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Why closing down my market stall was a positive, progressive change

My headline isn't full of irony, its genuine truth about how closing my shop has brought me happiness. You will hear a lot about the struggles of high street retail, and I could point you in the direction of certain books published around the mid 1990s which predicted a decline in physical retail. I can't say that I had high hopes about my own store, my market stall in Knutsford, to be a roaring success. Hey, Jonesy, why would you try if you didn't think you could make it a success ?

Well, my answer to that might be something about hope, and something about life being all about experiences.

Its true. Life is more about experiences, more about the journey than the destination, but that's not the story today. The story is about what that failing market stall taught me. I learned that people respond to plants in a very special way, they pass by and want to reach out and touch the leaves, they want to be in an environment full of plants. Then the next thought, after the joy that brings a smile to their faces, is 'what if they die'

That's what a lot of people said to me, right before they carried on walking without buying the plant that they loved. They said 'I kill plants'. I heard it so often that I began to want to spend time with these people and help them grow plants. Exciting tropical indoor plants.

I also learned something about how the failing high street can reinvent itself. It can be a destination for experiences and events. To make this happen I have been spending time with some great people who run, own, and manage venues for hospitality. I have been able to agree that we can share their venue, both for their great food and drink, for their care and hospitality, and my planting experience. So instead of selling a plant in a stall I get to share a few hours, share an experience. We talk about plants, we learn about growing conditions and we create a beautiful terrarium garden to take home. In some cases we become friends and we stay in touch. Its a magical transformation from retail as a flat brisk exchange of goods for cash, to a social experience. What comes next depends on all of you and your generous sharing of this message. If you click forward and send it to a bunch of friends, work colleagues and acquaintances in the area then my events will continue to be filled with happy people. Then I can plan for more events, candle making using only essential oils from plants and plant waxes. A workshop propagating plants from cuttings and unusual seeds. Planting and propagating cactuses and succulents...the list goes on. There is a lot to look forward to, so please be social. Send this to your contacts and ask them to share it, and reply to me with your comments. I love hearing from you all x

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