When we announced to our friends and family on Facebook that we’d become owners of a coffee shop the reaction was phenomenal. The only times that compare to the reaction it garnered are previous key life milestones: when we got married; when we announced we were having a baby; when we had a baby. It seems ‘when we bought a coffee shop’ can be added to that list.
For some this has come out of the blue. What the hell are we doing opening a coffee shop? Shanshan was previously an IT auditor for KPMG and I’m still plying my trade as a freelance web/ux designer. Catering and hospitality doesn’t feature on our CVs apart from a brief summer job I had as an ice-cream man when I was at uni (that’s another story).
So how do you get from responsive stylesheets and Photoshop to loose teas and homemade cakes?
Friends and family closer to us though know that we’ve been trying to start some kind of business for a while now. Poking at the fringes of the business world in a pursuit of our own freedom and purpose for being on this planet in the first place. Usually we had some kind of grand vision to disrupt an entire industry…
“Let’s export wine to China!”
“I’m gonna completely reinvent how the world buys clothes online!”
“I’ve got an idea that’s going to completely blow the betting world apart!”
Repeat until we become predictable.
Although most of those ideas didn’t get past a drunken fantasy, some of them actually happened, believe it or not.
The point is that we aren’t really fully content plugging away with the daily grind (pun intended) of a nine-to-fiver. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a regular job. I still have and enjoy mine thoroughly. But we work best when we’re swinging for the fences. Sometimes our arms get tired.
Generally, people are just excited for us. Running a coffee shop is something that’s so real and familiar to people it seems to resonate with them. I’ve lost count of the number of friends, colleagues or randoms that have confessed that they dream of doing what we’re doing. Or told us about this great coffee shop they know, or want to simply offload their vision of what we should do. It’s great. We love it.
To have started a new (ad)venture is daunting and you’ll always doubt whether it’s the right path for you. The knowledge that everyone you care about cares deeply about what you’re doing, and supports you in this new chapter helps so much. In many ways it’s already become a shared vision with friends. They’re on this journey with us and our success or failure will elate and hurt them too. We can’t tell you how much that support means to us.
I don’t believe that old mantra that people want you to fail. I’ve never seen it. I’ve only ever experienced the complete opposite.
So thank you all for the love and interest you have in our little coffee shop. All we’ve got to do is try and live up to all your expectations now. We’ll do our best. We promise.
We’ve dived right in the deep end with careless abandon and enthusiastic optimism now. We’ll make mistakes, sure. Maybe we’ll even drown. I hope you can follow us on this journey and watch us try to learn how to swim. Knowing you’re all there for us means everything.
Now then, which way is up?