Ohh Deer Interviews: Happydashery

Ohh Deer Interviews: Happydashery

Welcome back to "Ohh Deer Interviews"! 
In this post, we're shining a spotlight on a business that's self-confessed ethos is to create 'little bits of happy'. We chatted with Sarah and Carrie from Happydashery to learn more about their story, their wonderful products and creative workshops, and to learn from any wisdom they were willing to share.

Get comfy, grab a cuppa and let's dive in! ✨

Can you introduce us to Happydashery?

Happydashery is a bricks-and-mortar shop in the market town of Leighton Buzzard, as well as being online. We buy from a lot of unique independent makers and designers in the UK and some further afield, and hope we have curated a joyful mix of lovely things you won’t typically find on the high street. Our tagline is ‘little bits of happy’ and that’s exactly what we want our customers to be able to buy and enjoy when they step into our shop or shop with us online.

What encouraged you to go into business together? 

We have always wanted to do something different in contrast with our initial chosen careers. Teaching Science and Software Testing, although great were not really what we wanted to spend the rest of our lives doing and they didn’t always allow us to be as creative as we wanted to be. Our love of the odd drink or two, and the desire to be able to do something we were really passionate about, as well as a little nudge from the epic @imlucyelliott and here we are!

What do you find the most rewarding thing about running Happydashery? 

Actually, there is a bit of a long list of our most rewarding things… We love that we have customers who have become friends. Those who just pop in for a chat. Getting to be a part of the community we have on the High Street, and having people come along to our workshops to try a different or new craft.
But we also love it when people just get what we are trying to do. To hear somebody belly laugh at some of the cards or see someone find the perfect positive message to send to someone having a hard time.

We know that running a small business can be stressful. How do you deal with that? Do you have something (a practice, mantra, ethos etc) that helps you to unwind? 

So we have two mantras … ‘Don’t be a dick’ and ‘They go low, we go high’.
This helps us get through most stressful situations, as long as we ensure we aren’t the ones being dicks! Aside from this we run workshops and we find actually having the time to participate in crafty activities alongside our customers is a great way to clear our minds and relax.

Your IG looks fab! You clearly get involved in a lot of community events. Is it important to you that Happydashery is part of the community? What is your favourite way to increase awareness of Happydashery to keep a steady stream of customers visiting your shop?

Being part of our community is absolutely essential to us and we want to further build on this. Leighton Buzzard is a small town that is growing rapidly and we want to continue to be part of the ever-growing creativite community in our town.

We aren’t just a shop, we host workshops and other events like private viewings, book signings and small business launches amongst other things. And we have just taken on a permanent workshop space next door to our existing shop. It is an old listed building that is absolutely stunning, but the landlord has just discovered a 7ft deep well in the kitchen... so it has been interesting!  

If you had to describe your buying style in one word…? 

Eclectic. When we see what we love, we have to have it! It’s an extension of ourselves and our sense of humour. As you can see we can’t keep to one-word answers, so let’s add 'waffling' as our second word.

Why do you buy from Ohh Deer?  

Why wouldn’t you?! You are the type of people who we love doing business with… Approachable, will work with us, friendly, funny, the very epitome of ‘not being a dick’ and your customer service is absolutely top-notch! 

Do you have a favourite Ohh Deer product and/or what Ohh Deer product sells the best for Happydashery?

So until the trade show, it was ‘Big Whoop!’ The angry-looking birthday cat… However you guys have upped the ante with the new cards on offer, we literally couldn’t stop laughing. From the very responsible, grown-up point of view, the daily planners are absolutely amazing too though! 

Shop Big Whoop Card

What's the best piece of advice you've received? And what would your advice be to anyone starting out in the retail space? 

Best bit of advice is ‘to just go for it’ and believe it could work, overthinking can kill great ideas. Oh, and finally, ‘Just don’t be a dick’.

And to end what's the worst piece of advice you have received?

We're not sure we've had terrible advice as everyone’s advice is valid in their own way! We have made bad decisions though. But that’s on us and they tend to be the best learning experiences. To end on another cliche, 'every day is a school day!'

All image courtesy of Happydashery! Follow them on Instagram at @happydashery

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