I don't know about you, but when I was a little girl I loved to play shops. My brother, sister or one of numerous cousins would wile away hours with me as we raided the house for goodies to sell. Baked beans from the kitchen, cushions from the living room and ornaments from the bedroom would be priced up, displayed on the coffee table and sold to one another for made up, extortionate prices. Oh what fun it was!
Fast forward several decades and I am given the chance to work in a real shop. Not any old shop. This shop is a destination. This shop is a gorgeous, award-winning, gift shop called Daisy Park, located in the cute market town of South Molton in North Devon. Lucky for me then that the proprietor is my big sister, Emma!
Having a sister who owns a gift shop is an absolute treat: my kitchen cupboards are bursting with elegant Emma Bridgewater and Pip Studio china, floral handbags and scarves hang from every available hook, throws and cushions line my living room and the aroma of sweetly scented candles fill my home.
During the busy post-lockdown period, Emma needed an extra pair of hands to help out and I was her extremely willing volunteer. I travelled the hours drive from our home town in Somerset twice this week and spent a couple of days reliving my childhood games, surrounded by scrumptious goodies and spending the day nattering with my lovely sister. It was an absolute treat.
I know Em works hard to make Daisy Park a success - we talk almost daily on the phone and I love to hear her ideas about the shop and any new product lines that she is selling - but seeing her in action blew me away. She has a passion for providing an outstanding service and has an unwavering dedication to her customers, old and new. I saw the patience and respect she shows to her staff, the trust she has in them and what a special place Daisy Park is to be a part of.
I have loved every minute helping out - packaging up Erstwilder brooches, writing thank you notes to the customers and restocking the bags, soaps, diffusers and the vast variety of greeting cards. I was even trusted to rearrange and restock the fabulous Pip Studio dresser. No pressure then!
If you're passing through - or even near - South Molton one day, pop in to Daisy Park. You will be greeted by warm, welcoming people and be able to browse through some gorgeous gifts. I have always loved Daisy Park but now I can say that I truly am, a Daisy Parker. Any chance of a couple more shifts, Em?