Closing the door for the last time on Saturday, I looked around the boutique and realised how unprepared I am for this move that is about to happen the next day.
There is chaos as I have been inundated with last minute orders:
‘Do you have time to make a wedding dress for my daughter, Nicole? She wants something simple, really nothing complicated, a skirt and a top kind of thing, but she has been everywhere, even to London and she can’t find what she wants.’
‘Yes, that should not be a problem, when is the wedding?’
‘In 4 weeks time!’, my customer replies.
‘What ?! … you know I am moving next weekend and …’
‘Please Nicole, we will fit in with you…!’
And as I am trying to visualise how my lovely customers will respond to seeing me in a small studio, where the entrance is through a garden path in ‘Downtown Hove (Portland Road)’, rather than walking into a boutique on Church Road, I am reluctant to say no to any orders.
Sunday arrives too quickly and surrounded by my German support team, Iris, Volker and Virginia (many, many thanks!), we get to work on packing up the shop. By lunchtime I feel this will never end -there is stuff everywhere and I have no idea how it can all fit into the studio. I am also confronted with my past; finding old patterns, fotos and fabrics boxed up in corners for years and I start reminiscing.
‘Look what I found. Oh my god, I forgot I still had this, I used to make…’
‘Nicole! Put that down, you can play later when you are in the studio!’ Iris, very hot and bothered, reminds me of the task in hand.
That’s when I realise how important friends are, I would have never managed the move without them!
Finally, walking through an empty shop, completely exhausted, I become emotional.
I am excited and sad at the same time. It’s the end of a very important time for me.
The following night I dream of moving things -but the shop never becomes empty and then filling my new studio -until there is no space ‘to swing a cat’.
Suddenly it’s Monday morning, the sun is shining and I head over to my new place.
Wow, what a mess!
Overcoming the initial shock, I find my ironing board and set up my machines, I clear my enormous new cutting table and hang up my pink curtains, my patterns and organise my writing desk. By lunchtime it’s starting to look good.
This ain’t so bad! This is really nice actually!
I decide to take a lunch break and discover that Portland Road has changed. Lots of little individual shops and businesses have opened up here in the last few years. There are lovely coffeeshops and everybody is friendly.
Returning back, the sun now beams into my studio, I know that I have made the right decision to downsize and focus on what I love doing; being creative with fabrics, colours and shapes. Sometimes it’s healthy to keep things simple!