Sunday, 19 July 2020

Throwing the doors open!

We are back Open
We Threw our doors open at 10.30 on Saturday 4th July 2020
and we have been pleasantly reassured by the response!
People actually seeking us out to come and support us and checking that we are both Ok
( which we are Thank You )
Talking to customers again has been a delight! 
“There I said it!”

Being interrupted while trying to slip some bigger Pancheons has been a pleasure!
Without customers where would we be?
“You’ve probably Just spat Your tea out at this point”
Is this really Paul writing this?
Yes it is Honest!

I have a new spring in my step since we came back and it’s not just down to a new pair of Reeboks 

We had our first lesson in on Friday 
Having cancelled 107 spaces we need to start catching up
but only when people feel comfortable doing so!
We’ve taken appropriate measures and reduce class sizes, so if you’ve got yourself a voucher you can checkout the revised dates on the website, but you have to give Marion a call to book the date you want.

My trials of new designs, slips and colours have really got me excited about making again
and I’m loving it at the moment!

We currently are working on pots for two new customers that we hope will 
prove to be long term collaborations, more on that as we progress!

You may or may not have noticed on our website that we have included a new sales category called Barrington Pottery and Lifestyle which is something we have been working on for a while now, but we haven’t properly announced it to the World just yet as we have been looking for more products to add to it! 
So we have been searching out things that we love or would love, but what’s proving difficult is finding things that we don’t just Keep for ourselves!
Like these two roof tile wall candles, that are now living under the logia in our back garden!
Whilst writing this I’ve just had to stop because a lady just bought the Weekday Chalk Board in the showroom!

I hope I’m not going on to much? Please tell me if I am!
so much is happening at the moment it’s hard to keep up.

The one thing we have decided is to make more time for ourselves 
and a day on the north Devon coast was just the ticket.
Look at all that socially distant space!
It’s not all roses
Blogs are about telling it how it is, 
we’ll my one is.
If I said my car has been a pain in the butt, that would be a very big understatement 
Donald Trump would probably say
“ it’s not a problem, I knew it was a problem, I saw the problem coming”

And here’s another thing
We have been open 14 Days
And this is all that has been used by people coming in the shop!
Even more infuriating is that most of that has been used as they Go Out!

But my New reading glasses are great!

Hope you’re  all well?
Stay safe and let’s hope the National Trust start to increase the number of visitors to the Court or at least let in people who just want to visit us 
because the current arrangements aren’t doing us any favours at all!

Monday, 25 May 2020

Focusing on the positives!

I’ve just started to come to terms with this Coronavirus lockdown business!
up until now I have been trying to understand why I haven’t been able to relax into the groove of it?
It probably doesn’t help that we live in this beautiful village of ours and for many of the folk here it’s pretty much business as usual for them as they are either retired or don’t need to work. ( obviously with some exceptions here amongst our friends)

The first couple of weeks were Possibly the hardest to cope with, as we needed to deal with banks and building societies to sort out payment holidays, with differing degrees of success!
Once we had that sorted we were finally able to fit in a couple of good nights sleep.
I hadn’t realised how emotionally drained I was, which when I tried to get back in the workshop to finish of some orders that were left under plastic sheeting, I found it hard to summon up the motivation, something obviously needs to change!
I’ve been taking time to listen to new things and people, especially ones that are prepared to talk about their feelings in a positive manner, doom and gloom have never really been highly rated by myself, wether I’m in a good State of mind or not.
I’ve finally come to realise why I’ve been struggling, especially when I consider just how lucky I am in so many ways, it’s alright to be worried, people worry about different things and in different ways
and I am all too aware that I had lost my sense of humour! To me that is a big sign.

For the past 11 years my pottery business has been my main focus in life, I’ve thrown everything I have at it, both emotionally, physically and financially in a bid to make it a successful viable business for our future, and this year it really felt to both of us that it was beginning to happen!
then suddenly totally out of the blue and totally out of my control we are told we have to close up with no real date as to when things will re open and our business income just dries up like the last dribbles of a stream in a summer heatwave and there was nothing I could do about it!
No wonder I felt despondent.

But the great thing about being an optimist is that the phrase “ there’s nothing I can do about it” doesn’t actually exist in my mind.
The challenge then is to find the “what can I do”
And this is where it starts to get exciting!

So what do I have now more than anything?
Time to sit back and evaluate, time to discuss the things we like about the business, time to openly discuss what we need or just want to change!
Honesty with yourselves is the biggest Elephant in the room in this discussion.
Ok, so luckily you guy’s weren’t around during those few days!
Home truths can be hard to face and we probably didn’t like each other for a day or two!
So what’s about to change that doesn’t cost a lot of money?

That’s always our starting point! ” What do we already have that we can use?”
I’ve had an idea about raising the quality of the showroom ever since we took a few days away in Herefordshire back in September last year.
And pots,  I want to make new pots. Pots I can see in my head and have been wanting to make for a few years now!
But now we have time,
so let’s get stuck in.

