My business journey has always been a very open one. Since I first opened Hero almost four years ago, I have celebrated the highs and shared the difficulties with you so it feels only right that you are the first to know the latest news.
From this Sunday 27th May, we will be closing the doors of our Alresford store (we will be open Saturday as usual).
The truth is that retail is tough, having your own business is tough and for the past few months life has become pretty tough (see my instagram for what's been going on). And so, this decision has come from a very personal place and an inate desire to simplify my life.
It's so easy to share the good times, the celebrations and the wins but a little more uncomfortable to talk about things when they're not going so well.
It's been a really difficult decision to make - after all, any decision like this has a huge ripple effect and it impacts many people.
"Never have I felt more like a business owner. No-one else was going to handle this but me".
I have an incredible support network of family and friends but only I was going to make this happen.
After four years of growing, pushing, hustling...whatever you want to call it, it's time to unpick things and take it back to basics.
Here are the things I've learned...
1. Break everything down into manageable chunks
...and remember to breathe!
Big decisions are overwhelming and can fry your brain! The panic sets in and suddenly everything becomes 'stressful' ( a phrase I hate to use ).
Set yourself ONE task for the day and do that. Once you've done that task, set it to one side and only then look at the next job on the list.
2. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
If you're outside your comfort zone, you will always have fear. Embrace it, take a deep breath and just do it.
Accept that things will be uncomfortable.
Not everything is going to be easy and fun, there are hard times which I believe are set to test how we much we believe in ourselves. As Friedrich Nietzsche says, 'What does not kill you, makes you stronger'!
Accepting and acknowledging the fear instead of resisting it only sets to make the process easier.
3. Talking to people is so much easier than you think.
Possibly the most important lesson I learned.
As soon as I opened up about how I was feeling about things I was truly overwhelmed with how understanding and supportive people were - we are all human beings.
I picked up the phone and spoke to people in person. People appreciate this so much more than an email or text.
Ultimately, making this big decision has been a series of very small steps. I've grown as a business owner and a person and I'm feeling positive about the future, just one day at a time.
Thank you for being here.
All photographs by SarahLou Francis
Hi Laura, I loved reading this post. I too am a Boutique owner in Surrey and love your shop in Stockbridge (I pass through Stockbridge on the way to Dorset to see my parents) – I love the style you have created and the products you have curated – it is beautiful and an inspiration to me. I totally understand the struggles you are talking about and the daily ups and downs and what a big decision it must’ve been to close a store – but sometimes, these are the best decisions as they allow us to focus on what’s most important. Take care, Claire x
Sometimes one meets somebody with a spirit that’s special. You inspire so many people by just being you. You are such a success as a person not just in business
Laura, you’re right. Retail is very hard at present and when running a small business, we face a myriad of challenges and wear millions of hats. Not in the fashion sense necessarily!
Your generosity and spirit have really inspired me personally and professionally and I truly value the caring, interesting and stylish atmosphere you create around you and at Hero.
With the e commerce platform your store may have a larger footprint than you know!
I’m sure this is a decision you’ve taken carefully and wish you, your family and lovely team all the very best and I’m looking forward to popping in to Hero again soon and hope to see you soon!Tamsin x
Laura you are beyond wise and whilst I know you didn’t come to this decision lightly, I know its the right one for you. You’ve built something so entirely amazing and you have to let it be what it wants to be. And if that means it being contained physically in one building then thats all it is – physical and geographical. In terms of the spirit and meaning of hero, its so much more than that. Big love to you and the amazing team there – I think you’re all incredible and destined to do great things! xxx