These last few months have been wonderfully manic. It is only now that I am able to reflect on all that has happened and take stock of the present.
Running a shop is a lot of work. Running a shop that involves over 60 other people requires a lot of time and effort. Running any shop at Christmas is hard work. Having a baby at the end of November made being able to cope with all this seem virtually impossible. I admit to having one 5 minute breakdown the day after I had my baby, sobbing uncontrollably in my hospital bed as I wondered how on earth I was going to cope with a new baby right at the beginning of the busiest 4 weeks of the year. I knew I had traders takings to pay a few days after and I knew how much some people relied on that money. I couldn’t let my standards slip, despite the agony I was in during that first week. I am not proud of the fact, but I had to actually shout at a doctor to discharge me.
We got through it, Jay and I, with a lot of help from some of our fantastic traders. We managed to keep the shop pretty much open as normal and I was able to start working in the shop a bit after a couple of weeks. I’m proud that we got through it, despite how hard it felt at times. It seems we are lucky enough to have a chilled baby who just likes to drink and sleep so we’ve been able to get on with things as normal, just with a small and very cute companion.
I felt utterly shite the entire time I was pregnant. I made this very clear to anyone I came across during those 9 months. As with my first child, I felt awful every single day. What made it so much worse this time was the fact that, no matter how rough I felt, I had so much I always had to do and it did, at times, feel utterly insurmountable. This was when it was truly hard running the shop. But despite all this, I still believed completely in my vision and I knew that no matter how hard things were, we would always find a way to work through it. I have never believed in anything as much as I believe in the CAMhub.
Like I said, running a shop is a lot of hard graft. In no way did I ever expect it to be easy, but it is certainly harder than I really imagined. There are certainly a lot more costs and factors that I didn’t take into account initially, and many new things have cropped up along the way. It is a never ending job – I know this is the case for all self employed people, certainly in the first couple of years at least. The business is on my mind 24/7 and I feel that horrible guilt when I’m playing with my kids because a nagging part of me is telling me I should be working, but then when I’m working I feel guilty that I’m not with the kids.
Despite all this, I understand that this is what it takes. I have always believed that nothing good ever comes easy so I am prepared for the pitfalls and we will always march on. 2016 will be a very exciting time for the CAMhub as I will be able to dedicate more time to working, rather than being sick and crying. The shop is going to get better and better all the time.
So, after all that ramble, all I really should of said is ‘come and check out our amazing shop’ – we have loads of awesome new traders joining us next month, including a stained glass artist and new vintage clothes traders. We’re also going to have a bit of a play around with the layout of the shop to create a fresh new look for the spring. And I can’t wait to give that floor a proper good clean cos I’m a weirdo like that.