• Jan Baker

A New Hope...

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

If you're wondering what we've been up to this week, well, it started with an idea... The entrance to the Enterprise Centre has never really been used as a customer entrance and so it was in need of painting and looked quite univiting. The goverment had finally lifted lockdown and clinic was about to re-open. I'd been planning our "come visit us event" and thought that there must be some way of jazzing up the entrance without spending a fortune, that's if I could persuade my landlady (who is very good!!) to let me! And of course, she did because she's great like that! Thank you if you're reading this!

Next, what to do that isn't going to cost a fortune. Couldn't repaint it as there wasn't enough time & it's quite a large area which would need several coats of paint. Something to go on the wall then... that'd work. We came up with the bright idea of covering the old, bricked up windows with some sort of prints. I sent the other half to get some wood to make two frames, and while he was doing that, I dug out my old fabric and looked for a piece large enough to do the job. We love to recycle at home as much as in work and I managed to find a piece (which I absolute love btw) which was just... and I mean just.. big enough to make two "canvas" style prints to cover them. The other half literally put together two oblong frames and we covered them with fabric & just stapled the fabric down over them. I knew watching all those DIY programmes would come in handy one day! Laurence Llewelyn Bowen eat your heart out....

One thing though (and I tried hard not to laugh)... do remember about transportation... somebody (mentioning no names but it wasn't me) put one together and proudly took it down to the car (we have a 7-seater) and .... ooops... no way, no how, was it going to fit. It was just too big. He ended up taking half of it apart so it could be rolled up and put in the car, cursing as he did so. And since he had to re-build it on site, it made sense that he did the other one at the same time, to save having the same issue all over again. School boy error 101! As I said, I didn't laugh at all.... (I'm lying!)

Once that was sorted, there was still a bit of a bare gap. Hmmm.... Ah ha...we had kept the three "box" shelving unit out of the bedroom & this was just big enough to put in between to finish the space off. More recycling; it cost us £13 for the wood & about a fiver for the little, lavender display pots. Things were going well, |I was within budget, and I'd emptied the house of a bit more "stuff"...

Then we had a real stroke of luck. The local pub had been sold and the owners were getting rid of basically everything. Giving loads away for free or for literally next to nothing. We spotted some rather oversized plastic trees with some flowers and decided that they could quite possibly, look spectacular on the other side of the wall. No maintenance needed; they are huge and they cost us... wait for it.. a whole £7.50. For the two!

But, there was still a bit of a gap in the middle, so after scouting around a few buy and sell groups, we finally found a mirror for about a tenner which did the trick. We hadn't told any of the other business owners and so they all just rocked up to find a tropical greenhouse parked in the entrance... haha.... It's certainly been a talking point and I now love walking past this to get to work! At some point, I am sure that the yellow lines will be repainted, please and thank you, and then we'll really be all set.

Clinic had also been prepped. I have finally gotten around to re-stocking the lovely glass cabinet with our stock. All COVID-safe preparations have been made and we were ready to rumble as they say by the time we re-opened on the 12th. We've added some new privacy curtains to the windows which my mother-in-law, bless her, ran up for us. Again, two were made out of a spare yellow and white, Moroccan panel I had lying around - the other out of a king-size bed sheet - Mercury may be in retrograde when it comes to communication but the old creative chakra is working just fine!

It's a new beginning. We didn't have much time in October to get clinic up and running, as Caerphilly has been in some sort of lockdown or other, apart from a couple of weeks in the summer, since March 2020, so this time around we have a new hope that we can finally get going with it. It's quite an exciting start too as Superfast Business Wales want to publish my story about starting a close-contact business during lockdown and how I've had to adapt by going on-line to survive. But it's okay, I won't be charging you for autographs just yet....

Oh and talking of Mercury. I am not friends with Facebook. Don't laugh. Yes. Bloody technology. Again. This time FB has had a hissy fit and blocked me from posting in groups. We think my page had a "silent" hack but in any event, at the time of writing this, I can't re-post anything, I can't even edit my own posts on my own page from my own phone. My ad manager isn't just on strike, but has gone on holiday to Bora Bora and so the competition has had to be extended until Facebook get around to looking at all the bug reports I've sent them (about 7 so far, I think in total!) It's been hugely frustrating and so just to p*ss them off a bit more, cause I'm not a "cry in my soup" kinda gal, I started my own group called ReJuvenate with Jan. This month we're talking all things skin-related. I should really put something do to with Aromatherapy in the title but at the moment, I can't seem to find anything that sounds as good as the original. If you come up with any suggestions, please do let me know! This is my cover page and I love it! "If you're feeling a bit ruff..." (geddit!)

Otherwise, things have been ticking over. I seem to be spending money like it's going out of fashion but it's hard not to when you have so much to do. Apart from the normal day to day stock ordering, we're changing the signage slightly on the advertising totem by the main road, as I don't think the AromaOils logo stands out enough as people drive by. I've also ordered a waterproof banner - I'm hoping to do some markets as things open up a bit later on. And of course, we'll let you know when these happen in case you want to pop along and say hi. What I'm really looking forward to though, is meeting people again and for everyone to finally have the opportunity to actually smell some of the beautiful products we've been forced to keep in storage because of the pandemic. I'll be organising an on-line pamper hamper event soon, so if you haven't yet seen this either head over to the Facebook page or our new group for details. Now though I have to sign off as I need to go buy a couple of folders... I have procrastinated enough and must get onto the accounts today... ugg..

Stay safe, as always

Jan x

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