After ‘shopping local’ to help a rescue, a jewelry store is poised to glitter.
Sam Baker, a new store owner, is a survivor and a believer in the high street, eager to capitalize on better times when his modest jewellers reopens in a few weeks.
When the store Samuel James Jewellers in Bournemouth, which he had just taken over – and put his heart and soul into – was put under lockdown last June, Crusader covered his situation. It was all Sam had hoped for and put his heart and soul into, a treasure trove of affordable, largely vintage pieces with an unique repair service. But, because he didn’t have any sales or rates to pay, he slid through the cracks, missing out on a Coronavirus small business award by only one day.
Last week, he told Crusader, “I knew if it got this terrible, I’d never be able to reopen, and my dream was finished.”
Fans of buying locally, as well as family and friends, rallied around him after learning of his difficulties, and some additional small grants became available, keeping the firm afloat.
Sam says, “That’s what got me through.” “I ceased to be concerned about the future. I saved every dime I had in order to buy stock.
++ Please contact consumer and small business champion Maisha Frost at [email protected] if you’ve been affected by this issue or believe you’ve been a victim of injustice.
“I’ve discovered that when the storefront is crammed with exhibits, visitors tend to stay longer. Perhaps because we’ve been so separated, sparse and modern seem to be less popular. My clients appear to be of all ages and are acutely aware of how important it is now to shop locally and support their community.”
He’ll start selling on the internet, but his heart is still in the high street. “There isn’t a soul working alone in a room with a computer in retail,” he says.