At market I’m often asked if I have a shop and I’ve happily answered yes with the online address for some time now while my neighbour Jacqui at Bondi markets gives out her bricks and mortar shop address.
For my friend Jacqui the idea of an online shop is overwhelming with all the work that needs to be done to get it launched and going while she carries a huge amount of stock in her stunning and popular homewares shop, Damask, at Balmain.
To me the costs of setting up a bricks and mortar shop and carrying all that stock is overwhelming. It takes years for an independent shop owner to build up a fully stocked shop.
I’ve come to see over the years that it’s all a matter of perception. Another friend of mine is working on setting up a co-op to make her first move into having her own retail space.
Co-ops are focused around a theme to bring together the participants and attract customers with a similar focus.
The more I’ve learnt about the process of setting up a co-op by watching one form the more I’ve become fascinated with them, especially as a starting point.
By working as a group you get to enjoy the advantages of defraying the risks as they are spread out over a number of people, so too are the costs of rent and labour and you get to benefit from the power of a built in network of people who have their own skills and connections.