With the welcoming news that shops can now re-open their doors, I caught up with one of my stockists, Louise from m.a.d.e, to share their shop ethos and how they have coped in these trying times.
Please introduce m.a.d.e and tell us about the shop and it's ethos.
m.a.d.e. Makers And Designers Emporium was established in 2008 by Sheena & I and is situated in Cirencester in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold's. At its core m.a.d.e. is devoted to selling makers collections that sit alongside carefully considered larger brands to create a unique blend of exciting wares that is ever changing.
How do you choose what designers or artists to stock?
We spend a lot of time researching makers and their brands. Choosing a new designers collection is always a long and carefully considered process. Ensuring that our makers collections are unique, on trend, commercial, and most importantly that they will be cherished by our customers is a difficult but very rewarding task.
Do you have any personal creative hobbies yourselves?
In our personal lives we don't tend to have a lot of spare time but when we do I like to get out on my allotment and Sheena is currently working on a collection of loosely woven hand created lampshades for her home. In the past we both used to make and design but running m.a.d.e is very full on so we don't get as much time as we would like to be creative. We are hopeful that over the coming months we will be able to free up some time to collaborate on some print designs for a small line of printed t-shirts and sweaters.
What are your goals or dreams for the business.
Our main focus right now is strengthening our online sales and ensure that our bricks and mortar store is as enticing as ever for our lovely customers.
How have you adapted/adjusted to the recent shutdown of the shop?
Adjusting to the recent lockdown brought a new set of challenges for us. We had to moved the entire store back to our homes as neither of us near by. We both had a mini warehouse at home but it meant that we continued to successfully sell online during lockdown. The advantage to this was an empty shop so it was the perfect opportunity to repaint the entire building and change all our display furniture. Setting out the shop floor layout was more of a challenge due to the need for social distancing. We lost some shop floor space but have worked around it well and made sure that we have adapted everything that we needed to to keep ourselves and our customers safe.
What do you want customers to experience when they enter the M.A.D.E shop doors?
When customers step into m.a.d.e we want them to feel completely immersed. We spend a lot of time curating our displays to make them enticing for our customers. Making sure every detail is just so is crucial, even down to the lighting, the scent of the shop and the music that is being played. We are always grateful for every customer who comes through our door, a warm welcome and time to explore followed with answers to any questions they might have about our wares is really important to us. We love it when our customers let us know how much they enjoy shopping with us, we know we are on the right track when we get great feedback.