The Prettiest Shop on a Dead End Street

This weekend marks the first anniversary of My Little Caravan moving out of our backyard and parking behind a brick and mortar shop in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

 Our Little Caravan: The Collective Store opened its doors on Saturday 22nd 2015.  You can read about the complete shop renovation here.


Our Little Caravan - Shop children's birthday parties

Now we have the last 12 months under our belt, a journal (or two!) worth of knowledge and a lot more of an idea of what opening a brick and mortar shop front business actually looks like.

Around 14 months ago I visited a lovely shop in East Ringwood called The Fair Trader.  They had opened their doors six weeks prior to my visit…and I had just picked up the keys to our own shop. When I excitedly told the owner of The Fair Trader that I was about to open Our Little Caravan, she said to me “There should be more shops like us around”.  What I noticed was that there was not a trace of competition in her voice.  Just encouragement. 

Our Little Caravan - Shop children's birthday parties

Have you ever wondered how some businesses even manage to stay in existence?  I’m sure the “manly men” who work at Sports Turf (that’s the shop next door to Our Little Caravan: The Collective Store), must have had conversations to that effect about our small business.  We’re definitely the prettiest shop – on a dead end street!

(That’s us…at the far right end!)

Our Little Caravan - Shop children's birthday parties

If you had dreams or still have a dream to open your own brick and mortar shop – with the added challenge of doing so in this online shopping age – then this is the blog for you. You will read valuable information that I wish I’d known along the way, and read inspiring stories of other small, creative business start-ups – that managed to beat the odds. (We all love THOSE kinds of stories)  I will also share what has worked for us.

Our Little Caravan - Shop children's birthday parties

One thing I know, is that you are never done with learning. 

 I am so grateful to all the people I have met over the past 12 months that have been so generous with sharing their expertise and experiences. There will be many more people like them ahead I’m sure. I look forward to sharing their insights and my experiences with you through this blog.

Have you ever had a dream to open a shop front business?  Maybe a café or a bookshop? An antique store? A craft shop? I’d love to hear about your dreams.