It's safe to say we are all missing that high street buzz, especially around this time of year when the magical build-up to Christmas starts, there is nothing quite like popping into one of your favourite shops and picking out the best gifts for your family and friends. This month we caught up with Bill from Bill & Berts, who are our Stockist of the Month for November, to talk all about their shop which is nestled in the wonderful town of Colchester.
Tell us a little bit about your shop Bill & Berts:
Bill & Berts opened on the 1st of August 2019, our name was inspired by my beloved dog Bertie, who unfortunately we lost in 2016. When I decided to take on the ex-Karen Millen shop unit in Colchester, which is around 2,500 square feet, most people thought I was mad, especially in this climate but I knew we could make it work and I had this vision. The shop has this quirky layout which stood out, and I knew we could create a shopping experience that customers would love.
What do you love about being a shop owner?
The best thing about being a shop owner is when the stock that you have taken a chance on and believe in starts to sell and becomes really popular, I then know that we are getting it right for our customers. I also love it when our customers say that we’re their favourite gift shop, especially our male customers who don’t usually do the gift shopping, we’ve officially converted them.
Have you ever had any famous faces pop into the shop?
Not as of yet, but the day will come!
Three words to describe your shop?
Best customer service.
Tell us a little bit about the place you are located:
We are in a very strong secondary location in Colchester, which is one of Britain’s oldest towns. Sir Isaacs walk and Eld Lane are similar to historic lanes which are full of little independent shops and cafes.
Your favourite time of year in the shop?
I would usually say November and December with the magical build-up to Christmas, so this year it's very frustrating for us and we’re missing seeing all our lovely customers pop in to buy their festive gifts for family and friends. I must say I do enjoy the trade show season too, we have Top Drawer at the end of January and then Spring Fair.
Your favourite moment in the shop?
It has got to be winning the award for the Best New Shop in the South of England and Wales at the Greats Awards. This was an amazing moment for me, my business partner Sarah and our excellent staff. It shows the reflection of the customer service we give to every one of our customers.
What first attracted you to Sophie Allport products?
I’ve worked in the gift trade in one form or another for a while, and Sophie’s designs have always stood out to me in a very subtle way, they are just right up there for us. There are some really great ranges to choose from, and the quality is always amazing.
What’s your favourite Sophie Allport collection?
Bees & Fetch
Finally, where can people find you?
Bill & Berts
Sir Isaacs Walk Colchester Essex