Little Mustard Shop #2

Dear dear Mustardistas

I know I sent an encyclopedia-like tome only a week or so ago, and I know we all hate being spammed, so this one will be brief as I can... Not too brief then, thinks you...

I just want to explain some things about the Little Mustard Shop. It’s not ready yet but we are working HARD!! Doesn’t everything take three times as long and cost four times as much as you first thought? Why IS that???

This week we are having the step tiled, making stock, pricing things and getting all organized with staff. Hopefully getting a Christmas tree and fairy lights. I am so excited, and it will be just wonderful, I know it. But I have had so many emails. So many good wishes and so many promises to visit. So much support, encouragement and love. For which I am extremely grateful.

BUT... I must say I am getting a little anxious about the Opening. Don’t get me wrong, after all the hard work and money spent, I am VERY grateful for your enthusiasm. But I don’t want too many of you to be disappointed. I don’t want to let anyone down. So I am choosing to be very open and honest with you all in the hope that forewarned is forearmed.

It’s only little. Ten people would be crowded. Twenty and no one could move. Five or six could browse happily. That kind of little.

I have the lease for 18 months. We will be open Thursday - Sunday 12-6pm until 22nd December.  Me and Nan may open the final weekend together, closing early Christmas Eve but no promises there. Check for updates on Facebook.com/samtoftartist or our Instagram account @littlemustardshop nearer the time for details.

The little shop and the phone box galleries are opening in conjunction with Brighton Christmas Open House trail, so there is lots to see for the next 3 weekend in Brighton...please check things out here.

The stock of exclusive items will be shared out between the first 4 weeks’ opening so that whenever you visit there will be an equal chance to get stockings, badges, humbug gifts, sketch pads, writing sets etc. Stock will be updated daily (as it is so little in the shop).  Once the exclusive stock has sold each week, it will be refilled for the next, so the only rush is to get here when we open at 12, I guess. Not for a particular date.

There is not EVERYTHING at the shop. Just small things. For the full stock please visit Mustard Shop at www.samtoft.co.uk I think maybe it is confusing, but the Mustard Shop online at www.samtoft.co.uk is located in Cornwall with lots of stock and mailorder, run by Nan. The Little Mustard Shop in Brighton has limited stock, is run by Cadi, and there is no mail order.

Stockings: I believe my sister has almost sold out at mustardgoodies@samtoft.co.uk. As a separate enterprise I will have 10 stockings each Saturday and each Sunday for sale at the shop which I am making myself. That’s 80 total. I’d make more but they take ages and I have other ideas too. Wait and see!

Hampers: I think there are 2 left at mustardgoodies@samtoft.co.uk ...250 pounds each... fully customisable and supplied by my lovely sister Louise who is currently thrashing about wildly under mounds of ribbons and glitter in Nan’s garage in Cornwall so please be patient.

There is only one Little Mustard Shop and that’s why its special. But we will be open next year too. Most of the time I will not be there because what I like doing best is sitting quietly at the studio making pictures and coming up with ideas. I can’t do that if there are distractions, so please don’t pop in and visit at the studio. I treasure my quiet time.

There is no Grand Opening. We had a lovely party for friends and neighbours Thursday last which showed us that there is no real room AT ALL for any celebratory fandangling. Twenty close friends and it was mighty cosy in there, and there wasn’t anything to buy at the time!! But there is a lovely warm pub, The Crescent, opposite the shop (thecrescentpub.co.uk if you want to check out their menu or book a table).

This little shop is an experiment. It will be open for 18 months definitely (as will the phoneboxes) after which we will review costs and time spent to see if we can continue.

And yes wouldn’t it be nice for there to be other Little Mustard Shops? I have not the time, expertise or the energy to open another, but maybe in the future if there were any interest, it could be a franchise. I will think about that next year...

At the weekends there will most likely be three dogs behind the counter. So although we welcome the fourleggers, perhaps with the size of the shop, the volume of people and with 16 legs in total behind the counter (you work it out) perhaps it may be best to tie up your own furry friends on one of the two dog loops outside if you wish to browse. My worry is if little Betty (a very joyful German Shepherd) decides she wants to play with your pooch there could be mayhem. The little bull in the china shop springs to mind. So please consider this for the weekends up until Christmas.

On 25/11/17 at 12 noon GMT Mr Cain will be doing a Facebook Live, chatting to the queue if there is one, taking a tour of the phoneboxes and doing a quiz, so please tune in and keep him company.  Just go to my Facebook page at 12 noon GMT on Saturday 25th and it will all happen.  I hope to be able to talk to you live, depending how busy it is.

Thanks for listening dear Mustardistas. I really appreciate your support as always. And you know I will be trying my best, working every weekend from 25th November at the shop, and every other day making stock and taking long walks with my dogs. On Christmas Day me and Nan will collapse with our ready meals and a nice bottle of wine, laughing about how mad it all was. And then after Christmas I can fully guarantee I will be hibernating for two weeks, maybe more.

Sam

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