Honestly, I still have to pinch myself to believe it was real! I was asked to take Revival Retro to Downing Street. What an honour and a privilege for a small business owner!
Revival Retro is seven years old thats young enough that I still feel I'm not sure what I'm doing but old enough to know that I'm doing something right because we are still here.
Like many small business owners it's a constant battle, personally and professionally to have the confidence, the willpower, the ability and ambition in just the right balance to move the company forward. It's a difficult balance and I think everybody doubts themselves.
That's why the last few months have been such a positive reinforcement; selected for the #SmallBiz100, all the reviews and votes we got in the Love London Awards, winning Time Out Magazine 'Best Shop' again, many things but now on top of everything else ... an invite to Number 10.
The invite was to the launch of Small Business Saturday UK. Revival Retro was to help represent small retail businesses in the UK as part of promoting the campaign. Imagine! Of all the small businesses in the UK we were one of the few to be selected to attend Downing Street, in fact it felt a bit of a responsibility. I meticulously planned, spent far too long deciding what should, could, would... roped in the whole team to get everybody involved!
So on the morning, as the alarm clock went off, you will be surprised the calm, collected and completely prepared Rowena got a sudden attack of the nerves. Seems silly really but it's true, I hid under my duvet for at least half an hour! I realised I was being ridiculous of course but not before I had caused myself to be late enough that there was not enough time for coffee, breakfast or any more faffing around!
I have to admit, one of the best parts of the day was getting in the taxi and the driver asking "where to, love?" and me saying "10 Downing Street, darling" (you have to imagine the ridiculous put on voices ;-) ).
Anyway, maybe it was the nerves giving way, the lack of coffee, the excitement of the destination ahead, but I became completely hyper. My cabbie thought I was hilarious ... and a bit nuts!
So having failed to get breakfast I'll tell you my biggest disappointment of the day; I turn up at Downing Street and do you know, there was no tea and biscuits!!!! I mean what? Come On? Downing Street? Ha ha. I got over it.
No I didn't meet Theresa, no I didn't get to meet the cat, yes it is amazing inside, no I didn't shout about my personal grievances with this government, yes I did do everything I possibly could to support Small Business Saturday. On the whole the day was full of surprises and was just really motivating and inspiring.
Anyway, I set up my stall showing off my Revival Retro wares ready for ministers, important bods and the press. It was all quite exciting. What was really wonderful, more so than meeting ministers was meeting other small business owners. We do all struggle, we do all work really hard, we are sometimes filled with self doubt but on that day we were able to rejoice. To celebrate ourselves, to celebrate all the small businesses in the UK.
So, a real big thank you to Small Business Saturday UK for keeping the momentum of the campaign going, for the invite to Downing Street and to all the other small businesses out there, together we make the UK better.