We know people always say the same kind of things at these times, usually about roller coasters and the such like, but it's probably because clichés are sometimes true (at least as many times as we've had hot dinners) and a roller coaster is about as perfect an analogy as you could get - certainly in our case. Or perhaps, more accurate might be a roller coaster travelling through sunshine, storms, rainbows and hail, sometimes all at once. Sometimes with no safety harness. Sometimes with a loose bolt on the rails coming up ahead, with no functioning break. Sometimes getting stuck upside down on the loop, with all the blood rushing to your head. Sometimes ...well, you get the picture.
If we'd known a fraction of what lay ahead when SHOP first opened in 2006, we would have told you to stick it, but luckily we didn't, and therefore went ahead blindly, yet openly. We've learnt an immeasurable amount about ourselves individually and collectively, about running a small company, about people and we've had experiences that we wouldn't have had anywhere else. We've learnt the value of relationships; relatedness and autonomy (would have been so cool if that last one began with an R). We have very much participated in our experience and experienced our participation in it.
That is just the tangible stuff, with the intangible stuff it's hard to know where to begin. It really is kind of impossible to express and to summarise the influence SHOP has had on every area of our lives, nothing has been exempt and clearly, none of it would have been possible without the people, as in our customers and supporters, as in - you! Although at times it felt like SHOP was indeed an island, before the Christmas Steps were enjoying the beginnings of the resurgence they are now (and which we're extremely proud to have been a part of), obviously we aren't and it is the sublime, the beautiful (and even the occasional grotesque!) that have walked through our door everyday that have made SHOP what it is.
Thank you - it has been a privilege.
|Our first Christmas at SHOP, celebrating with our fellow traders in the defunct Didiers, now Harry Blades and Angry Daves|