One of the toughest parts of my job is finding new products for the store, especially in this economy when suppliers are playing it safe and rather than bringing out new products are re-sizing, changing the hue and so on. Its also one of the most enjoyable especially when you find stuff that will transform. but the hours and hours of research and or travel that goes into it is something I never really talk about. We've got where we are today by thinking differently, but boy does that take work.Â The mass homogenisation going in the interiors industry means itâs hard to tell stores apart any more. Some have a voice and a distinct point of view but many sadly don't. A few years back a store not a stones throw from us pretty much copied most of our product range. It wasn't subtle with the odd cross over product it was a blatant copy - she's doing well they thought lets just rip off everything she has. The downside for them is regrettably they had no clue on how to style such products, arrange them so that they tell a narrative and delight and tantalise a customerâs eye. You could tell walking into their store that they didn't feel anything about the products, they didn't really give a ratâs ass, lazily they thought we were onto something so they would copy. Except they forgot one thing - you get nowhere by copying, if you don't have your own voice and your own perspective, you might us well chuck the towel in. Secondly if you're in the industry purely to jump on someone elseâs band wagon and make a quick buck then regrettably you're days are numbered I hate to say.Â Its a tough old game retail - you don't just open the door and hope you get sales and press attention you've got to be passionate, obsessed even and have a distinct point of view. You've got to love, I mean love what you sell. Everything in my store is in my home - nothing will pass that threshold if I don't 100 per cent love it. Frustrating for the people that work for me because I'm passing up on money making products simply because 'I don't love them', but that is how I run this business and will continue to run this business. Today I actually meant to write a post on shelving but this just kind of poured out of me, hope you don't mind. I would say the same goes for interiors - there is no point following whatâs on trend when it comes to decorating homes. Its all about being inspired by and finding your own voice, and isnât that a far more fun and intelligent way to decorate? A few images of my store below: Oh and that store I just told you about, looks like its closing down!