Welcome to my new series Love Local!
During the past year I had been thinking of really focusing on my Personal Brand Photography. It was something that I did but no one really knew it was something I offered. With Weddings and at home family photography off the table, like many, I found this time as an opportunity to reflect, and hone in on what would be a good use of my time. It pushed me to create a new website focusing on Brand photography (let’s face it I had a bit of time!).
I count myself as fortunate to live in Rochester, as not only is it beautiful and has so much History, it is full of amazing independant businesses. Thinking about my own journey I found myself wanting to know more about our local businesses. Not just what they sold or offered to their customers, I wanted to know about them! Who are the people who own these businesses we are surrounded by every day? What makes them passionate about what they do? What are their wins/struggles? I wanted to create a closer community between us all as business owners and give some insight to their customers. I wanted to change the polite smiles of “hi nice to see you’ to ‘Hey Paul! How many canine friends have you had in today?’ (Paul keeps treats for any dogs that pop along!)
I orginally was going to interview a few businesses as a back to business project when everyone opened again. It’s now, however, evolved into an ongoing series, as I love finding out about these wonderful people around me (and having loads of people to talk to when I wonder down our pretty high street), and I think it’s important to recognise the hard work and effort that all these people put into their business. I truely believe people want to know the people behind the brand, it makes purchases more meaningful (and more likely!) and it creates connections.
So! First up is the very popular and super fun Get Ready Comics! Formally known as Get Ready Retro, Get Ready Comics is a comic book shop located on the historic High Street of Rochester, Kent. They sell American Comics, Subscriptions, Graphic Novels, Comic Supplies, Action Figures, T-Shirts, Pop Vinyl and cult entertainment merchandise.
Come and meet Paul…
Name of business: Get Ready Comics
What motivated you to start your business and how did you get the idea or concept ?
A strong desire to bring people/families together with the things they love to do in their spare time, for everyone to embrace their passions. Generally, through years of visiting comic conventions and wanting to always be in that state of excitement over the next things being released!
How did you come up with the name for your company?
The business was already named by the previous owners, having been a life customer, the shop was originally named Get Ready Retro as a seller of retro clothes/toys & comics, it was later changed to ‘comics’ to be more recognisable when people search.
How many employees do you have?
What services or products do you offer?
American Comics (on the shelf & subscription), Collected edition books, Funko, Loungefly, Pet accessories, Hasbro & Mattel toys and home & gift lines! (more on the way we hope!)
What is unique about your business?
In a market that continues to move towards digital, we still provide physical copies of comic books & collected editions. We’re also the only official Funko/Loungefly stockist in Kent, we regularly have European exclusives.
What three words would you use to describe your business?
Exciting, Connected, Home
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Connecting people to the things they love, helping them share their fandom of the latest tv shows & movies they’re watching together and bringing young children entertainment in comic book form. There’s not many places you can go and discuss Batman, Pinocchio, the walking dead and spiderman in the same conversation!
Can you describe your typical day at work?
Busy! Ordering stock, contacting subscribers, dealing with suppliers & customers, emails/social media management, packing & sending orders to anywhere in Europe!
How have you had to adapt during the pandemic and what is the biggest thing you have learnt as a result?
We launched our products online at the end of March last year, before then we were only really known locally, during lockdown one, I drove around delivering comics to people all over Kent. I joined some specific fandom Facebook groups and from there our journey has been very positive and we have managed to grow the business and importantly our customer reach! We now ship all over the UK & into Europe.
How would you like people to remember you and your company?
As a place ANYONE can come and be themselves – A Happy Place.
What to you envision for your business in the next few years?
Hopefully steady growth of our online sales and product portfolio (stock a wider range of products), as restrictions start to lift we hope to bring back our events and maybe even a slightly larger shop one day!
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Putting the biggest smile on a young person (and parents) face when they get their first comic. But also growing the business when the shop closed and not letting it disappear.
Plan B – If you could choose any other career what would it be?
I gave up on the rock star dream 15 years ago! ha ha, I also gave up my other full-time sales job in March to focus on the shop
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Footballer, Astronaut & Superhero.
What do you typically tell people when they ask what you do?
I don’t think I’ve met anyone new outside of being in the shop for at least 18 months ha ha.
What motivates you?
Sharing the things everyone loves – with everyone!
When was the last time you tried something new (personally)?
Well I quit my day job 8th April to do this full time, so that’s new! I wear costumes for fun (and charity) so I’m always looking at new fun costumes to wear in public! (I wore Batman for Batman day in September 2020)
What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?
Recently someone said ‘If you do something now, you’ll never run out of time’ both sensible and profound!
What’s your favourite piece of advice?
Social media doesn’t love you like people will, talk to people.
What makes you smile?
Making others smile (and treats…)
What are your Hobbies or what do you do to relax?
Cosplay, Comic-Cons, Supplier Shopping, Watching the latest shows as they come out so I’m ready to talk about them in the shop!
To follow Get Ready Comics please visit the following: