Today we had two birthday cakes, with five candles on each one!
Since 2003, we had clocked up five years on the high street, and five years as a Social Enterprise.
Our first five years in Covent Garden were great, if difficult at times. We had a lot of fun and you kept a smile on our faces throughout. Today, we still flick through our guestbooks - you can too, online.
When we moved out of Covent Garden, we needed to re-examine our purpose, and ask what it is that we stand for and work towards. Why continue at all, we asked?
We knew what people want is a physical space.
We knew what they want is like-minded folks to socialise with.
We knew what they want is a warm welcome, a safe space, and belonging, so very precious, and so hard to come by.
Yet even knowing these things, we soon found that fulfilling our mission (of creating a more inclusive, open-minded world) does not, strictly speaking, require a high-street presence (much as we would love one).
So began the next five years of our work, as a Social Enterprise.
These were much quieter, but just as impactful (if not more so). After five years of working directly with the community, we then worked to build the bridge from the other side, flying the flag of kinkiness and open-mindedness to very different audiences.
Through participation in various grants and programmes (see below), we have put the word "kink" in front of thousands of people across the country and have been helping to legitimise it by giving it a place at the social enterprise, business and SME table.
As our 10th birthday approached, you may have noticed things went a little quiet.
We took stock of what did, and what didn't work, in our attempts to get ourselves back onto the high street.