Get Set Grow: Sword and Board
We asked Rhiannon to give us a little background on the business:
Although the business started earlier in the year, the shop only opened its doors four days before Christmas 2017. Games and gaming are something that I’ve been into for ages, plus I’ve always dreamed of being my own boss. After the birth of my second child, I decided to leave my office job and do something different, thinking: It’s now or never! We found premises in Heavitree which used to be the old Natwest, so it’s perfect, as there is still a cashpoint outside and the location is great as far as road visibility goes. My Husband is my silent partner, I do the ‘day to day’ running of the shop, but when we are trying to come up with new concepts, we ‘brainstorm’ together.
How is the shop doing?
The shop is doing well, I took on a member of staff recently. It’s fantastic, as having him around gives me an opportunity to concentrate more on events and game evenings – we have a board game library for community gaming. A lot of families come in on the weekend to play, having grown up around Monopoly, Scrabble or Cluedo, but then they find something new, something that they didn’t know existed to play together. It’s not only about the social aspect though, games like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) are all about logic puzzles, maths and reading, so encourage learning and stretch the mind. We do D&D for kids in the shop during the holidays, they love it! You can hear them from the back room roaring like dragons, so it’s really stimulating their imagination. We have two back rooms available, one is themed like a tavern, and we get a lot of role-playing groups in there. We also have game tables on the shop floor. We stay open until ten at night, Tuesdays to Fridays, which allows people to come in and play after work.
Our games are sourced from all over the world; we have some big suppliers but we are starting to get a lot of stock from smaller local suppliers and individuals too. We have a couple of game designers in the area, Exeter is brilliant for the games industry – we’ve had four or five designers come in to ‘playtest’ games with some of our customers. Community is really important to us, they keep us going and we want to give back by supporting local people.
And finally, what are your plans for the future?
Besides the practical business-related goals, long-term, we would like to be bigger and better with more diverse stock, host a lot more events and become the place that people come to when they are looking for something to do. Heavitree Fore Street is a fantastic place, it’s alive, vibrant and has a real sense of community. We’ve recently had the flags and flowers to enhance the street, it has a ‘small village feel’ and I’d like to continue to contribute to that.
To get in touch with Sword and Board, give them a call on 01392 422067 or drop them an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sword and Board – Fore St, Heavitree
Established: December 2017
Founder: Rhiannon King