I’ve spent most of this week trying to find time between gorgeous customers, emails, phone calls and 25 huge cartons of Summer stock deliveries, to consider which shoes and boots I will be purchasing for next Winter.
It’s a little hard to channel the cooler months and anticipate what people will like in around eight months’ time when this week the temperature outside is topping 30 degrees and you’re admiring countless sandals as you unpack them.
But picture me out the back of the shop.
In front of a large, white cupboard in the hallway that’s a perfect blank canvas.
I have a big ball of BluTac and I’m sticking up photos from catalogues that I’ve cut out. Some brands don’t have catalogues, so I take photos myself, print them out and stick them up instead.
The photos are organised into columns, each representing an important category: flats, low heels, high heels, glam, ankle boots and long boots. Oh, and ath-leisure, too.
I arrange them in order of retail price, cheapest at the top.
Anything that goes to a size 13 and above gets marked. They’re extra special as, while my size 13+ market is approximately only 15% of my customers, they deserve a choice. They’ve been even more starved of options than the rest of us.
And then, well, then I stand back and ponder. For. A. Very. Long. Time!
Without exception, I want more than I can afford. Sometimes three times more than I can afford, which showcases my love for a gorgeous shoe or boot!
But being a self-taught, getting-tough business woman, I have also learned I must stick to my budget; stick to what sells well (eg. more flats and low heels than high); stick to suppliers that give me great payment terms, discounts and are lovely to deal with; and stick to finding the best collection for a wide range of needs, tastes and budgets that I can.
I ponder and consider and fret and dream about shoes for these few hectic weeks. I do know that I will eventually settle on an exceptional range; it just takes time.
So, until next week, when hopefully my Winter 2018 order is finally locked in…
Carol & CCx