In September 2016 we turn 11! A lot has happened over the years and Willow & Stone has developed into something really special and I feel immensely privileged to be a part of it.
Back in 2005 when the first website launched, my husband Nick and I worked from our one bed flat. Sales started flooding in quickly as I was fortunate enough to have lots of support from journalists and editorial staff on national papers and magazines who featured our products and wrote lovely pieces about us. We went from strength to strength and had so much positive feedback. I packed orders on the bed in our one bedroom flat as space was scarce. Invoices were stashed in a giant box under my desk (awaiting ‘time’ to file which never really came!). Stock sat in boxes filling the living room.
Behind the scenes we were snowed under with orders and bogged down with paperwork (which has never been my strong point!). I worked 7 days a week for the first year or two. It was a solitary time. Nick was working from home but had commitments with his painting commissions as his much longed for career as an artist was taking off at the same time.
We searched desperately for a retail premises in Falmouth and eventually landed on our feet when 42 Arwenack Street turned up. At first we missed out and then a few weeks later the tenant backed out and it was offered to us. Almost a year to the day after our website launched in 2005 we opened our first shop in August 2006. Three years later a gorgeous little unit two doors away also became ours and we opened our Paper Goods, Prints & Paraphernalia shop. In 2012 we left these two gorgeous shops and moved into our current larger store up the road where all the products are housed under one roof.
Our team, now of 12, needed more space so we expanded into some incredible Grade II Listed offices over the road early 2015. This has been the most exciting move as we now have a photo studio, numerous offices, lots of storage, even a staff room that is flooded with sunshine at lunch time. Our spectacular harbour views are a constant reminder of why we live in Falmouth. The website is run from here but we spend our days running over the road to the shop looking for stock and helping customers. You can read more about our shop here.
We're looking forward to another fun-filled 11 year years, thanks to the amazing support and hard work of my loyal staff and our wonderful suppliers!