So, here goes (I know this is a ridiculously long blog post, its quite a lot of years I'm fitting in Lol)...
I grew up in a rather unconventional way I guess. The Monday to Friday, 9-5 meant nothing to me. My parents ran their business from a large shop attached to our family home, selling antiques and fine art. My dad is also an artist, my mum has always been a keen crafter, stained glass, painting furniture, decoupage, you name it, she has tried it.
My grandparents who lived in the same street as us, also had shops attached to there home, my grandfather selling reproduction antiques and decorative items. My grandma had a wonderful junk shop with barns full of floral teasets, terracotta plant pots and dusty old books. I started going to auctions with my grandma when I was 5, she would let me hold up the bidding card. That was when I caught the bug. I was TOTALLY hooked.
In 2002 when I was 18 I had viral meningitis, I was poorly for months, as I started to get better I would go to bootsales and flea markets at the weekend's, I absolutely LOVED them, the buzz of finding a bargain. There is nothing like it!
I knew what I wanted to do was to buy and sell stuff.
One day after chatting to a chap in the town I lived in, who had a furniture shop, he offered me a space in his shop, a pitch at a weekly fee.
I decided to go for it (much to my parents dismay, they wanted me to finish college)I borrowed £400 from my grandparents and that's where it all began. My little business 'Buttercup'.
I sold antiques, decorative items and kitchenalia. After a few successful months a shop opposite became available and I went for it, that was in 2003, 'Buttercup and Roses' my very own shop at the age of 19.
I stayed there for 3 years before moving to a larger premises, that's when my love for French and Shabby chic items really began, I had more space and a big shop window, I sold painted furniture, pretty quilts and home-wares, this is when I started searching for suppliers of 'new' decorative items, I loved that I could create a pretty shabby chic style for people on a limited budget (Blimey that was 10 years ago, where have the years gone!)I found some fantastic suppliers which I still use today.
After another 5 years of running my beautiful shop, I had a huge change in my personal circumstances, I needed to move away from the town I had grew up in for a while, so with a heavy heart I had to close down my shop. And get a 'proper' job Eekkk! lol!
I took a job as a manager and buyer of a high end fashion boutique and moved into a converted watermill. I totally loved my job, travelling to London every other week for buying trips, visiting our other store in Marlow, it was so different to every thing I had ever known, a total adventure. But it was exhausting. I worked my socks off, treated the company as my own. But fashion wasn't my true love, Interiors was. Three years later I was made redundant, just three weeks after we had bought our first home, I needed to pay the bills. That is when the next adventure began, 'Perfectly Lovely Interiors' was created.
I started small, I had just a couple of hundred pounds to start with, I set up a Facebook page and started selling a few gorgeous little items and painted furniture to friends and local people, then as the business grew I started to do home parties, packing up boxes of goodies and 'setting up shop' in their homes. Soon the business really took off and I needed more space than the shed and our spare room, I took the plunge and signed a 3 year lease on a converted barn opposite our house in the village. So here I was, my very own shop again!
A year and a half later I open a 2nd shop in the next town, 'Perfectly Lovely Interiors Petite'. After 6 months I realised I was mental lol, two shops was way to much to handle, so I closed the one in the next town and launched the website instead, having no idea how much this would effect the business.
Another 6 months later we realised we were expecting our little bundle, so I slowed the business down for a while to concentrate on being a mummy, still trading but keeping things as simple as I could. Then when Jack was 6 months old, I started going back to work properly.
I was approached by a journalist who wanted to photograph our home for a magazine, little did I know that this would have a huge impact on the business, we got a 6 page, front cover spread in Style At Home magazine. I still can't quite understand that anyone else would be interested in seeing our teeny little, modest terraced home.
It resulted in the website going totally crazy. We couldn't keep up, something had to give, and sadly it had to be the shop. The website gave me the flexibility of being a working mum. So we closed our shop, while keeping on the premises to use as an office and stockroom/wrapping station. It was probably the most sensible business decision I have ever made.
So that is where we are so far, we have just had our most successful festive season in 11 years of trading.
As we start the journey into 2016 I have big plans for Perfectly Lovely Interiors, I really love my business, it is absolutely my passion. My obsession.
Of course with out my customers Perfectly Lovely Interiors would be nothing, so for that, I thank you.
Thank you for supporting our business, for being patient when a delivery is delayed because Jack has been poorly, or understanding that my emails barely make sense as I'm so sleep deprived. It's hard work, I mean really hard work, I was so naive as to how tough it would be juggling everything. But then I get an email from someone who has loved there goodies, or a 5 star rating on Facebook. That's when I know its all worth it. I feel very lucky to be able to do what I love for a living.
Thank you for popping by,
Love, Jen xXx