Last Saturday we held an open day for the general public and a lovely group of customers that are all members of an unofficial Mia Tui facebook group. There are over 600 members currently and it is a lovely place to chat to other Mia Tui customers about favourite bag styles, colours, prospective purchases, ideas on what to buy etc...
Charlotte and I had already had the pleasure of meeting two of the group moderators, Shellie and Tina which is how the open day came about. We spent last week finalising the preparations for Saturday, ordering food and drink, reorganising the shop and unit, making a quiz, sorting a charity raffle, decorating the shop, sorting the photography area for selfies! And loads more of little things that need to be sorted when holding an event! Sadly Rachel another of the group moderators' was unable to make the open day but fingers crossed she will make it to the next one!
Saturday dawned, and we were blessed with brilliant sunshine! Which was a real blessing as we had planned for tables and chairs to be outside the front of the shop. Of course, a couple of our Cambridge picnic blankets doubled as wipe clean party table cloths (who knew!) Food and drink were picked up, tables and chairs set out, a quick last minute tidy and of course Saturday morning packing done by Becca and Emily and then we had early arrivals!
By 12 we had well over 20 ladies here, we asked everyone to write their own name badge as these ladies chat within the group but had actually never met. It was absolutely lovely to hear the warm greetings and see the hugs when people met for the first time!
We had 2 visitors who had flown over from Northern Ireland just for the day. That really is a dedication to a brand! Joanne and her cousin were absolutely lovely and even though they had to leave before the quiz and raffle was drawn they told us what a wonderful time they had even with the 4am start.
By 1pm, the shop was absolutely full and drinks were flowing (Phillipe was looking after drinks for everyone) Everyone was excited to see behind the scenes as well as the shop. So the unit where our offices are and where all the packing is done was also busy with ladies looking around. Neil was assigned to sell the raffle tickets for our charity raffle raising money for Willen Hospice which is an amazing place very close to us here in Newport Pagnell.
(Photo shows Carolyn and her husband who had come all the way from the North of Scotland for the open day)
In the photography studio we had pictures and selfies being taken with groups and of course everyone wanted a selfie with Charlotte too!
As a team, we were all doing our best to keep up with customer questions and orders, we had Charlotte, Nici, Becca, Emily, Sheila, the "hot husbands" Mia, Lottie and Nathan all helping out and even then we were pushed!
The atmosphere was just brilliant, all day we heard so much laughter, everyone was on top form. We watched as "virtual" friendships turned to physical friendships. It . was really humbling and I know Charlotte was slightly overwhelmed with the amount of Mia Tui love that was so obvious to see.
During the afternoon, after the initial furore had subsided we eventually got round to the quiz. Emily volunteered to be quiz master and the hardcore Mia Tui fans were eager to take part. It was a very serious affair! Carolyn was our overall winner and won herself a Jackie in the process!
We went live on facebook a couple of times through the day for those who had been unable to attend it was a lovely way of including them. Charlotte made a lovely speech thanking everyone for coming and for the continued support and love for Mia Tui. Tina also made an impromptu speech thanking Charlotte for putting on such a wonderful event for the group and of course Shellie for starting the group and working hard behind the scenes.
We drew the charity raffle and in the process raised £132 for the hospice which was all down to the generosity of those who bought tickets. 1st prize was a Samantha won by Joanne, 2nd prize a Jess won by Rachel and 3rd prize a Megan won by Jo. So congratulations to them!
By 4pm we were starting to tidy everything away and only a handful of ladies remained enjoying the sunshine and having a good old natter!
It was a really amazing day and I know from all the lovely messages we have received that everyone had THE best day.
We are starting to plan the next open day for maybe November time, so watch this space for more information a little nearer the time.