Here at Revival Retro, the whole team believes we are so much more than a "womenswear boutique". Our independent shop is a community hub, a place to make new friends, share passions, be inspired and feel good.
We fervently believe that retail is not just about standing behind a till, we love talking to people. We've got to know many of our repeat customers over the years, so much so that we know many on a first name basis. The amazing relationships built by our small independent business underlines why our supporters want to champion Revival Retro, are why customers keep coming back and why people care so much about our small business.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis of Spring 2020 we came very close to losing our central London shop. In late March / early April it looked as if our temporary closure might become permanent as the world came to a standstill, people stopped buying, we couldn't pay the rent, we were not eligible for a government grant, we couldn't access the government backed loans, we (like every other small business) were in a situation we had little control over. As the business owner, I simply couldn't see how we would make it to the end of April.
No amount of hard work or determination by me alone could turn things around in the short amount of time we needed, without relief from government or the banks the only way were going to survive this was with help from our friends.
I heard about the Pay It Forward Crowdfunder, a concept where you could encourage people to buy vouchers now to redeem later. With our loyal clientele this sounded like exactly the kind of thing our customers might get on board with.
And they did! We have been overwhelmed by peoples support. Our fans, followers and customers have eagerly pledged for which we are truly, truly grateful. Our supporters really have 'Saved Revival Retro'. We can now, say with certainty, we can continue trading through April and May.
What has been just as vital though, to our independent business and everyone that works within it, has been the accompanying comments. It has been amazing to learn how appreciated we are.
It's been stunning to learn how much people value what we do. It's one thing to say, with hand on heart, that we believe we provide something valuable but it's another to be told this by your customers, for it to be reflected back to you and demonstrated in a very public, community show of support.
It is magnificent to know that people understand what we are trying to do and they love it. They want to see us survive. It's not just our staff, suppliers, and extended team of regular freelancers that want to see us survive and thrive, our customers care too!
I could describe what it is that we do, why and how this makes the difference but instead let our customers tell you. They say it best. Here are just some of the 229 comments from people who pledged to our crowdfund.
They say that it's not until you risk losing something you realise how much it matters to you. Certainly that seems to be what has happened with The Revival Retro Boutique.