Welcome to the South Melbourne Market… but actually, you’re not welcome. It’s not open.
What a year it has been! I know I haven’t posted anything for quite a while but I have been a very busy woman.
Since last we met, many things have happened and not all of them great unfortunately.
We launched in September last year with a brilliant event at Coombe Estate in Melbournes outer east. It was an absolutely glorious day and I was so pleased to have such a beautiful event that ran without a hitch (of course, because I organised it and we all know how OCD I am). Coombe Estate is the late Dame Nellie Melba’s cherished home. Should you ever find yourself out in the Yarra Valley with nothing to do, you simply must drop in for a spot of high tea (with a cheeky glass of bubbles) or book a magnificent garden tour to take a gander at the most picturesque gardens you will ever see.
Once my gorgeous online boutique opened, I was on the lookout for possible places that Andrea Lucy could infiltrate!
The Curvy Design Market was the first place that I ‘set up shop’. It’s a great little market that is specifically for curvy women.
There were quite a few of those last year and we had two this year before COVID 19 shut everyone down. Geez if COVID 19 was a woman, she’d be such a basic bitch. Or even a Karen. Maybe a mixture of both! Anyway, she’d basically be a mole that everyone despised.
Okay, enough bashing of COVID/BASIC BITCH/KAREN.
During one of the Curvy Design Market events, I met a wonderful woman named Alison Dominy. She also has her own plus size label. We started chatting and we pretty much haven’t come up for air since. Already we are great friends and we both feel very passionately about Australian Made fashion.
As luck would have it, Alison was on the lookout for a fresh new designer to share a space at her upcoming pop-up in the South Melbourne Market. Of course I played it cool and was like ‘Oh yeah, that sounds pretty cool. I’ll have a think about it babe’… whilst on the inside I was jumping up and down and screaming my head off. These days I don’t have to hide my crazy from her, she knows I’m bananas but loves me anyway.
The first time we opened the shop, it was around the first ‘wave’ of COVID19 in Melbourne. We set up the shop on a tuesday and by the end of the next day, the market was shut down.
I was beside myself.
One day. One bloody day was all we were open for.
It was a really tough time as we didn’t know when we’d open again and we weren’t sure how the closure would affect our lease. Being a pop-up in the SO:ME space means we were only allowed to be open for six months. Thankfully the dudes who run the place are lovely and everything would just roll over when we opened up again.
Four or five weeks ago, we opened. Business was very slow as people understandably weren’t that keen on shopping. My lovelies, it was hard times.
That brings us to this week. As of yesterday, Thursday 9th July 2020, the market announced that we will be closing again for six weeks (in line with the current restrictions all over Melbourne).
Both Alison and myself are relieved and saddened.
We’re happy that we can stay at home and be safe but it’s yet another blow in an already shitty year.
Of course we can ‘PIVOT’ during these hard times… but frankly, pivoting can fuck right off. I’m never keen on buzz words and this one just makes me sick.
There’s already plenty of pressure without the added stress of satisfying some bullshit buzz word. Ugh. Rant over.
So here we are, in yet another lock down with the imminent possibility of Home Schooling. Again. That’s a whole other blog post so let’s just leave that one alone for now.
Now I know I’m being such a negative nancy but come on guys, let me whinge a little!
At the end of the day, I am a small business and I have been incredibly fortunate to be eligible for government assistance. Plus I was not able to produce my winter collection which was devastating but it did save me a lot of money.
I am grateful. Very grateful.
I know I’m in a very good position, even with all of the setbacks I’ve faced in this past year. Many people with businesses were not so fortunate and my heart truly goes out to them. Running a business is far from easy and it’s soul crushing when things don’t work out. I cannot even imagine dealing with that kind of stuff.
Tomorrow is a new day. It will only be day three of a six week lock down but I will use that time to play with the kids, sleep in… binge watch telly!
Be kind to yourselves and others.
Andrea Lucy x