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So this blog post has taken me well over a week to try and write as 2020 has gotten off to an unexpected start here at Braw Wee and I sadly took the decision to not open the doors to our physical shop after the Christmas Holidays. 

It was not our plan when we shut up on the 24th December but personal circumstances meant that I had to have a serious look at the business and what I could continue to do. It is no secret that 2019 was a difficult year for retail of all sizes, I could spend ages trying to explain why I thought it was difficult for Braw Wee - there are many many reasons that were completely out with our control. I was also trying to juggle the running of Braw Wee and the start up of Creative East End, taking on our first employees and trying to learn how to manage a team. In many ways 2019 was an incredible year of growth for Braw Wee, we had more workshop participants than ever before, launched our own product range and welcomed so many lovely people through our doors!  

So why the sudden decision to close? In November, my partner - Ross - took ill and it turned out to be Endocarditis with him being hospitalised the week before Christmas and having a heart value replacement on Hogmanay. At the same time - I was physically and emotionally knackered - for the the past couple of years, I have worked relentlessly on trying to keep Braw Wee open and then for the past year setting up of Creative East End as a new business.

With Ross taking ill and me It became very clear at this time that I could no longer commit to managing the shop and Creative East End building seven days a week, and that I wanted to prioritise my family and home life again.  I was suffering 'burn out' from working constant long days and under stressful conditions for the past year with no sign that it was going to get any easier. Hence, the lack of social media or general communications - I had to just stop and rest, and prioritise my personal life.

Good news is Ross is now out of hospital and making good progress, and I'm now gently getting back to work. I have moved the shop out of the Gallowgate and into a new studio space just 10 minutes away in Bridgeton, which is our next challenge to get unpacked and caught up with enquiries, orders and admin! There will be more workshops and new products in the coming few months. I hope to still have a physical presence at stalls, increase working with new designers and continue to promote other fantastic small businesses! 

I'd like to thank all of the amazing customers, suppliers, staff and friends that have supported us over the past 5 years and hope you'll continue to do so while I work out a new way of working. Massive thank you to all those folk who have checked in with me while we've been closed, it is lovely to know that we have built up a supportive community! 

Thank you! 

Jennifer 

 

Comments

Maggie Anne :

Hi Jen, have been thinking about you, didn’t message as seen the shop shut… glad to have stumbled on this blog and hearing Ross on the mend, as you are! Priorities indeed, people and living quality life… so glad you getting back to things and realise how difficult a decision to close the shop must have been… but brave decisions have been made… here’s to you and the business getting bigger and stronger… lots of love and so glad to see you back and you both on mend! Phew!!! x x x x x

Feb 22, 2020

Billy at the Hielan Jessie:

Sorry to hear of your partners health issues ,understand about the stress of trying to juggle so many things..wishing u all the best for the future x Billy

Feb 11, 2020

Gillian :

Sorry to see the shop go – good luck with the new studio!

Feb 11, 2020

Denise :

Hi Jennifer

Good luck with the move. Hope you get everything sorted in the new place. Glad to hear Ross is on the mend! It’s horrendous trying to juggle everything when a partner is unwell. You take care of your self

Denise 😘

Feb 11, 2020

Jane :

Hi jennifer
Sorry to here u about ross and the shop closing sounds like u both have been to hell and back . Glad ross on the road to recovery . Will certainly miss popping in with angel for a cupp and u have always made us both so welcome . But its not the end and hope to see u soon in the new braw wee shop . Love and hugs jane

Feb 11, 2020

Selina & the refuweegee team:

Well done Jennifer! It is never easy prioritising yourself in these situations. If there is anything the team can do to help you know where we are. Positive vibes and well wishes to Ross too.

Jan 29, 2020

Claire:

Hi Jennifer,
I noticed the shop was closed and just caught up with your blog. You are an amazing person, sounds like it’s been a pretty hellish couple of months but this sounds like a really great move. I will miss your awesome coffee and chat but want to wish you all the best of luck for the next chapter of braw wee.
Claire xxx

Jan 29, 2020

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