6 months ago, I sat down and reflected on the growth of SL. I was happy, but something wasn’t sitting right with me. A friend once told me Amy, you’re never satisfied with good if better is possible. I would say this pretty much defines me as a human. I always strive for more, to push myself out the comfort zone, because in all honesty I had become comfortable. Online sales were all I knew, mixed with some events before the pandemic. But, comfortable didn’t sit right with me so I wrote – in 2021 I will open a Sweet Life physical store in my hometown. And that is when it began, and believe me when I say something is happening, it’s happening.
Opening a store, I would say was scarier than quitting teaching. I was confident in the fact I had built up a solid audience, but there is always Mrs Doubt sat on your shoulder. It was going to cost a lot of money to get the shop ready, a lot of trust in SL and of course investment on my behalf. It was a lot of stress and to be honest, many nights I sat there with Carl talking about how this could have been a mistake. Things got pushed back month after month. Money got spent month after month, but Carl was there reminding me of how far I had come and showing a real true belief in it all, which then therefore helped me to believe. So there wasn’t time to look back and worry about what had been spent or lost. Forward only, dreaming of sweet success.
During a very stressful period, when the shop was in process of being ready, I had other successes in the corporate world. When I approached Wigan Athletic with the idea of Tic n Mix, they couldn’t believe the story of my life supporting the club. They loved it and took me under their wing, which then led me to work with Wigan Warriors. It’s a dream come true working with both the clubs. Walking in the club shops and seeing your products on the shelves is something dreams are made of, and in honesty it doesn’t feel real. I see it and I still don’t think it has fully sunk in what Sweet Life has achieved.
During the time of getting everything underway with retailers, the shop was verging on ready to open. In the week before we opened, everything was a bit mad to be honest, nothing seemed it was coming together but if by magic, graft and of course help from my dad Sweet Life was ready to open its doors physically on the 31st July. Yeah, perhaps not completely finished, but like I said I am my own worst critic and on reflection what I had pulled off really was mega.
The reaction and support have been genuinely unbelievable. Not to say every day is sunshine and rainbows – there are quiet times were questions still cross your mind. Yeah there’s always going to be someone with something to say, but if you focus on a couple of negative comments over hundreds of positive than more fool you, they’ve won. In a sense, I feel sorry for these people that they feel the need to try and ruin someone’s success. What I remind myself is you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I have worked hard, and continue to, day in day out to ensure this business is the best it can be, but you can’t please everyone and that is simply life.
I’m happy with what I have achieved, but the next level is coming. In the close future (next month) the shop will be getting more stuff, I won’t give away too much but if my name was Archie, I’d be getting worried. And looking further than this, well it’s anyone’s guess but all being well we will be popping up further afield than Wigan. Not to forget the build of the online platform with a subscription service dropping in the not so distance future.
So yeah, 4 weeks of a physical Sweet Life & 22 months of the company, it’s going pretty dam well. Ride the wave, take a risk and see what happens.