On Friday 20th April, we hosted our first ever sale night and charity raffle. For almost six months Sian has been painstakingly cataloging all the seconds, samples and other odds and ends that we had accumulated after 13 years of trading. Having worked at Willow & Stone for four years I thought I had seen all the products we’d ever sold, but I was amazed to see some of the older ironmongery which had been gathering dust in various corners of offices, stock rooms and loft space. We put anything that didn’t pass muster aside for scrap, and assessed everything else for damage, wear or faults and priced accordingly.
With everything priced and labelled we had a final push in which everyone frantically polished, buffed and spruced, not to mention carrying every single item of sale stock from the top floor of our office (three floors up) to the shop on the other side of the street.
In between a swift meal of chips for those people staying for the evening shift, we prepared the shop floor, carefully displaying all the sale products and storing the majority of the regular shop stock out of the way for the evening.
With a few moments to spare, we were ready to open the doors at 6.30pm. Having seen the monumental amount of work that had gone into preparing for our sale night, I had started to worry that the event wouldn’t live up to our expectations, but at 6.15pm there was a queue of a dozen or so people, all eager to get in and find a bargain. The crowds stayed well into the evening, searching through the rows and rows of discounted ironmongery and lighting, as well as being treated to an incredible 15% off all other products.
The customers and staff kept up the festive atmosphere throughout the evening. Everyone was in good spirits in spite of the crowds. Our dedicated team were diligently doing everything they could to keep up with the queue. They pre-packed items and handed out treats as people waited. Aside from a moment of panic when the till crashed and we saw the longest queue build up we’ve ever had, the evening was a great time for staff and customers alike.
But it wasn’t all cheap door knockers and free prosecco at our sale night. The event also included a charity raffle to raise money for Sea Sanctuary Cornwall. This amazing charity based in Penryn set up by the lovely Joe Sabien offers life changing experiences to those people who really need it. Sea Sanctuary work with people who suffer with depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, low self-esteem and more. The Sail into Life programme they run is an opportunity for their service users to learn how to sail during the day, whilst having therapy sessions in the evenings.
If you’ve ever spent the day out on the water, whether sailing, surfing, kayaking or any other water-based activity, you’ll know how invigorating it is. I’ve experienced first hand how much learning to sail improved my self-esteem. You can’t help but feel good about yourself when you learn a skill like that. Not just because you’re learning something, but because you have a purpose. Sea Sanctuary gives that experience to people who might have lost their sense of purpose, or perhaps never had it in the first place. They team this with therapy sessions by highly qualified therapists helping the service users ensure the changes made on board can be taken with the individual into their life.
We are huge fans of the work Sea Sanctuary do and couldn’t be happier that we were able to raise money for such a good cause. In sales of raffle tickets and donations we raised £1,217.00 and Sea Sanctuary are creating a Willow & Stone bursary with this money and we look forward to seeing the help they are able to offer people with it. If you want to learn more about Sea Sanctuary check out their new website at www.seasanctuary.org.uk.
Of course we wouldn’t have been able to raise a penny if it hadn’t been for the generous donations of prizes from local business. We were blown away by the support and want to offer a huge amount of thanks to all the business who donated. You can see the full list of donors below.
If you missed out on the sale night never fear! Over the next few months we’ll gradually be adding pieces to the website. Keep an eye on the website and our social media for more information.
Huge thanks go to the following local businesses: