London, Our Shop

Remembering our Shop

On September 29th 2012, the doors of our retail shop opened on Chalk Hill in Watford. I wanted to commemorate the anniversary of this event two years ago and tell you all a little more about Graceful Avenue’s humble beginnings in the UK.

I remember that autumn day so clearly. Miraculously enough the sun shone down on us (no rain that day!) and everything went off without a glitch. I spent that day double-checking all the stock levels were correct and making sure everything looked clean and presentable. A few customers entered and some even bought something. It was a great start to our trading calender.

Interestingly enough I lived on the same street as my shop, so going to ‘work’ was not only quick and enjoyable, it was the most rewarding job I’ve ever had! I would cross the street on Mondays – Saturdays (you’d be surprised how difficult it was even though it had only one-way traffic!), unlock the door at around midday, make myself a cappuccino and work on my designs right there in the shop. Some days I could be seen making paper flowers, while other days I had my sewing machine out producing drawstring pouches. Time passed slowly but I enjoyed every single minute in there. Then at 4 o’clock I’d lock up, cross the street and I’d be home again! I knew I would never ever commute to work that easily again and I treasured every single work day I was fortunate enough to do so.

In the summer evenings I’d go bike riding through the forest a few blocks away from my apartment and smile to all the squirrels around me. We don’t have them in Australia. I learned to get into a rhythm where I worked 6 days in the shop and spent Sundays wandering the streets of London, discovering cute stationery stores, photographing picturesque squares and admiring everything the city had to offer from the eyes of a tourist. Secretly I was also taking inspiration from high-end shops and boutiques with regards to their store layouts, window displays and visual merchandising. London was full of creative energy and every step forward I took along their high street, only opened up a new web of thoughts in my mind as to the direction my shop could take. I didn’t realise it then, but I had a pretty great life.

I’m looking forward to possibly opening a shop again one day, but in the meantime I’m happy working in my studio and taking life as it comes.

2 Years On

Goodbye London

Sadly, we’re closing.

Goodbye London!

I knew it wouldn’t be easy to write this post but from the day my little shop opened its doors in September, 2012, I knew that these words would have to be written someday. After almost 11 months of trading in Watford, UK, we are closing this week and it brings me great sadness.

I am leaving for Melbourne, Australia, very soon. Australia is my home and I haven’t been back in almost 2 years so I can’t wait to return and catch up with friends and family, go to the beach, eat all the foods I’ve missed, have a barbecue in the backyard and hug my adorable cat, Boy Boy.

Graceful Avenue has been an absolute joy to run. I’ve had an incredible time being my own boss, working hours that suited me and watching my customers interact with the products I created. I’d like to thank each and every person that has ever stepped foot into my shop, whether just to browse or to purchase something. I cannot stress enough just how important customers are to small businesses. Without customers we can’t survive. I strongly urge you to support your local shops and businesses because they rely on YOU immensely.

I’m so appreciative of all my customers. Thank you for buying something that I designed or hand-crafted. As those of you who make things for a living would know, it’s such an amazing feeling when someone chooses to invest their money into something you made. I can’t describe exactly how it feels but I can say that I’m flattered and so truly grateful to you all for your investments.

Lastly, I just want to say a huge thank you to a very special lady who supported me time and time again. If you’re ever reading this, I hope you know how much your custom meant to me. You and your adorable baby were such a treat to have in the shop and I was always left in a great mood after you’d leave, yellow card bag in hand. Thank you so much for your support!

So what’s next for Graceful Avenue? We have lots of exciting plans for the future. Among these is to receive our professionally printed “Mishka Collection” cards and start approaching Australian retailers and gift shops asking them to be our stockists. Meanwhile, our Online Shop is still open for business but possibly only until October, so don’t delay visiting it or else it could be too late. Here’s the link:

This website will not be closing. I’ll be showing you my progress with the card range and what I get up to in Australia further. So please stay with me and continue to check in.

Goodbye London, you’ve been an absolute joy to live in and I leave you with lots of new stories to share, accomplished dreams and amazing memories.

Products, Travel

“Feeling the Heartbeat of Paris”

Last November I was fortunate enough to visit Paris, France. The 8 days I spent there were then transformed into a publication called “Feeling the Heartbeat of Paris”. This magazine showcases what I saw, where I went, my thoughts and feelings in one of the most romantic cities in the world. My photographs, words and illustrations help bring Paris to life like never before. I’m super proud of this magazine and would love you all to read it and experience the wonder of Paris for yourselves.

Click here to order your copy. It’s also available for purchase at our shop in Watford where you can flick through the actual glossy pages!

Here’s a special preview of the entire publication. Enjoy and please spread the word!

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