It’s funny, as I jokingly told my husband the other day, that I invented not on the high street (NOTHS) before Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish did. Well, mine was a bit more out there, but that’s how Gaia’s Gifts actually started.
Gaia’s Gifts has always sold crystals, but I was also building a platform where jewellery makers and the crafters of magical items could sell their bits and bobs. We had the same audience after all and eventually I had four partners working with me. I did the marketing and website, sold their items, and I took a small cut, and they got their pieces out in the world.
Eventually, me and one of the partners (Kerry) took the business and built it together with her jewellery and crystals that we chose together, and we had some success before the pressures of daily life caused us to close the shop in 2013. Kerry and I always remained close friends, and even though we live 4.5 hours away I would try and visit her as often as I could, and while there are a few years between us, there was a definite spiritual bond connecting us. I love her dearly!
We often spoke, when the grinds of day jobs got us down, about starting Gaia’s Gifts up again, but with Kerry working more than one job and me studying for my Marketing diploma and working full time, it just didn’t seem to be on the cards.
Earlier this year saw me at a pretty low point. The company I had been carving a career for myself wasn’t promoting me, and it seemed I had run out of opportunities there. I loved the people I worked with, but I had run out of challenges, which pushed me to take a promotion elsewhere. A promotion at a company that is not making me happy. The role was right, I was finding it challenging, but I was bored! So bored of growing someone else’s dream. It got to the point where I had to take myself out at lunch to have a little cry, and I was only three weeks in! I arranged to see a friend that Friday after work for a catch-up and she told me that her boss said: “Run it like it’s your own” and something just clicked into place for me. I don’t want to run someone’s business like it’s my own, I want to run my own business. It was time to go back to Gaia’s Gifts.
I put my Marketing Manager hat on and wrote a plan, wrote down my competitors, my competitive advantage, I did a SWOT analysis, I was ready. The world of online shopping had changed massively in 5 years so I had to adapt and think hard about what platform I would use to sell my products, which led me to not on the high street.
A quick browse there will show you drool-worthy items that scream “buy me”, not only that shoppers see it as upmarket and trendy. Which was also my vision for Gaia’s Gifts, so I wrote them a sales pitch, did a little photoshoot of some stock, recorded a video of me baring my heart and soul, gave them proof that crystals were a growing market and sent it off. I even emailed one of the chaps who chooses who gets into this elusive club, on LinkedIn hoping to stand out from the thousands of applications they receive.
This morning I received an email stating “This might not be the news you were hoping for”, my stomach dropped as I saw it, but by the end of the email, I was smiling.
“Run it like it’s your own” was echoing through my head.
Why line the pockets of another company under the guise of doing my own thing? I said I wanted to run my own business and that’s what I will do, and I will do it by not paying an extortionate entry fee and having to charge my customers more for the privilege of shopping on NOTHS.
So I’m going to try out and see what works best for us! Instagram looks promising, and Facebook was our bread and butter and will not be forgotten. We will also have a shop on Etsy as well as the website.
So while NOTHS doesn’t believe in Gaia’s Gifts I do, and I cannot wait to take this business on a journey of growth, and I hope to be sitting here in a few years’ time with a resignation letter in my hand, and the joy of finally running my business full time.