Posted on April 11 2017
I have always been surrounded by stimulus. From the colours and atmosphere of Caracas in Venezuela to working within the fashion industry and eventually moving onto my own cornucopia of a shop, my life has been a constant overflow of vibrant light, textures and patterns.
I also appreciate order and felt that ‘Alexandrea May’ had become a bit chaotic and lost its way over the years, bohemian and wonderful as it was.
One of the things about progress is it’s often necessary to take risks to move forward. I explored various options for refurbishment of the shop and at the same time, slowly (and with great difficulty I might add!) I stopped buying stock except, ahem, the most necessary of fabulous jewellery.
I had a sale for several months and after Christmas had cleared out all remnants of the old-look stock, I shut for several months.
Then the shop became a building site. I alternated said building site supervision with a stock take and had many sleepless nights filled with colour swatches and online furniture shopping. I also spent hours organising printing and framing of my holographic factual images of jewellery, while trying to get used to being adornment and make up free and figuring out a way to remove the ingrained dust from the pleats in my Issey Miyake clothing!
As expected there were delays and dramas but with support of my amazing staff and beloved ever patient husband, I manage to avoid my blood pressure taking the roof of the building off.
The builders were incredible and managed to calmly take down 200 lb mirrors, move them an inch to the left, rehang them, take them down again and move just an inch to the right... until they were perfectly placed.
Fulfilling a vision takes work, there is no two ways about it
Although I was able to purchase cabinets online and had workmen to do many of the necessary tasks, some things I designed and had built bespoke, such as the boxes in the side window. The back of the front window display cabinet I made myself and required many hours of patient measurement, cutting with a blade then carefully sticking the pieces to the frame (only occasionally losing them amidst the empty coffee cups, paint pots, carpet and wood flooring scraps and wrapping paper).
I needed to delay the opening a few times until I realised that I had to let go, take the risk, and welcome in my customers again (rather than have them trying to peer through the cracks of the brown paper that I’d put over the windows to keep the process of change hidden and make the end result even more magical!)
I finally reopened two weeks ago. The shop was decorated with opulent flowers that I had been given, and old customers and new started to drift in.
I’m still tweaking and adjusting, something I suspect will be an ongoing thing, but I’m so, so happy.
Taking risks is frightening but well worth it!
Now I’m going to have a few weeks recovery time in beautiful Bali, before I return to my jewellery wonderland. 'Alexandra May' is still open though, so do come in and check out my beautiful reimagined and reinvented shop