Now the blog is firmly re established further updates will be posted here..
In the meantime as a part of my searching out new things that inspire me I came across an interview with this chap Richard Hawley, any man that when asked to open the “Brit awards” responds with “no thanks I’d rather walk the dog” is alright by me!
And I’ve added a link to a song that might just help your well-being.
Stay Safe, Stay Well, Stay Home ish!
Until next time take care.

Check out "Open up Your Door" by Richard Hawley on Amazon Music.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

When this is all over...

Week four of Covid19 virus isolating 2020!
Just felt I needed to put this up to remind me in years to come.

First of all I hope you are all well and finding ways of coping with the isolation in ways that make you smile!

For Me if I’m totally honest
 I’ve been finding it hard to take my mind away from the Pottery!
It’s our only source of income and to watch it dry up before your very eyes
has been worrying to say the least!
I know we’re all in the same boat, but here’s how I’m seeing it from my Dingy.

It’s been 11 years since I started the pottery and although over the years
I have had some amazing good fortune it hasn’t been without its struggles.

From day one I’ve never had any money behind me, giving me a cushion to lay back on
when times are hard, and I’m sure it’s that constant pressure to keep bringing home the bacon
that has kept me relentlessly pushing on.
But this past year had been going so well that I genuinely thought I was about to get on top 
of the situation and get ahead of the game.
Well that’s that scuppered!

On a more positive note I have been able to get into the workshop and lock the door, so I can make stock and complete orders.
I’ve enjoyed having the workshop to myself, catching up on Podcasts 
and trying to find more ways of being creative,
 (it’s so easy to find yourself falling into a rut when you have a routine)

But if I’m honest I’m finding it hard to motivate myself at the moment.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

So with time to stop and think I’ve been turning my attention to doing other things I like, at this point I was going to say Social Media!
But I’ve become more and more aware of the downside to things like Facebook!

Why people feel they can be so opinionated and judgmental is beyond me!
So when I say Social media I mean nicer ways to connect with our friends and customers.

I notice all the big companies are changing the adverts they put on telly
to be more customer focused, and socially aware rather than the previous style of push product
and then push even more product!

For me it's always been about our customers, always has been, always will be.
So I've found it interesting watching the switch in these adds.
I've always loved Advertising I wish sometimes I had known about that world when I was younger I'm sure I would have loved to be in it. 

I've always loved putting small videos together, it's one of the things I love to spend time on.
unlike most people that come to our pottery lessons, they come to get away from the computer and they find it odd that I as a potter love to get on the computer as my down time!
 I love putting together little videos like this one below.
So I hope you enjoy my little video made on a budget of £0.00

It's so nice to have the time to do this blog again.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

The World finally seems to be spinning at a more comfortable speed!

Hi, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt able to get back on my Blog 
I’ve missed doing it!
When I look back at some of my early ones, I was quite raw and open, a quality 
that gave it an edge and told it how it was, the good the bad and the indifferent!

I started the blog at a point of major changes in my life that sent me on my current journey.
So now two weeks into this Coronavirus Covid-19 World Pandemic,
 at this time it feels only right to re -ignite the fire of the Blog!

In recent years I've been feeling more and more like the World is spinning
far to fast for me!
I just want to jump off and take a break!

Well be careful what you wish for 
is my current mantra!

I like to do things at my own pace, which could sometimes be described as
" did he just move? I'm not sure? "
and yet other days I'm up with the Lark and full of beans!
I seem to work in bursts (I was going to write spurts) but that sounds a bit rude!

Whatever you think about this crazy situation we all currently find ourselves in
I'm actually enjoying the lock down
Time to do all the things I should have done, Like repair the front windows on our cottage.

Time to take new pictures for our website and generally do all the little extra bits involved in running a fully commercial selling website, It needs constant updating.
Earlier this year we had our 1,000th online order.
Anyone who says selling pottery online can't be done
look away now!

We can actually get into our workshop without meeting anyone all day
because the whole Barrington Court National Trust site has been closed down,
But to be honest I haven't felt very much like making anything
until we have sorted out how we are going to survive financially!
Its taken a lot of time and effort 
on both our parts but we think we have most things sorted for now.

 Going into the workshop feels very strange, but I've decided i'm going in on Monday morning
to get orders finished and new pots made.

Of course for us one of our biggest headaches is going to be the re-scheduling
of all of our Pottery Taster sessions and full day lessons,
That's Marion's job and luckily so far everyone has been really helpful and understanding
so thank you all.
We will get you on those wheels! 

Time for reading stuff
I've had this little list of rules on my Computer for a few years now
and I felt now is a perfect time to share it!

 So That's got me back into the Blog
more in depth thoughts in the coming weeks
Chill out, Make use of your time, take time to have fun
try and get a good nights sleep, that's been our hardest thing
until very recently 
don't worry about everything at once, 
just pick things off your most urgent list and concentrate on them.

Don't be afraid to laugh even if it's only at yourselves.

Give yourself time to do the things you love doing
and Finally flowers always make you smile!

So Stay safe, Stay well and Stay at Home!

Throwing the doors open!

We are back Open We Threw our doors open at 10.30 on Saturday 4th July 2020 and we have been pleasantly reassured by the response! Pe...