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.