Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Sunday 4 October 2020

Change is a-coming....


Hello everyone!

So another summer has come and gone, somewhat different to normal, but also in many ways not: Portscatho has been busy with visitors all the way through since lock-down was eased, and there has been a lovely relaxed atmosphere in the village with people just enjoying the freedom of being out in the fresh air and at the seaside. Customers have been very polite and patient with the rules regarding wearing face coverings and only allowing one customer at a time, so I thank you all for still making the effort to come and visit my shop; it really means a lot to me.

I think Covid-19 has made a lot of us re-evaluate what is important in our lives and perhaps forced us to make changes which we were not expecting, or wanting. For me, this pandemic has only reinforced what I already had made a decision about, that I no longer wish to run the shop full-time, all year round. I find that I no longer have the stamina to work thirteen or fourteen weeks without a break all summer long, and there are more artistic and creative endeavours that I wish to pursue. 

I am the same age that my dear Dad was when he suffered a major stroke which so very nearly cost him his life, and left him paralysed and completely dependent on others to care for him. It kind of puts things into perspective. So I have decided that I am not going to wait to act on what I feel is best for me: the time is now.

This doesn't mean that I wish to close the shop, but I will be open less than I have been in the past. Wendy and Patsy, who run the shop with me, both have grandchildren and families that they wish to spend more time with too. So I will be closing the shop at the end of October for the winter, and only opening for a few days at the busiest times, for Christmas shopping, Christmas holidays and February half-term. 
I am also contemplating selling online through some kind of platform (though I don't wish to run my own website), but I don't quite know what to go for, so am hoping that some of you reading this will be able to give some advice. Have you tried Etsy/NuMonday/Folksy etc and how do they work for you? Or is selling through Instagram the way to go?

Another idea I am formulating is letting other craftmakers/vintage dealers hold 'pop-up' shops in The Sea Garden. They would bring their work or stock to the shop and take it over for a day, or two, or longer, if they wish, and they would be responsible for manning it and selling their own stuff. I would just be in the background helping out if needed. For craftspeople who are just starting out this would give them the experience of selling direct to the public in an established premises with a strong customer base, and lets face it, there just aren't any physical fairs happening at the moment (or in the foreseeable future) for people to sell their work at. For my customers it would bring added interest with new crafts and vintage items that they will not have seen before. If someone found that they had good sales (and I would hope that they all do!) then they could return on a regular basis, say one or two days every other month, and we would build up a calendar of different people exhibiting through the year, but all under one roof!

I know that changing things at the shop will disappoint some of my customers, it is inevitable, but I hope that people will get used to a slightly different way of my running things, and that as a result of me being able to pursue my artistic needs I will bring new and exciting work to the shop too.



  1. Hi Christine- Major events in our lives tend to set us into a re-evaluation mode. We need to be cautious and not rush new plans. Best Wishes with what you intend to do this coming Winter and afterwards. Regards. KEV. (Sydney-Australia).

  2. I think this pandemic has made a lot of people re-evaluate certain things in their life. Whether it is like yourself, possibly changing the way you run your business or like me, just changing the way I shop ( I’m quite determined to continue buying local and from independent businesses) The pop-up shop is a good idea and would perhaps give others a chance to see if they could sell their wares :)

  3. Hello Christine
    I'm sorry its taken me so long to comment here as I have been enchanted by your blog for many years. I think this is a wonderful idea to free yourself and celebrate yourself. I had a shop for 20 years and I sold it although I still loved what I was doing I wanted to explore my creative side and I was just tired of being locked into opening a shop-in the early years it was sometimes difficult but now I have never been happier. A store here in Melbourne invites curated selection of artists to rent a portion of their store and they also take turns in watching the shop so that might work for you. As for selling online, why not from this blog and then Paypal invoice and payment, as your customers and readers already know to find you here. Good luck cheers from Australia Christina Poppy.

  4. Liebe Christine,
    diese Zeilen gehen einem ans Herz.
    Ich wünsche dir alles Gute.
    Liebe Grüße von

  5. My friends have a folksy shop selling their woodturning, they have a steady stream of sales going out but it does take time to take the photos and write the descriptions then upload to the site. They find the ability to put the "shop" on holiday very useful, they have received commissions for "one offs". Unfortunately ill health has struck so no sales for a while. Good luck.

  6. Christine, I’ll come and look after your shop in the summer! I’ll read books and mind the shop. Although I fear I would end up purchasing the contents myself. Thank you for finding wonderful gifts for my friends in the past - much appreciated.
    Best Wishes, Alison from Uxbridge

    1. Hi Alison,
      Oh that's so kind! In fact the lockdown has given me a chance to breathe and I have felt happy to keep the shop open this year without making too many changes; though I have cut down the opening hours to just mornings so that I can make and do other things in the afternoon. Hope you are having a lovely summer xxx