It will soon be 12 years that I have owned Inside Out health, amazing to think of the changes that have taken place in that time. My boys were still boys and I had qualified as a nutritional therapist just two years before.
The shop was already open when I came to practice my newly acquired knowledge in Nutritional therapy and I found the environment of customers coming in with health issues and me using my knowledge to advise a great platform. The benefits of nutritional changes and supplements was not as mainstream as it is now and the owner with a very young family herself decided that it was not a going concern for her and rather than shut asked me if I would be interested in taking it forward.
I had no retail experience and still relatively fresh from college so the prospect was daunting. However, I felt there was potential and with only a short lease left on the shop, the risk could be limited. So I bought the remaining stock, took over the lease and that began the start of Inside Out Health as it is today. I kept one member of the team who had worked for the previous owner part time and a year down the line I was able to bring on board Alison, one of the NTs I had been at college with who lived locally and hadn’t yet found some way of practicing so then there were two NTs giving advice.
The shop became busier, I grew the stock, took on other brands used by practitioners that provided supplements of quality and therapeutic levels. I changed wholesaler and have had reliable daily deliveries from them since 2012. I went digital with an EPOS system installed so that as the shop grew, stock was added to the system, to make ordering speedier. I took special orders, ensuring payment was made at time of ordering and most importantly we continued to get busier and customers came back, time and time again. We then grew the team further as having one in the shop was no longer adequate.
When the lease came to its’ end, I decided to move to a larger shop, to fit with the growth of the business and so we moved to Church Street, firstly to the top at 33 for the next five years and now at 3 Church Street, right by the crossroads at the centre of town. I now have 10 team members made up in the main by nutritional therapists. One of the biggest blessings has been the staff, I have never had to advertise for a nutritional therapist , one has come to the business at just the right time and most have been with me five years or more. I think what the shop provides them is the same it provided me, a chance to speak to a wide range of people about a very wide range of health issues. They may run their own clinics but the experience of the shop means they have a wealth of health experience.
In 2015 when the previous manager, retired, I was fortunate to have met Claire who had run her own health food shop in London but was now looking for a new venture, closer to home. She again came on board at just the right time as we had recently moved to the second premises and the shop required more operation and procedure management than we had to date. She took over the day to day running, leaving me free to look at other areas of the business.
This has led to growth in other areas than just the bricks and mortar, with a website and social media all ably managed by Lucia, my next happy meeting as I stumbled around in the dark on these areas. Our skincare section, EPOS, website, newsletter and social media have all become part of the business under her guidance.
We had just moved again in 2019, down the road to 3 Church Street when the pandemic hit. Suffice to say that the following few years as for many in retail were hard but we had amazing customers who continued to shop with us. We provided delivery at that time and the customers were so grateful for the service we gave especially as many of our customers have health issues.
It has taken time to readjust since lockdown and as we had not long been in this premises before the pandemic started, so we have only recently got the shop operating in the form we had envisaged before the move. It is a beautiful shop, light and airy and customers enjoy that experience in itself. There is always a nutritional therapist available for advice and these recent changes to the layout, enable customers to look at products now under certain health categories, the idea is to educate, advise and give options.
Obviously helping people is our goal but giving customers options and possibilities of things they can do to positively impact their own wellbeing, gives customers a sense of what they can do rather than feeling they have no control over their health and how that makes them feel, gives me the greatest pleasure.
So what’s next? Having such a great team in place at the shop means I am able to spend the next few months focusing on our Online Shop and the Loyalty Scheme which is a recent addition. Over the last 12 years, we have gained many loyal customers, seen their lives change and families grow, creating a community of like-minded people, keen to look after their and their family’s health and this extends beyond Reigate. The goal is to provide an improving online presence and elevated educational hub to serve our now wider reaching community, providing the same care and support we offer those that use the shop itself.
Exciting times ahead which can only be achieved by having an amazing team alongside our very valued customers. We have all grown together, seen many changes and learnt a lot! I look forward to the next stage of Inside Out Health and as ever know that we have your health at the heart of what we do. So have you had a 15 minute wellness check in, or a supplement review or come in and chat with one of our registered Nutritional therapists.
Kate, the Owner
Follow THIS LINK to sign up to our email list and keep up to date with our latest news.