This is just one of the questions on everyone's lips.
What is the new normal? How does it work? What does it look like? How do I feel about it?
As shopkeepers we are not only dealing with our own interpretation of that, but everyone else's. We are all nervous about how things will come across to the public, and how we will interact with our customers - without alienating them, masks and all!
We are creatures of habit, and are now used to the big corporate idea of protection that we see in our supermarkets - will the same levels be expected of the one man bands, and how can we realistically achieve that?
I hope I am not alone when I say that a good level of common sense is what is key here. I am aiming for :
- CLEAR messaging
- CLEAN environment
- CALM state of mind
Being respectful and kind is so important at this time and I'm sure, regardless of what I do, for some it will not be enough. This is fine.
I will not be offended if people do not want to come inside.
To be honest the levels at which you guys have been ordering with us online during this pandemic have made me re assess my business model. And whilst I am a people person and much prefer real life interaction, the online aspect has now picked up to the point where I can see it in a more positive light. Funnily enough it goes back to my original plans for Fromie Gifts to be an exclusively online shopping experience.
Am I OK with this - YES.
Am I jumping for joy - NO.
Does this new opportunity give me time and space for business growth and a work /life balance that I could only ever have once hoped for - YES.
So it's all about perspective and for possibly the first time in my life I am putting myself first.
What I am clear on is that Fromie Gifts has always been about community and connection - this is, and has to be it's legacy, and now I have to take that forwards in the best way possible.
So what is the new normal for Fromie Gifts?
At this point in time, with things changing on a week by week basis it's impossible to say, but rest assured, I'll be here - resilience and tenacity are my best attributes and that's a fact you can stick on a graph and believe in!
Please continue to shop online or I'll see you instore at 3a Stony Street, Frome, from the 15th June
From me. To you