Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Miraculous Happenings

I made some vague excuse last week about being tardy with WTFF.  I also promised I would post photos of the vague excuse.  I'm going to do better than that, I'm going to write a whole post about it.

One of my besties, Harriet, had a wild and wonderful idea a few years ago to start a baby store in Dunedin.  There was a massive hole in the market here.  You could go to the Baby Factory for basics, or TNT if you wanted your child to be highly flammable, or Arthur Barnetts if you could get past the smell of old ladies and cona coffee, and that was about it.  The magical internet was available of course, but sometimes you just want to go into a store and buy something.  Harriet was working in an incredibly unsatisfying job where her fabulous ideas and talents were not appreciated.  In search of retail-salvation, she started a new job as Assistant Manager in a business that was just starting up in Dunedin.  Her manager was an affable young lady named Sam.  Sam and Harriet quickly discovered that they shared the dream of opening a decent children's store in Dunedin.  They also quickly discovered that they didn't hate each other's guts (quite rare for retail work colleagues) and actually, they could handle seeing each other day in, day out indefinitely.  And they could make sensible decisions that the other didn't completely disagree with.  Sounds like the recipe for a good marriage, doesn't it?  And it was - A business marriage.  Harriet & Sam bit the bullet, took the leap of faith, and other cliches, and started Miracle.
Opening morning - Sam and Harriet lacking sleep but still smiling!
That was four years ago.  They have, as one might expect from any new business, their fair share of ups and downs but the heart of the matter remains: they have a good business idea, and they have the brains to implement it.  And so it was that at the beginning of the year they found themselves in a temporary store.  It was a pretty big challenge that they weren't entirely expecting to face but like so many of these serendipitous twists and turns life throws you, it's been an awesome clarifier for them - an unexpected boon.  The change from a massive store space to a much smaller one has focussed their business objectives and allowed them to make some changes they had been wanting to make for a while, and also discover some new successes they didn't know existed.  And through their temporary store, the metaphoric door has opened to their new permanent location.

It was this location that we worked hard to pull together on Friday, ready for the grand opening on Saturday.  It's like moving house except it all happens in a tight time frame and then you have to be ready to have an open home the following morning.  It's pretty full on!  Thankfully they were only moving down the corridor this time, but there's still a lot to do when you move a whole store of stock.  Stress levels were fairly high, people were tired, there were up to 10 of us all trying to work in a small space, not including the various off-spring roaming around or screaming the house down... it was chaotic to put it mildly.

But shit these ladies are funny.  As the hours ticked by and the bags under the eyes started to get darker, the jokes became more and more inappropriate and the laughter turned to giggling and cackling (most females are prone to the odd cackle when they're overtired).  Most amazing of all, the shop started to look good.  Really good.  Despite all the bossing (thanks Micaela), dithering, screaming babies (what would a baby store be without them?), and generally flummoxing, we pulled it together.

The result is a store that looks like a a delicious cupcake - beautiful quality ingredients topped with lots of colourful sprinkles.  The quality shoes, the cloth nappies, the beautiful merino clothing, and then bowlfuls of bright toys, and puzzles.  These girls have always known what they wanted, they have known what they needed to do, and with the new store they have taken another step towards their retail dream.  It's so awesome to watch.  It seems other people agree.  When 10am rolled around on Saturday morning, Harriet and Sam had more than just lack of sleep to deal with, they had a queue down the street waiting for the doors to open.

I'm happy to say I'll be doing a little more than just watch their success as I am about rediscover my retail feet and be their Monday Girl.  They've also got me looking after some of their online content too so I am slowly wheedling my way into the business.  A little Miracle with jam and cream?  I think I like that combination.


  1. Jade B (Jellybean)20 June 2012 at 12:20

    Hold on! Has the blog always been in this font? Surely Monotype Corsiva is not what you started with. I'm confused, my brain is addled (could just be an age thing).

    Aside from my befuddlement, the new shop looks amazing. Well done girls. If I had a sproglet I'd be shopping there with bells on.

    1. It certainly has not always been in this terrible font! There's some weird stuff going down with the page... Hopefully all will be back to pretty in no time.

  2. love your prose and especially the comment about my bossy sister Micaela- glad I'm not the only one who gets bossing! Love your blog...Amber x

  3. Hi, I was just sent a link to your blog about breast feeding which was awesome. I'm due in 6 weeks and hope to breast feed so it is so good to hear real advice and real experience. Thanks for writing such a great blog and here's hoping I can get through the f'ing hard work! The breast feeding post led me to this post about Sam and Harriet - I went to Uni with Harriet and haven't seen her for years. Wow! feel so gushy and happy for her. Thanks again :)