Talking with Carol Figg of Bow Jangles (5th October 2010)
Rochford Life: Carol, you haven’t been here very long. When did you start?
Carol: I started straight after the bank holiday, the 1st of September.
RL: Have you done this sort of thing before?
Carol: Yes, this shop used to be in partnership with another shop in Wickford and I worked there, and when Marie said she was selling this one, as I live in Ashingdon, I took this; it’s much more convenient than travelling to Wickford!
RL: Have you always been in shops or is this something relatively new?
Carol: No, quite a lot of retail.
RL: Who do you cater for here?
Carol: We have a huge range from babies – even before they are born – right through to people who are in their eighties. We cover all occasions that come up in people’s lives really. It’s mainly gifts, some cards which can even be personalised; we can put a person’s name on, or when a baby is born we can put the date of birth. We have photo-frames, jewellery, Nappy cakes – they’re something that’s just been introduced into the shop.
RL: Excuse me, what is a Nappy Cake?????
Carol: Well the big ones contain thirty nappies, three bibs, a body suit, a pair of socks, the bootees, a bottle, a soft toy and a teething ring, all done up in the form of a cake.
RL: You stock different things for different times of the year, Christmas for instance?
Carol: Well there will be different things coming in; I will be introducing pamper type things, wrapped gifts in boxes, cellophaned up with a bow so it looks more like a gift ready to give, rather than just buying something off the shelf, and baskets and similar things like that more for adults, some with bubble baths or Christmas nice special food items, not the general run of the mill things.
RL: With talk of nappy cakes, is it mainly women you get coming through the door?
Carol: No, a lot of men as well that need help with something for their wives. There are a lot of men who work around here who pop in and they know they can get help choosing something. We have things for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, babies, all the year round things. Then seasonal things come in for the special times of the year, for example Mothers’ Dad and of course Easter, then Fathers’ Day; it changes all the time. The stock is turned over regularly.
RL: Will you cater for Halloween?
Carol: Yes, that’s what’s going in the window. Later this week we’re doing the Halloween window. Primarily children’s stuff but we have ceramic pumpkins which is more adult.
RL: How long before you getting Christmas things in?
Carol: Well a lot of it is out here already. I’ve got some more to come in. The Hamper things I won’t put out until November; it’s too early at the moment. We don’t stock a huge amount of any one item; we try to keep changing it so the shop never looks the same. I want to buy little and often to keep it fresh. We’re also waiting for our new name to go up which should be in the next week or so.
RL: Thank you so much!