A journey back to physical retail - Part Two

Seekology’s founder Rebecca writes more about our return to a real live shop:

As I have mentioned, physical retail is such an important part of Seekology’s rasion d’etre that I was very sad to say goodbye to our original store back in March.

Once I felt it was safe and appropriate to do so, I started looking for a new retail opportunity and was delighted that the team at bhuti were happy to host the second Seekology store.

How did you choose a new partner?

Bhuti is a luxury eco wellbeing escape in the heart of Richmond, on Richmond Hill. By opening here, Seekology benefits from being close to many of our original customers in Richmond as well as meeting new locals who are members of bhuti. Offering everything from facials to personal training, yoga to a vegan café, bhuti shares our ethos around wellbeing: that it’s important to try to live a better life without being preachy or obsessive.

Our original intention was to create some in-person events using bhuti’s incredibly beautiful spaces – take a look at the stained glass in the yoga studio! Whilst gatherings are looking a little trickier right now, we’re exploring ways we can create some online events together – particularly in support of Seekology’s selection for the in the Small Biz 100 this year. From October to December we’ll be celebrating our inclusion, culminating with an event for Small Business Saturday on 5th December – watch this space.

We are loving being part of the bhuti community so far; the team here are fantastic and we definitely recommend you pop into the café for a delicious vegan smoothie after browsing the Seekology store!

What’s the set up?

We have taken over the entire retail space at the entrance to bhuti, and are featuring 22 independent brands. Some of the brands will rotate in and out each month, so that each time you visit there will be new products to discover. In the run up to Christmas we’ll be bringing in more gift packaging and popular gifts such as candles made from natural soy wax and bath and body sets.

Which independent brands are being featured?

We are stocking 22 beauty and wellbeing brands – everything from organic skincare to vegan supplements to soy wax candles. Over the summer, when we were focusing on selling online, we launched number of new brands - we’re excited that some of these are being featured in our new store.

As ever, customers often want to smell, touch and try products before they buy, especially when it comes to products like moisturisers or candles. Some of my personal favourites that we now feature in the Seekology store at bhuti include the vegan, no-nasties nail varnish from Handmade Beauty and the beautiful (and slightly cheeky) bust candles from Interlude.

What’s selling well?

It’s exciting to see the variety of brands and products that are selling well. We’re doing a roaring trade in face masks (possibly to reduce the impact of “maskne”, which we wrote about here) as well as tried and tested products such as these jade facial tools from Rosalena and facial oils by Elan.

The bhuti customers are also buying things that are related to overall wellbeing, such as luxury yoga mats by Fable, these beautiful yoga mat carriers from Saia London – and of course, hand sanitiser such as the delicious neroli-fragranced Saltee Hands.

What’s next for Seekology?

It goes without saying that the overall retail climate remains uncertain; we’re conscious that many people around the country are still facing a tough time, for many reasons. We hope that we can continue to help our customers and improve their own wellbeing, as well as supporting the independent brands that we are so passionate about. And we believe that when it comes to Christmas, it will be more important than ever to shop small this year. We hope people will be consuming more consciously and will share this ethos!

 

Shop the Seekology store at bhuti at 50 Hill Rise, Richmond TW10 6UB – and if you’re unable to come to our shop you can discover over 70 independent brands at www.seekology.co.