The shop that was shared.
Once upon a time there was a lovely shop in Guisborough called Maison Belle, owned and run by a gorgeous princess and her beau who loved their little shop and their home town.
The princess decided she would like to share her little shop, sent a message to 4 likeminded business ladies which said: ‘an interesting proposition’ and so Ruby and Blue became one of the 5 businesses running Maison Belle…
We’re 18 months in now, and the little shared business has grown and evolved into the delightful double fronted shop of delights we have today.
I wanted to tell you more about our shop in the town nestling below the Moors.
Maison Belle was the brainchild of Laura and Neil, and ran for three years, selling gifts, homewares and a premium paint brand before we came along. Laura works full time and between running the shop with her soon to be husband, she up-cycled furniture , sold to people in their homes and was a talented interior designer and maker of high quality home textiles, later to become her ‘Pinky and Binky’ brand.
After deciding to discontinue selling paint, we were grateful that she had considered us as potential shop-sharers, as a way of sharing the load of running an independent business.
I met Laura a few years before; I knew her to say hello to, as Maison Belle was one of the only places at the time to buy gifts in the town, but we became closely connected after starting to run Totally Locally together.
Through the Totally Locally market, she met her new shop-mates; Glass artist and silver jeweller Geraldine of ‘Bean Creative‘, Wedding guru and sign designer Abi of ‘Oh, Abigail‘ and accessories queen Kim of ‘Daisy Bloom‘, and we were the objects of her new plan, and it’s worked ! Thanks Laura X
We’ve often been asked how we managed to continue to get on, and I can probably sum it up in some simple tips I have learned from the ladies of the shop:
- Let everyone have a chance to shine
- Be kind when there is an issue, and support eachother
- Don’t leave anyone out
- Plan the shop as a team
- Keep talking (we use Facebook chat)
- Have meetings in the pub (and have fun)
Take a look at the Maison Belle facebook page, run by Laura for all our updates at the shop here.
My Musical Lot
We’ll start this bit with my lovely girl, Sadie. She’s been singing since I can remember, in front of people for many years, and writing songs since the age of 8.
Her music has become more sophisticated so has her voice and guitar playing, and now Sadie’s an accomplished performer, who goes by the stage name ‘Sadie Joan’ and can be found here on Facebook.
The photos on her page were taken by brother George, whose musical talents lie in an altogether more technical area. George is just about off to Leeds for a degree in Music Tech, and plays a a mean keyboard as well as knowing the ins and outs of a synthesizer and recording equipment. George started volunteering at a recording studio at 15, and now helps at local Redcar radio station Zetland FM, sometimes running a show with his sister. If you live around Redcar you can tune in on a Tuesday eve (until he runs off to Leeds) or you can find it online here.
I’d like to think they got this musical talent from me, but apart from a bit of backing singing in my 20s, the ‘Partridge Family’ (ask your Mum) harmonies in the car and being able to play ‘Danny Boy’ on the piano very badly, my musical skills are none. Their Dad, however has bass playing in his blood. He’s currently to be found as part of local band Little Mirrors, who Sadie sometimes supports, and is connected to late 80s squat punk band Axegrinder, as well as Ska band Intensified and Funk Punk group Seep, playing in both of the last two bands when I met him.
It’s no wonder the youngest two of family Rogers are so musical with a dad with such a varied musical background, but the creative home of Ruby and Blue is a music filled one, and that’s how we like it.