What made you start up your lifestyle store?
To be honest, it was mostly a now or never moment. I saw that the premises was up to let and arranged a viewing and it was a perfect size to start in. It has an upstairs where I now have my ceramics studio set up – meaning I can factor this in with the shop perfectly! The premises came with small clause, this being that our lease is only 10 months long. I took this as a positive though, and felt that it was a perfect chance to test the water and see if my shop could and ideas could survive in my city, without having to sign a ridiculous 10 year lease!
How did you create your brand, and why is it important?
All the branding for the shop was done by myself. I have a creative background (I studied illustration at NUA, as well as many other art courses throughout my youth) so this was a no brainer. All of the shop fittings were also made by myself and Alfie at Alfie’s parents house! For me, it was important to keep the shop minimal, helping to maintain the focus on the product. I also wanted the shop to have a sleek feeling, but without being too pristine so our customers wouldn’t feel our products were too precious.
I think I’m phenomenally bad at picking names for anything, so it was a pick up a book and look for something that sounds/looks/is nice moment! I went in with some ideas though. I knew I wanted it to be short and sweet, and it was also important that it looked nice written down. Elm is a totally non-offensive word, and fits all of the other above criteria!
Would you recommend starting a business to anyone else? If so, why?
I would 100% recommend starting a business to anyone who wants it or is slightly toying with the idea. I think you have to be a specific type of person to manage it, there have been a fair few rough patches already but they always settle in the end (at least they have done so far!). I believe it is important to know it is what you will enjoy doing no matter what. I still have a lot to learn, but I have so many plans and dreams to expand the store in the future already.
Any new years resolutions for Elm in 2018?
Our main goal for 2018 I guess is to keep things fresh for our customers, always having new and exciting products and brands in store. We have just received a huge batch of house plants and our customers are loving it! I’m excited to find and support more businesses throughout 2018.