The journey begins!

The Toy Collector is rapidly becoming a reality! Over the next 11 weeks I will tell you about the trials and delights we encounter as we turn a long held dream into an operating business.

When we decided 19 months ago that this was worth putting out time and money into we had no idea of the things that would trip us up. Both Alan & I have had businesses before and thought we knew most of the traps – what we hadn’t allowed for was how much the business landscape has changed in Christchurch after the earthquakes.

This has had two major impacts for us – firstly the building requirements for public spaces have changed so simple things like wall cabinets for displays have become a mission. This possibly would have been more manageable had it not been for the second impact which is the huge shortage / overwork / lack of interest shown by so many of the companies we approached to design and build the display areas. I am sure many people in Christchurch would echo our frustration with trades that don’t need extra work and really are not interested if the job isn’t simple and easy. We had numerous no shows for quotes, no quotes from visits and then people actually telling us it would be too expensive when we hadn’t given any budgets. I just hope that these businesses are ready for the backlash when the work does eventually slow down from the Christchurch rebuild as there will be many that need to relearn what customer service is about.

It’s not all bad though – we found a wonderful specialist display cabinet maker in Auckland who we are working with and finally we have found the right people in Christchurch to do the “impossible” of glassing in existing shelving areas!

It never occurred to us that the physical display space would be our biggest problem (to date!). Let’s hope that now we’ve got that resolved the rest will be plainer sailing.

Watch this space.

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