We've hit so many landmarks over the years - big company birthdays, best selling months, most products sold. All of them feel incredible and we celebrate each and every one of them. But today our shop in Cardiff turned two and this one hits slightly differently for me. So this is a letter from me Han to you, to thank you personally.
At 7 years old I was stood on a stool behind the till. Mum had just opened the doors to the first day in her new shop - and I knew I wanted to be a part of it for as long as I possibly could. The next 10 years were spent with every Saturday stood at that counter - becoming a familiar face to our local customers and being surrounded by the most incredible group of women as I learnt not only about how to run a shop but some epic life lessons along the way. I never thought in a million years that 10 years later I would be celebrating my own shop. Standing in front of something that I have to be proud of - with a team that I brought together and made into such an incredible unit.
Today is dedicated to 7 year old me. We've made it. We have something we never dreamt we would have, and even when we did dream we never believed it would look this incredible.
The shop started as a shell, a blank canvas - with no doors or windows, electric or plumbing. We had three weeks until launch so I had to pull in friends, family, friend's families to make it happen. But we did make it happen, and a space so beautiful and so authentically Cole & Co was created.
[A little behind the scenes for you - I can happily tell you now with hindsight that launch day was one of the tightest calls we've ever had with regards to timings! We had a launch party in the evening at 6pm and we were finished and ready to go at 5:45. It wouldn't have been possible without all the family around us and some epic friends]
But I stood on a chair in the middle of a room that I had created, talking to a room full of people that I knew would support the business, and realised that I was in a space that was truly mine. It was in that moment that I also realised the real challenge started the moment I stepped down.
And what a two years it has been so far! Didn't even cross my mind to be prepared for a global pandemic, that would shut the shop down not once, not twice, but THREE times! But in amongst all of the craziness we have managed to produce over 10,000L of hand wash, body wash, shampoo and conditioner and made over 2,000 candles! We have grown an incredible team - a few of those have left to pursue their own dreams just like mine, and some I hope will be by my side for years to come. It is the most special feeling in the world stepping into this space, have a community of loyal local customers popping in, and to keep growing it and changing it to fit the next mission. I feel so lucky to have this portion of the world of independents to call mine - and I can't wait to see where it grows next!
With another very important birthday just a couple of days away (follow us on social @cole_and_co to find out which!), we've got a special offer on until this Sunday the 21st of November - grab yourself 10% off with the code "BIRTHDAYWEEK". Help us celebrate, and get your Christmas shopping started at the same time!