The shop that Alice built.

Technically that title is misleading, it should read “The shop that Alice’s Dad tirelessly gave all his time and energy to Alice to build for her, rarely arguing and eye rolling her many overly detailed, overly ambitious plans and time frames”. But I thought that was a little less catchy, so I’ll stick with the shortened version.

Flash back to March 2018 and I started selling vintage bits and bobs out of my She Shed. This proved far more popular than I had ever imagined, fast forward about 3 months, add in a few glasses of wine and during a conversation with my Dad about where he saw his gallery/ creative space going, the idea of a bricks and mortar Alice in Scandiland Shop was born.

I’d been trying to work out how I would share the past year or so with you, the idea felt quite overwhelming, a lot has happened, add in the fact I have barely written a blog post in months and I couldn’t see how it would be done. But then, scrolling through old images on my phone, I realised the photos show the process and journey just as well as words could. So I here it is, a photographic record from the birth of an idea to current day…

There’s a little reward for once you’ve made it to the end, can you guess what it is?…

Dad’s Gallery/ Creative Space where he hosted Lino Printing Workshops.

July 1st 2018 – The day (and image I used) to announce that the Alice in Scandiland Shop would become a high street store.

August 7th – The changes start, a lighter coloured floor to lift the space…

I designed all the shop fittings and my wonderful Dad brought it all to life.

August 8th – I announced the shop opening day – which would be August 15th. This was the point when I realised shit was getting real and that I was actually going to be doing this. This was also the start of the most tiring, headache inducing week of my life – basically a full shop fit with a week until I would open the doors, who would even do that?!

One of the best finds for the shop were these vintage teak, bifold doors. I had a problem where there were 2 large openings in the back shop, which would have needed bespoke doors made for them, something we just didn’t have time for. But moments after standing, staring at the spaces, clueless as to what to do, not wanting to add to my Dad’s workload, I popped onto Facebook Marketplace and these doors came up as a suggested item for me! £50, just 10 minutes from where I live and would you believe they were the exact right height to the millimeter! I really feel like someone was smiling down at me at that moment and decided to help us out.

It had looked as thought the front of the shop/ my parent’s house wouldn’t get painted in time, but I managed to talk my husband, Stu, into at least painting around the shop, to give an impression of what I hoped it would look like. I chose Farrow&Ball Oval Room Blue (the same as our Living Room), but had it colour matched by Johnstones.

At 3am, the morning of my opening day, this is what the back shop looked like. I was at breaking point and gave up, heading upstairs to sleep for 2 hours before coming back down and giving it another go. This is what it looked like by 10am when I opened –

I didn’t have a huge amount of stock when I opened, the entire shop setup – stock, materials for fittings etc was done on about £3.5k, something I am incredibly proud of. I made the best of what I had, making the gaps between things a little bigger and to be honest I loved the sense of space and order.

I have no training in what I do, I did terribly in my Alevels (too many academic subjects, too much reading, I exam terribly) – at the time I felt like a failure, because if I don’t have good qualifications then what could I possibly achieve? I took this photo below last year, around the time people would be getting their exam results, to share my story, one of initial “failure”, but overall of perseverance, belief and an idea made real.

Nancy and Eula are absolutely thrilled to have a real shop to play in and one day help to run. It becomes extra special around occasions such as Christmas when the community of Lostwithiel comes together to create wonderful things such as Dickensian Evening and the Advent Trail.

The fun of owning a shop is that it is ever changing. I am still not quite where I want to be in terms of look, in fact next week I start work in the back shop to bring to life my vision which has had to be delayed a while, whilst I catch myself up and get things running smoothly.

I haven’t even been open a year yet, stay tuned for Birthday celebrations in August when that happens. but May saw me voted the Muddy Stilettos “In love with local” Best Interiors Store in Cornwall, which was absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much to all those who voted for me.

Muddy Stilettos "In love with local" Winner 2019 Cornwall badge.

So this brings me to now, present time, if you’ve stuck with me through all of that then thank you, it was a fair old chunk of my phone camera gallery I had been saving. It feels really good to have it out there, down as a record of my life this past year or so. I’ve been a bit busy, as have all those around me who have helped and supported me in so many ways. I am beyond thankful to them all.

AND FINALLY…. here’s the big news of the day – I am thrilled/ scared to announce that the shop is now online. A huge thank you to Michelle at Digital Days (formerly known as The School of Social) for her support and guidance, helping me to commit my real world shop and aesthetic into a virtual version. It is very much an ongoing project, there is a whole lot more stock to be added, but I’m throwing it out there now, sharing with you all because there is no such thing as “the right time”.

I hope you enjoy x

20:45 – Shopify has gone down across the board and so you may not be able to access the shop right now, I’m so sorry, I hope they fix it soon. Please pop back. Talk about terrible timing/ luck x

Image announcing that the Alice in Scandiland Shop is now online.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Gill says:

    Congratulations! I’m am so excited that your shop is online, being in Canada means I can only dream of visiting your beautiful store in person. Thanks for all the effort you put into your blog and IG – simple, pretty things that make me feel happy when I see them, your style is just perfect. Good luck with the next chapter!

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