Was this the right time to open our first ever retail space?

When we signed the lease for what was to become the Eat Dust store back in October, little did we know how strange things were going to get in 2020. It goes without saying that when we set the opening date for March 13th, we had no idea we’d have to close our doors again the very next day. 
For years, opening our own store was always a plan that kept simmering in the back of our heads. But we’re only a very small team, so it never made it to the top of our priority list. Until October last year, when we heard through the grapevine that one of our favorite spaces in Antwerp was going to come up for rent. We immediately knew that we couldn’t let this opportunity pass us by.
We had a very clear vision of how our store needed to look and feel, and this space was perfect in every way. We had no interest in opening yet another boring clothing store. We wanted to create a home for our community, a place that revolves around a lifestyle, with our women’s and men’s collections, a curated selection of brands we’re into ourselves, books, records and of course, a place to grab some great coffee and a quick bite. Being the perfectionists that we are, we also designed the store’s interior and the furniture in it ourselves. Luckily, we had skilled friends that could help us realize those (wild) ideas.
In the weeks leading up to March 13th, we were in the final stages of finishing the store. More and more rules and restrictions were put into place by our government, and on Tuesday the 10th we got the news that all retail stores had to close their doors on Friday the 13th. A serious bummer, but we’re not easily discouraged. Two months passed and on May 16th we got the green light to reopen our doors. In all honesty, we must say that it’s been a joy to see how the place has slowly come to life since. After having spent so much time there working on our own, behind closed doors, the amazing response and all-around positivity that our community has shown us has been heartwarming.
Do we still stand behind our decision to open our flagship store? YES. We sure do. We still strongly believe in human interaction in today’s digital world and we know that we’re not the only ones. So, if you feel comfortable to do so, come by. Come hang out, browse the store, and grab some food or drinks.  All precautions have been taken to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
Team Dust.