Shop For Sale!

Posted by Eleanor Burke on

Do you get the newsletter? If not, start by scrolling to the bottom of this page and signing up. We don't send much (shamefully little to be honest) but what we do send is worth reading and often stuff goes on there before it gets here or on social media - sometimes selling out there before it even gets promoted anywhere else! 

Anyway, if you do get the newsletter, and you read it, you'll know what's coming here, if you don't get the newsletter or don't read it then it might be a bit of a shock but I really want you to read and digest all of it before you come in and speak to me about it.

The shop is for sale! 

I've tried my best to be really open and honest about the reasons for it, how I feel about it and what I'm going to do with my life after. And, importantly, that nothing is changing about the shop right now! There's no rush for any of this and I'm taking my time to find the right person or people who want to love this shop like I have done. That's not a promise to stay here forever, it's my life and and as much as I love you all I'm living it for me but I hope you know how much the shop - in this form - means to me. I am more than happy to have chats, or discussions, or whatever with people who are interested in buying the shop but I can't just have the same conversation again and again with people if it's stuff that's been answered in the blog here and on the newsletter - I'm sure other people could but it would do my little nut in! With that in mind, here's what I wrote last week (but tidied up a bit because I had to really cut the word count and in the end my eyes were glazing over when I sent it, haha):

This is a weird one to write...

Shop for sale!

AHHHHH! It's actually not new news, if you've been in the shop recently then you'll know that Dr Chris now lives in Sweden! Stockholm to be precise, living his best life in a job that he's enjoying, earning loadsa money and walking 24,000 steps a day on average. It's permanent with lots of progression and in an area where he shines, so it's the long term. We weren't sure when he first went so, although the shop has been on sale since June and before that I was in talks with a buyer, it's really time to get serious now. I'm looking to sell this beautiful shop to somebody who will love it, nurture it and make it their own so that I can set up a life with my beloved in Sweden. I still can't really believe it but it feels so right and also I know that the right person will find me and the shop.

When the shop started, 14 years ago, I had no idea what would come of it. I was on a break from law and thought I’d end up back there but as it turned out - even after many missteps, mishaps - I had an aptitude for running a shop. Some of the things I've been able to do, the experiences I've had, the way that I've grown and the people I've met take my breath away. I am so proud of the younger me who kept going even when it was really pretty shit. We crowdfunded the move to the bigger shop in 2016 and since then it's been profitable, flowy and so delightfully busy. We got through Covid pretty well and the cost of living stuff too - in fact, we've been thriving! Craft shops tend to do well in recessions as people turn to something cheap-ish that will entertain them for weeks rather than quick fix dinners out etc.

When Chris was first headhunted, in Oct 2022, the thought of selling the shop really scared me. Something I'd built and nurtured over the years and something I feel confident and proud of but as I talked to friends, colleagues and business selling people, I realised that whilst I am a huge part of how the shop started and thrived, I'm not the only person that could do this. In many ways it's a shame that there's not somebody who could sweep in with the skills that I just don't have - like organisation or marketing. If I'm busy now imagine how incredible the shop could be with somebody sending out weekly mailing lists or trusting themselves to have more than a couple of employees! The shop could be open seven days a week! Somebody who could keep the shop tidy and keep on top of stock checks. Somebody who didn't have a breakdown at the thought of coach trips or multi-week workshops or - this makes me want to panic - a REGULAR CRAFTING CLUB?! What about moving into haberdashery! Or made items?! Or designing?! Or outside tutors. Or adding a coffee shop. Making the most of downstairs! There's a million different ways this shop could be moved in different directions which would still stay true to what's fab about the shop - the authenticity, community, commitment to skill and learning whilst also having fun and being silly, and of course, fantastic, affordable yarn, needles, notions and patterns.

Once the handover is completed I'll take time out. It's been a wild ride and for a long time I didn't allow myself to rest at all. I'm better now - hello three week holiday over Christmas - but I would love some time to relax and reset before my next adventure. You might remember that I studied financial advice a couple of years ago, passed, looked into starting that up, and then the shop took back off again after Covid and it just wasn't possible within my brainspace. Well, I'd love to actually do that now, it would be online for the most part so I would be more free and part time for the beginning at least, to give me space to possibly study some more. I keep thinking about a history degree. I want to do yoga, swim in the lakes, buy and decorate a home for us both, spend time with my friends, read a book - oh and knit and crochet. Haha. One of the things I'm most proud of is how I still adore yarn crafts - a lot of people get into this industry and lose the love, not me, I still think it's magic and it moves me to tears sometimes the things that my customers make and think and feel about their crafts. It's inspirational.

The selling deets are here. The price is £45,000 plus the cost of stock at value, this is based on the last three years profits - this years are looking a fair bit higher but it's possible I'll not sell a single ball between now and April so let's not tempt fate. In terms of actual enquiries I need those to go to Swans Business Brokers as I've paid them to do that service - they know about selling shops so I'll let them do their job. Once an interest gets a bit more serious they'll pass it back to me. There's lots that I want to talk about with a potential buyer - offers of help and suggestions and a lot of encouragement - I know this is the most fantastic opportunity to walk into something which is established, profitable, on the up and so well loved within the city and further afield. Even though you'll probably be more knackered than you've ever been in your life, every day I am incredibly grateful to be part of something so inspirational and soul-hugging.

This won't be the last time I talk about this. I intend to promote it hard because I believe the right buyer will come from our community but I do have a favour to ask, I don't want to talk to every single person that comes into the shop about this. I learned the hard way with my dad dying that rehashing emotional things repeatedly every day is not good for me. I will make sure to lean on my support so you don't need to worry about me. I am interested in speaking to anybody who is genuinely interested in buying the shop or has experience of selling or buying a shop like this, but on every other angle, I'm covered. I hope you understand!

I also don't want anybody to panic! I am in no rush to do this (well, I miss my husband so there's a bit of a rush) but my personal circumstances mean I'm in no rush to pack up and I will wait for the right person. The shop isn't shutting, and even if it doesn't sell I have no intentions of shutting it any time soon. I'm not going to spend years living apart from my husband, so there will be a cut off point, but the plan and my intention is to sell this to the right person who will carry on the shop in a similar capacity maybe with added stuff but still with heart, soul and wool. There have been a few interested parties but they haven't worked out either for their own reasons or because what they were offering didn't feel right for the shop for example, getting rid of the wool (THE HORROR!). In the meantime, I'm making more money than I have before, I'm feeling more confident in myself and the way that I run things, I've got many ideas for things to do and also a to do list as long as my arm so I'm happily busy enjoying my shop and my people so please don't worry. 


Eleanor. xxx

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  • Well, well, well!
    Welcome to my country and capital City Eleanor!
    I wish you both all the best and hope everything will go the right way for you both here in Sweden.
    Let’s hope you find a brilliant person who will take over the shop so I and my husband can continuing visit it when we are over to visit family and friends in Notts.
    Who knows, we might bump each other one day here in Sweden.
    Good Luck with everything!!

    Diana Lovatt on
  • I wish I had that kind of money!!
    It was an end of an era to see Artworks Arts and Craft Shop in Beeston, corner of my road no less, close and the retail space will I think be turned into office space.
    My current career goal is to gain enough qualifications and experience to become a book keeper and open my own business – specifically serving clients who are independent artists, makers, creative sole-traders and independent businesses such as yourself.
    I wish you the best of luck in finding the right person.

    Hannah Brown on
  • All my life I’ve wanted to own a Wool Shop, but at almost 71, I think it’s a bit late!
    I do hope you find the perfect buyer and I wish you lots of luck with your beloved in Stockholm.

    Philippa Johnson on

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