Emily Grace introducing
“It’s an absolutely perfect time for opening a small non-essential shop in premises set back off the main road with limited parking options nowhere near any other shops during a global pandemic” – said NO-ONE EVER!
Happy Things in beautiful Bishops Waltham is a fair trade shop of ethically sourced gifts, clothing and soft furnishings, the advent of which was as much a surprise to me as anyone! Behind the shop is a peaceful therapy clinic from where I offer transformational holistic therapy for real results of lasting positive change. Which was less of a surprise!
I feel so blessed with my encouraging friends and our wonderful community who have wooed about Happy Things and wished me well – thank you! And so especially grateful for all the lovely folk who have come out of their way to investigate and support the business in these early days, I so appreciate it, THANK YOU! That 'lovely-kind-and-interesting-people' magnet that I stuck on the door was a fabulous investment ;).
Happy Things had a hiccuppy start, due to open on 5th November, the first day of the 2nd lockdown. And then of course locked down again for 4 months after three weeks trading. Having found myself – like so many of us – in a challenging financial situation, you could say that was terrible luck. But, frankly, I could only find it fascinating timing to add to an unexpected situation. Truth is, I’m an ex-retailer who thought I’d become ‘allergic’ to retailing. All I had been looking for was a room from which to offer therapy and coaching in person as well as online. But, one serendipitous two-minute conversation with my dear friend Hilary (and owner of Rainbows), and a subsequent conversation with a festival trading colleague led to ‘Ahhhh, I’m opening a shop in 10 days!’ (or so I thought!). And I was unexpectedly excited about it. Happy Things - small as it is - seemed to have a force of its own!
All the adversities, however, only helped bring into focus what I was inexplicably excited about. It wasn't about being a shopkeeper with things to sell per se. Things are just things after all. It's their essence and what things mean to us that count.
Meanings & Feelings
Often the first reaction from my lovely visitors when they walk in - apart from "Wow it smells lovely in here" - is a combination of, “It’s so calming”, “It feels so cheerful”, “there’s such a good feeling in here” and best of all, “You can feel the love in here”. That makes me a happy thing! :D
After all - while Happy Things is considered a ‘non-essential shop’ - isn’t that what we all need in these strange, uncertain and stressful times: to feel calmness, cheer, goodness and love? As a therapist, the entire purpose of my work is to help lead others to feel and experience those good things - along with a healthy dash of permanent self-empowerment! :).
We’ve all discovered, perhaps recently more than at any other time in our personal history, how important it is to feel connection, love and a sense of community far beyond the value of our ‘things’ (other than loo-roll maybe;)). We can’t buy or sell those qualities, but we can give and receive them to create a more joyful and fulfilling life.
Happy Things Ethics
Happy Things feels good not least because of the conscious goodness behind the products; all made from ethically sourced materials, and skilfully hand-crafted with zero children or adult slave labour. So, they’re kind to the planet and humanity while bringing a touch of happy, hippy colour to our wonderful village. Everything is fairly traded with many suppliers who actively help build skills in communities and improve healthcare and education where there was once poverty.
What perhaps I'm most proud of are the gorgeous rugs made entirely from plastic bottles - and you really wouldn't know it, except that you can wipe or hose them clean! And use them outside! Soft and hard-wearing, these rugs are UV stable, pet-proof, child-proof and clumsy-partner-proof, that provide versatile, long-lasting luxury for our homes while solving a real problem across our beautiful planet. We have a few locally crafted pieces too - and so many thanks are due to Trevor from Treasure Trove in Teignmouth (that's a lot of alliteration!) for initially supplying so much to get Happy Things started. Please do come and check out his exclusively made silk dresses from recycled sari's!
Behind the shop, I provide professional holistic therapy that offers real transformation for my clients - also available online if preferred. We've certainly all been facing a lot of stress and re-evaluation of our lives in the last year or so, and help is at hand. My specialism tends to lean towards resolving chronic, stress-related mental, emotional and physical conditions that conventional medicine struggles to resolve, and there's no better feeling than witnessing my clients become happy and free from issues that have long held them back from enjoying life as they should. I am an insured member of NCP, IICT, SWA and CTAA. You can find out more about the therapy available here.
Pop In and Say Hello
Opening hours are split between the retail and therapy sides. Yes, I discovered that - despite being a woman - I can’t be in two places at once 😉. Please come and visit and bring your own bags if possible. We continually have new stock arriving and once gone, may not come back. But we’ll always, always have incense! And often little-to-no sense! In the meantime, breath, smile, 😊 count your blessings and give yourself a big hug of love and appreciation. You’re worth it! I look forward to having the opportunity to welcome you to Happy Things! And for those not so local, some products will be online soon.
With love and best wishes, Emily x
Happy Things proudly supports Action for Happiness (www.actionforhappiness.org) and Charity: Water (www.charitywater.org) who work tirelessly to bring clean water to millions where it is needed around the world.