It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closing of our online shop.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has shopped with us over the last 10 years. We are still continuing with our online classes and membership, we are just stopping the selling of physical products.
It won't be immediately but in the next couple of months as stocks dwindle, we will not be replenishing with new stock.
I understand you may have some questions so for the full announcement please listen to our podcast "What is an Artist?" from 18 minutes 30 seconds in.
We are gonna start to close our doors to our online shop. Now, it might be a bit disappointing for people, um, but I did want to announce it on the show, um, as we approach into New Year and going into the first half of the year.
First quarter, we are gonna be winding down the amount of products that we sell and eventually closing the doors. Um, which is a bit of a sad moment. You know, we've had the shop since, well, you've done mail order for 35 years or more, you know, you've done mail order since the gallery pretty much started.
Mm-hmm. . , but we took you online in 2012 cuz we set up the membership in 2011 and then we started the shop in April, 2012. So I remember it very well and um, it was very successful. Um, but back even. even 10 years ago, over 10 years ago. It was a very different time even then in terms of, um, being a small business online.
And I think it's quite clear to everyone how, um, big companies have increased competition. Um, and I wanted to kind of explain a little bit why we've made that decision. And it's a few reasons, but the ones that are more prominent than others, Is, um, Brexit. You know, Brexit has affected us quite a lot. Um, the being able to ship abroad internationally, especially to Europe, has become a lot more difficult.
Um, we had to stop selling to Europe because parcels never turned up, you know, or they got delivered or they, they got rejected and delivered back to us, um, or they just simply got lost. , it didn't make economical sense in the end as a business to offer that service, which is such a shame. Um, so we had to stop that and, and in various other countries, you know, we are not a big company.
We're a small family business. It's me and Mims here, sending parcels out, and, um, we don't have. Big, um, delivery options and, um, hundreds of parcels a day. So, you know, big companies like Amazon have made it, you know, a bit trickier, um, to do that. Um, and also being a small business, it has been tricky to, even though we are there for service and being able to respond to people, um, sometimes people forget that, um, small, independent, um, family run businesses are people too. You know, when you're dealing with the likes of Amazon, you're kind of used to dealing with a bit of a cold, kind of, um, level of service or, or expecting quite a lot back. And, and as a small business it's very difficult to, to, to match those same requirements. You know, we can deliver that customer service and we've always prided ourselves on being as good customer service as we can possibly be.
Um, but sometimes you. People that don't realize that you're a small family business and that people are human at the other end of the email. And so it is become less rewarding over time. You know, we've, we've stuck it out. We've done our best. We've tried to compete with Amazon, we've tried to discount our products as much as we can.
We've kept shipping costs as low as we possibly can, especially international orders. You know, we've tried our best to make it work, um, probably over the last nearly two years. We've been struggling since Brexit started and then we've tried to keep making it work and it's just not happened. It's just not been possible and we've really struggled to, to make it work.
So we've had to make the decision. Um, as I say, I know that will disappoint a lot of people cuz you're gonna have to find for especially our most loyal customers who are very, very grateful for everyone that's chosen to shop with us as a family business. It's meant the absolute world. And if you do get a chance to.
With an independent business, you are helping those people to put food on their tables, pay their rents, pay their mortgages, um, , you know, it's, it's very different from supporting a big company. Um, and it does really mean the world. You know, when an order comes in as a small, independent business, it's a big celebration.
You know, you are really pleased. Um, and it's a bit of a different experience when you're a massive company. So I wanted to show the gratitude and, uh, for everyone that's shopped with this, I know there's gonna be some questions. You know, there's certain things like people have reward points. We want to allow people to spend those whilst, um, We are starting to wind things down and also transfer those over to membership and courses.
So if people wanna redeem that off of a membership, off of a course, offer a monthly payment, we'll do that. Obviously we pride ourselves on customer service. I said that already. And um, We try and accommodate people as best we can. As, as I said, it's gonna be tough for some people. We want to get products, they might have to look elsewhere for those products.
When it comes to things that we have created ourselves, or you have created, uh, the packs and the square drawing grids, we're gonna keep selling those. We're gonna find a way of, of selling those so that people can still get those products because those aren't ones you find anywhere else. They are unique to us and we wanna still make those available, so we've just gotta figure out how we're gonna be.
Selling those. Um, but they will still carry on. So yeah, it's a bit of a sad moment, but it's happened because it had to happen. Um, as I said, we tried to make it work and it's just not, not been possible. So, um, over the next, I'll keep everyone posted, probably on the podcast, on Facebook. You know, we'll try and keep everyone informed of what's happening.
But over the next few months we are gonna start winding down our, our stock, and eventually closing the doors. Um, and yeah, that's it. Membership's still carrying on courses. You know, we are not giving that up anytime soon. People are still gonna have all that. It's just the products, the physical products side of things.
So if anyone's got any questions, feel free to email me, um, and I'll happily clarify them. Um, but yeah, there you go. So it's a bit of an end of an era, but. , it allows us to move on with something from that. So, um, I know we're a bit behind on the editing. I'll free up some time to, to catch up with that and also give us time to think up other things and, uh, other ways that we can help serve our students and community.
If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch with us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org