So it took more than a year to pick up where I left it last blog post. I love to write, but hey, who ever has time for that? There are so many other things I like maybe just a tad better. Watching my daughter eat spaghetti is one. She can fit a whole spaghetti filled fist into her mouth you know. Endless entertainment, a 2-year old.
Anyway, won't get to the more recent part of the BonBon story if I don't start cracking now. Going wholesale is where I left it. Yes, well that didn't happen. Like I mentioned before, I'm an introvert. And a creative one, if I can be so bold. I'm not afraid to take a risk, to walk the edge, to do things my way. But I was terrified of putting myself out there. So much so, that I retreated into my shell more and more. Sat there sweating behind my computer, in the grasp of a massive internal struggle and getting absolutely nowhere.
"Of course that's cheese on my face...I am eating a sandwich!"
I was tired of that after about 6 months, not to mention quite broke. Right then! Another store is what I need! And lo and behold, three days later I ran into someone I never usually ran into, who was looking for someone to take over her little store in the center of Amsterdam....I am not kidding. And right around the corner from the famous 9 streets. The universe provides, my friends. All it takes for me is letting go of the fear and open my mind up to possibilities. Sounds easy. Is not. In hindsight it took me at least a decade to learn how to flip that switch in my mind.
I paid the first rent with the last money in my account and with my last remaining cash I bought some paint and display cabinets. What could go wrong? Well, nothing...it all went dead right! My friend Monique from Studio-MHL came on board here too and together we started on a growth spurt. Painful at times, but gosh what a learning curve! First major lesson was right the first day. We were so excited and nervous. A million disaster scenarios running through our minds. What if no one buys anything? What if we can’t make the next rent? What if…
Pretty display in a corner in our busy little corner store, around 2012.
And in came our first paying customer. Piled the jewelry onto the counter and pulled out her credit card. Gosh, we were so flustered and nervous…this woman was spending €500,- at once! On our first day! What a brilliant prospect! We high-fived when she was gone, feeling pretty good about ourselves. Hours later we closed our register with a big smile…and then we went pale and almost fainted. I felt sick. Apparently we were so enraptured with packing all the items right with our clumsy unpractised hands, that we didn’t notice her payment was declined. Glup. Well that never happened again.
After finishing the 2,5 year contract and many more lessons, we were able to move 2 doors down on the same little street to a bigger store, where BonBon Boutique is currently still located. Monique and I parted ways a while ago, with our interests growing in different directions. Me with BonBon Boutique focusing mainly on our store at that time and Monique with Studio-MHL focusing on wholesaling and building a strong identity for their brand.
And that's where we're still at! In the middle of this cute little street in the center of Amsterdam. With our store, our office, our studio and my home. All in one neat package. With two great teams: The girls in our store with their lovely sparkle and spirit and our studio girls with their magic hands and excellent dance moves (which you will never get to see unfortunately...I asked). These past years have mainly been for creating structure in the company, automating as many processes as possible, looking for ways to improve our customer service, creating new designs and of course for me personally spending lots of time with my fantastic daughter.
And where to go from here? We shall see...*flipping the switch*