Why did you open a ski shop a million miles away from snow?
MadDogSki.com asks the owner of Love and Piste how she ended up with a shop selling ski wear in the British countryside.
Fourteen years ago I turned 39 … my kids were 5 and 7 … with the other half in tow, we decided to give skiing a go! First time for all of us and after a brilliant week in Alpe D’Huez attending ski school, we were hooked.
But back then, before the holiday, our first thoughts were: Where do we buy all our gear, where could we go to get everything for the whole family?
We stumbled across a little ski shop set up on a farm just outside a village in Leicestershire, quite by accident and what a find it was. The staff kitted us all out with everything from underwear and socks to goggles and jackets. They even threw in a free backpack (to soften the blow no doubt!).
Fast forward to 2016 and I was working part-time for said ski shop and had been for 6 years, we were all still skiing, kids were growing up and we were still kitting ourselves out, with a bit of staff discount this time! Loved the job and loved the business, so much so that when the original owner mentioned retiring I decided to take over ownership.
It took a little bit of planning and a few sleepless nights, but in 2017 I took the plunge!
We moved its location to a lovely renovated barn, still in the same village, and here we are, holding our heads up high in a turbulent retail market but doing what we do best – skiwear for the whole family, oh and we put a coffee shop in too, where customers and friends come to relax, chat about skiing and deliberate over new the ski jacket fashions.
With a new website to showcase the stock and a crack at social media we relaunched that little ski shop whilst retaining its name, its credibility and at its heart that family friendly vibe.
We love what we do, and we still manage to get away for a weeks skiing at the end of the season.