Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us……we’re actually pinching ourselves today as although we celebrated on Saturday, today is our official birthday! Who says it’s only the Queen who can have two birthdays….
It’s honestly hard to take it all in – 5 years ago today we opened our doors for the very first time, after just 3 months of hard work to get us ready. With 19 Makers and absolutely no idea what would happen we began life housed within Handpicked Hall, just above where we now live (in what has just become Roxy Merrion Street Bar).
Within 9 months we had moved out of Handpicked Hall and into to our current premises with a front door all of our own! And by the end of our first year in business we stocked the work of 45 local makers.
During our second year in business we began our Creative Craft Classes, we won our coveted Best Place to Shop in Leeds trophy and we achieved #1 on Tripadvisor for Shopping in Leeds. We were also described as the Best Handmade Department Store in town!
During our third year in business our family grew to include 60 Makers and we received our first Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence. We were also featured in the National Press with Your Home magazine including us in their Hidden Gem feature. However, we did lose our top spot for Shopping in Leeds – but it took two whole shopping centres full of big name stores to beat us so we still think of ourselves as #1!
During our fourth year in Business we won our beautiful Best Place to Treat Yourself in Leeds trophy and our second Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence. We also extended our lease for another 7 years so you’re definitely stuck with us for a while longer!
Our fifth year in business saw the effects of Brexit, the General Election and the increasing terrorist attacks. All of this has taken a big toll on the nation as a whole. Times are indeed feeling tougher now then when we first opened. However, we are surrounded by an amazing network of more than 70 Makers, we are supporting the local economy and we are continuing to champion Independent Retail. We’ve been much more involved in campaigns such as Just a Card, which encourages people to #shoplocal #shopsmall and not to apologise for buying #justacard. And we won another Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence!
We held our Big Birthday Bash last Saturday to celebrate turning 5 years old and we had an absolute blast! And as usual our awesome Makers were out in full force to enjoy the day with us and help us drink fizz and eat cake!
We’re always worried whenever we hold any of our events that we will be the proverbial Billy no-mates and sit twiddling our thumbs on our lonesome! But thankfully lots of family, friends and loyal customers popped along to party with us – phew!
We couldn’t do any of what we do without the support of you guys and for that we are eternally grateful We cannot tell you just how much it means that you still support us after 5 years of business – and lets raise a glass to many more to come!
Claire, Natalie and all of our OHC Family x