Happy New Year!
Well what a strange year 2020 was! Hopefully things will get back to normal through 2021 ❤️
What’s happened here at No96…….
Obviously it’s not been easy for any business during the lockdown periods or even the short periods when we could open. We all need to take care and stay safe, but we are determined to stay positive!
The Market Place shop is now a completed project at last, we’ve fitted new lighting, a plinth around the window so we can do better displays and we’ve bought shelving and display stands so that everything can be shown to its best. We now have heating which is a bonus – our 1st winter there was freezing!
Our lovely original Pound St shop has remained closed since lockdown started in March, but never fear it is going to re open in early 2021.
We came out of lockdown 1.0 with the great news that we could stock Frenchic paints and a few of our other products in the fab Hungerford Emporium – what a nice bunch of folks they are there! So we are now happily nestled in with the many other traders there.
The nail biter was opening another shop……maybe not the best time to do it but who doesn’t love a challenge 😂 We had been looking into opening in Tilehurst, Reading for quite some time and the perfect shop became available in March time 2020. It was rather tired and needed a good old spruce up. We got the keys at the end of October and planned to open – just in time for the lockdown 2.0 to stop us in our tracks! However, that enabled us to take our time and get all the necessary work done, much of it was done by ourselves to keep cost as low as possible and we worked some very long days but it was looking dandy when we were finally allowed to open. There are things that will change and evolve as we work it out and get settled but a good start was the fabulous Frenchic paint display Mr No96 made for me – a fabulous talking point it’s turned out to be! All will take time but we are very happy there.
We are really encouraged by the reaction of the Tilehurst people. So many have said our shop was just what was needed and put their money where their mouth was and bought lots from us. Tilehurst has a welcoming village feel to it and I have family living there which is really nice. I was born and grew up in Reading before moving to Newbury when I got married, so it’s lovely to be back. Then of course we had to close a week before Christmas – that was a hard blow. As soon as we are given the go ahead to reopen we will.
The 1st lockdown made us think about a new website where we could have all our products on line. Totally necessary to be able to offer click and collect to our local customers and to be able to supply our lovely products to customers further afield. That website is now up and running, maybe still a hiccup or two to iron out and a little tweaking to be done but it’s working well. What a mammoth task that was uploading photos, weighing and measuring and adding details but we’re a good team here and we got it done. No96shop.com revisited is live ❤️
So….2021 – what do we plan? We will be extending our range of craft products, we plan introduce lampshade kits, furniture transfers, and a couple of other bits. We hope to bring in more local artisans work. It’s so nice to be able to support other small businesses. We will also be on the lookout as always, to find great new products. Our aim is to find quality products, within a good price range. Recycled and reuse is always foremost in our minds and we currently stock products that support this ethos, if we can source more that would be great. We are always open to your suggestions of loveliness to stock so if you see anything or feel we are lacking something please do tell us.
What has been the highlights of 2020? We still have a business – thanks to the support of everyone that shopped with us and the encouragement we have received by message, email and in person. That has meant a lot to us.
We have a fantastic team here at No96, a great mix of family, friends and new friends that have joined us.
We found some super new local tradesmen that did work for us, a great electrician, a sign maker and window cleaner and continued to receive great service from those that we have been using for longer.
So that’s our journey over the last year. Thank you for travelling it with us and hope you continue to do so.
Meanwhile, until we can reopen click & collect is available at all three sites and for those further away there is shipping available – orders through our website (for Hungerford collections please contact The Emporium direct)
Take care and keep well ❤️