I am sitting at the desk in my shop during a quiet moment, looking at the screen in from of me and musing. How on earth did this happen? 6 months ago I had no experience of running a shop, not even any thoughts of having a shop, and yet here I am.
Here’s what happened between then and now
I have a friend, her name is Madeline. Madeline had a long-standing dream of opening a wellbeing centre, that actively welcomed people from all walks of life to enter its doors and have the opportunity to use what it offered to find their way along the path of their mental and spiritual development. Conversations happened, her plans developed, I was excited for her, and behind her all the way. It was lovely to be able to talk about things that I also believed in very strongly, but which had become secondary to other, more prosaic, things in recent years. Madeline’s plans progressed, and she found the perfect building to house her centre. I knew she had a retail space within the building, with no fixed idea of how to use it.
One morning I woke up, absolutely – and completely unexpectedly – convinced that I wanted to take on that retail space, with the idea of making things designed to facilitate wellbeing and spiritual growth easily available to people. Had a wanted to start up a shop the previous evening? If you had asked me, I would have said ‘absolutely not!’ And yet, there I was that morning, with the fully formed conviction that this is what I wanted to do. And so it began. Madeline was willing to take on a tenant who freely admitted to winging it, as far as setting up a retail business went. And here I am now, a couple of months in, having winged it pretty much OK so far.
The name Breathe Out Now came out of my desire to create a space that people could walk into and immediately feel that they could relax and look around, either just to browse, to buy something, or to go through the shop to enter the Soul Spa.
I’ve brought in stock based on what I would like to be able to buy myself, which is not the most scientific approach, but gives the shop an integrity that I’m not sure I’d be able to maintain if I were simply ‘chasing the money’. I have books; not that many as there isn’t enough space for me to rival any of the wonderful bookshops in Bath even if I wanted to. There’s enough space for me to stock books that I already know, that interest me, or that have been recommended by customers therapists working out of the Soul Spa. What they all have in common is that each is connected to the central theme of expanding healing, mindfulness, or spirituality. I have brought in essential oils and other aromatherapy products, Tibetan singing bowls, a limited range of clothing, and gifts. I’m learning all the time, learning how to run a shop, including all the bits you don’t see as a customer, learning how to source good stock, learning how to not feel apologetic for taking people’s money when they buy something (yes, really!), and learning how to enjoy it all.
Please feel welcome to come and visit.