So I feel I must make a statement regarding the current situation relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. I have decided that for now the door to Patterns of Light must stay CLOSED to the public.
This is a difficult decision, as I had really hoped to open up to try and keep going for a little while until I move my own work to home. But I have been monitoring other little businesses, who like me have had to make tough decisions. We rely on tourism in this area, but our communities are more important at times like these. And potentially there will be many fewer people visiting the area with the current government advice.
I am planning to go in to the shop myself and start listing items I have for clearance, along with all the products that I intend to carry on with once I am working from home full time. I am not exactly sure how yet, but I will be offering these items for sale online. I have always offered to ship worldwide, and this will continue (as long as there is no disruption with the postal service). For any of my regular customers, if you would like anything I am more than happy to arrange delivery of items for you and hope that you will still consider using Patterns of Light for gifts and cards as you always have. For locals, I am willing to arrange delivery of items locally, with payments made either by BACS, PayPal, or over the phone.
These are strange times indeed, but we are lucky to live in this special little place. And it is wonderful to see people offering to help each other across the country. I hope you stay happy and healthy. And I will update things here as and when things change. Please support your small local businesses however you can....this is going to be a hard year for all of us, and we want to be there for you when this is over.
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PATTERNS OF LIGHT UPDATE – 20th February 2020
After months of soul searching, I have had to make a few decisions about the future of Patterns of Light. For the last two seasons the business as it is, in Kishorn, has been struggling. There are various factors which have affected the business, but the most obvious has been the change in tourism to the area. The increasing popularity of the NC500 has changed the way people are visiting this little corner of the Highlands. Footfall has dropped significantly, and with a small business like Patterns of Light that has a major effect. Now, some people would make suggestions like more signage, more advertising etc. I am aware of these options, I have considered these options, I have not been able to afford these options! The business is small, and I have invested capital to keep it going for the last two years in the hopes it would improve. And maybe in a year or two this would be the case? But the question for me was whether I could carry on this year. And the simple answer is no. Not as things are. It has been a very hard decision to make – I love the shop in Kishorn, but in all honesty it has been a difficult place to sit the last year. I have spent days in the shop in the middle of the season, and not seen a soul. I see and hear the vehicles passing the door, but I don’t see enough of them stop.
When I took on Patterns of Light I did it as someone who had retail experience, knew how to stock and run a shop, and someone who had spent time in the special little space with Jenny. I had creative skills to back up certain aspects of the business too. But in the last five years something has changed for me. I now consider myself an artist! I find so much joy in what I do, and when thing are a struggle in the real world, I can get lost in my paints and create something beautiful. While the other parts of the business have struggled, this part has gone from strength to strength. And so I have decided a different path is the future of Patterns of Light. I am one person (who has amazing family and friends who have supported me and helped me with days off when I need them.....unpaid!) and to keep running the shop, and also push forward with the creative side of things, well it is too much for me alone.
I live just over half an hour away now, and I share the commute with my other half each day of the season. This makes the days very long, and the season much more exhausting mentally and physically. We have a beautiful home and space around it for exciting things. And we have plans of our own for the future. So Patterns of Light shall be moving in 2020. It will also be downsizing for now too – the focus being my own artwork and products only. I love the creative process of designing my own products using my own artwork, and this is the path I choose now. I went out to fairs at the tail end of 2019, and was blown away by the response my work received! I have talked to so many people over the last year – visitors to the shop, friends, other creatives, loved ones. And they have all been amazingly supportive. The obvious next step is to do what I love.....from home.
This will not happen overnight. But it will happen over the next three months. I shall open the shop part time over the next month as I start to go in and sort through stock. But I shall not be ordering anything else for the shelves, in fact I am due to start returning some stock next week (the book section shall be no more after Monday). My plan is to open for regular hours from Mid March until I close the door for the final time. This will be the last Easter of Patterns of Light in Kishorn. I am hoping to attend certain fairs through the season, and so the shop will be closed the odd day here and there while I attend these. I will also be keeping the shop on the website closed for now, but I have set up a Folksy shop which you can order through. Once things are all tied up I will have a set date for closing, but for now it is flexible. But on my final weekend I will be having a party! A thank you to the community of Kishorn for their support, and a thank you to all my customers near and far. And a final chance to come and purchase any last remaining stock at a very reasonable price....
The next chapter will then begin – PATTERNS OF LIGHT AT BLACK BAY.
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