FROM AN IDEA TO A REALITY
Hello there. I am Monica.
Spotty Pots has been a nagging gem of an idea in the back of my head that I would visit during difficult times as a little bit of escapism, but it wasn’t really born until May 2021.
We were visiting my really good friend Rachel, who owns a similar business in Cheltenham, and she asked me the same question she has asked me repeatedly over the years.
“Why aren’t you doing this?”
I honestly couldn’t really answer. When my children were small, I retrained to be a Children’s Speech and Language Therapist and worked, for many years, with an incredible team of dedicated therapists, teachers, parents and young people.
Although challenging at times, I liked what I was doing, but something was missing. I loved the practical aspect of my work, helping groups of people of all abilities with their functional and social communication skills. I loved the interaction during professional training sessions and the direct feedback from the families I worked with, but as with lots of people, the lockdown years took their toll, and I was loving it less.
I think the one thing that last few years has taught is that social connection is the thing that was more valuable than all of the stuff that we accumulate and surround ourselves with. We could order all manner of items online during the lockdown, but we couldn’t have those shared face to face experiences. Being in the same space as the people who get you became something that we yearned for and missed terribly.
I believe that if your heart isn’t singing doing what you are doing, then you should step aside and let someone else have a go.
a diamond in the rough
So, in May 2021, following heartfelt conversations with my eternally understanding and supportive family, I made the decision to stop daydreaming and step aside. We took the first step by looking for a place for Spotty Pots to be. We found it in Studley. A bit of diamond in the rough, “the old wedding dress shop”, as it was locally known, stole my heart.
Something about this place spoke to me. It’s had many lives over the years and been the venue for many stories. Blushing brides having their final fittings, and further back, a pillar of the community as the local Coop selling everything from meat to petticoats.
We made an offer in June 2021 and it took until January 2022 for us to get the huge bag of keys. Most of these keys, by the way, we are still finding locks for!
Then followed a journey of discovery. Not least because we uncovered a huge amount of space at the back of the shop that we honestly hadn’t even been able to set foot on, thanks to the 8ft high brambles.
The brambles were cleared, new car park was put in place, and sleeves were rolled up. Because of rising costs across the board, our budget, which had seemed quite healthy, now looked a little … let’s say peaky. This meant that favours were called in and much of the unskilled work was done by my family and friends, who are, just about, still talking to me.
Fortunately, there were too many reasons to do it than not, and so here we are. That little idea is becoming a reality.