Closing our bricks-and-mortar shop
From Cate Gilpin, owner of Brown's...
In early July we will be closing our doors.
I have been grappling with this decision for many, many weeks (well months really) and have not been ready to share until now, and to be honest I would have kept putting it off, but the real estate agent needs to put up a for lease sign...
And I want to say I'm sorry you're reading this on our website and I can't tell you either over the phone or in person. I have so many lovely relationships through the shop (with makers, customers, fellow retailers) and I would've loved to honour those relationships in telling you this news more personally - but I just don't have the capacity to, and I'd probably cry my eyes out.
As you know we always want to be honest in this space, so here's the background info... Our lease finishes in July, and to be honest I was already thinking back in March that I would be ready to close the brick and mortar space at the end of this lease.
Running a shop has been dream realised for me, and a privileged opportunity. It's so pretty, I get to choose everything, I only stock makers and brands that are ethical and that I believe in and I have met incredible, creative souls who make and design beautiful things; I have done so many exhibitions and events at Brown's that excited and inspired me; I worked with an incredible bunch of amazing women including my bestie, and have had the most glorious collection of customers, many of whom I now know well and truly adore. Plus many, many more beautiful things have happened here...
But some hard things too...
I have worked very hard work for very little money. I had flexibility to be with my boys as needed, but hugely late nights working at home. And I have to tell you that Christmas running a shop is truly wonderful but also the most stressful, insane, exhausting thing.
Plus guys, I had a baby last year, he's only 10 months old and I'm tired.
So there's all of that.
And then the global pandemic hit and there was no decision really, I cannot commit myself or my family to another lease at this time - the stress and uncertainty and financial impact is just too much.
But we will be around until early July.
We do plan to continue our online store, my weekly emails and some semi-regular pop ups going forward, but the physical store on Latrobe Terrace, and the current iteration of the business will be closing.
I will make a plan to do some visiting days so hopefully I can say goodbye face-to-face with lots of you. (I have recently started a part-time job elsewhere so my days are limited).
PLUS, we will have a goodbye weekend with bubbles and cake! We will let you know about that on our socials and via email so please keep an eye out.
We love you and we are so grateful for you.
Cate and the Brown's team xxx