We made the decision to close the retail shop at the end of 2011. It was an incredibly hard and emotional decision as my Mother and Father had started the business in the 1950’s… originally selling used cars, and adding surfboards to the floor in 1958.
I grew up living above the retail store in a small flat and spent my childhood playing in the lane behind. It’s all I’ve ever known!!!
It was really weird after Christmas seeing the shop half empty and not restocking.. knowing that the time was coming to an end.
The main reason we closed was the struggle of wearing two hats…as a shaper and a retailer..and feeling like I was never giving each one my full attention. Shaping is where my creative passion lies, and when challenging economic conditions of the last few years made retail more difficult I decided it was time to concentrate on my 1st passion of shaping.
With 3 days to go the shop still looked pretty full and despite the ‘Sale’ signs we were worried we would have to postpone the closure. Then an article in the local paper brought it to the public’s attention …and suddenly we were run off our feet.
The last 3 days was mayhem!!! We could have sold the doors off the changeroom if we wanted!!! everything flew out the door… at the end we had 9 boards left (from about 100) and a few wetsuits, T’s, etc.
We were planning to close at lunchtime ont he Saturday but stayed til 3pm with locals keent o reminisce or buy a memento of the shop . We had so many people coming in telling stories of their history with the shop and reliving the ‘glory days’… it was quite emotional.
I was a bit teary closing the doors for the last time, but also excited about the challenges ahead and hopefully having the freedom to concentrate on shaping more.