Survive – revive – thrive


I didn’t open my own business without knowing the risks. The drawbacks. The not quite so rosy side.  We’ve always known we will have busy days and we will have quiet days. That some things will work and some things won’t. That some things will be easy and some things won’t. That sometimes we will love it and sometimes we won’t.  

The drawbacks, the risks, the wont’s never mattered that much to us because the benefits, the satisfaction and the will’s meant so much more.  So much more. We have control over changing the things that aren’t working so well.  We have control over turning a quiet day around to be a busy one. We have control over if we work until 10pm on a Friday night or if we leave at 2pm on a Saturday to watch the rugby. 

When one day you turn on the radio and someone tells you that you can’t open your business tomorrow, you no longer have control and it becomes about survival.

Throughout this past year, like everyone else, we have been on a rollercoaster of being open, partially open, slightly open, not really open, ever so slightly ajar and closed.  We’ve adapted as best as we can, we’ve kept the heart of our business beating as much as we can, we’ve mixed things up as much as we can but for us, it has been about surviving this time rather than flourishing.

A new element has been added into our business plans and we’ve had to consider how to keep our cheerleaders safe.  Normally we would want to maximise the number of people through the door, have lots of people in our small space all at once, greet some of your lucky chosen ones (sorry) with a hug, encourage people to leave their homes and come and say hello to us.  We encouraged people to share tables together, to share stories together and to be connected. That changed and instead it became about a careful balancing act between protecting our business and protecting our community.

When we look back on this time, it seems like a blurry haze of a constant undertone of quiet, fairly calm panic and just feeling incredibly grateful. Grateful that we have a business to miss, grateful that we have people to worry about, grateful that we have been able to adapt and so very, incredibly grateful that we continue to be supported and we are able to reopen our doors again.

We would like to think that we knew it before, but if this year has taught us anything it’s about finding what really matters, finding what makes your heart skip a beat, finding it, fighting for it and always being grateful for it.  For us it’s about finding a balance of striving for more, striving to be better but also being proud and content with the place you’re at now. The place you’ve worked really hard to get to.  Please do let us know if you have a magic formula for this. 

We know this journey isn’t over yet, and maybe this survival is not quite at the end either but there’s a feeling around here that things are getting brighter.  To all our local buddies in our wonderful Bedford community who are reopening next week, who have survived this so far, our time is coming and the work and the heart that has been put in to get this far means we’ve earnt our revival and before you know it, it will be our time to thrive. 

Get your party hats at the ready.