Owning your own business you learn a lot. Some things quickly, other things not so quickly. The shop fit in Chelsea was done by a builder who isn't really a shop fitter, just some guy I found, and the shop fit in Westfield was done by shop fitters but not the ones we use now. Finally by shop three (Belgravia) we had found a firm of architects and a shop fitting company who work well together and we like. So all we need to do now is back-track and make the first two shops look like the second two! It's on the list.
With a team who are professional and creative, opening a shop is relatively painless. Kim who's our Managing Director does most of the work with shop openings, from finding the location to overseeing the budget and making sure it all happens on time. I mainly nod or shake my head. Kim knows when I'm relaxed about something, or the opposite of relaxed. If there's something I particularly want, then I really really really want it. Things like good mirrors, lighting, and adequate display for the product are all key. Because we work on a limited budget and sometimes space, you have to pick your battles.
For me with a shop fit, there has to be a direct line to the counter and it has to be EASY to show your customer the product. Because I work in the shops I know what works and how important it is to move around quickly and efficiently when you're busy. When our architect shows me an artsy-fartsy layout that's a playground for shoplifters with no storage space, I say that looks great but you try to sell a pair of jeans in there. Functionality is key! I like to keep things simple. Just one of the lessons I've learnt along the way.