Monday, January 30, 2012

one year on

This time last year we had just got married, me and my lovely boy:
Ahhh such nice memories of our day.
Our anniversary celebrations were sadly rained off. We had planned to go out for a meal, but I wasn't  feeling too well so went to bed, and the Mr. cleaned the oven and went to B&Q! We did manage to salvage some of the day to celebrate with an afternoon tea in the style of the wedding day. I kept a few pieces of the china I had collected for the wedding which we used and had a lounge based celebration instead:

Friday, January 27, 2012


You might remember, sometime last year, I was just playing around with my typewriter and some washi tape, and made this card for my boy:
This image received a lot of love via my flickr photstream (and continues to do so) so I promptly bought lots more washi tape in pretty colours with the idea of making more simple sentiment cards for my shop, and then did precisely nothing with it and worked on other things instead.

I felt the need for a bit of making with paper this week (as a bit of a distraction from what I am actually supposed to be working on) so I got out the typewriter and the list of sentiments I wrote months ago, plus some pretty paper and the lovely washi tape, and made a small batch of cards, which can now be found in my shop:

If these go down well, I may offer personalisation of sentiments too, so you can give a card that truly speaks to the person you're giving it to.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Top Drawer

The Story behind my first trade fair:
Late last year I was contacted by Charlotte Abrahams (a freelance writer and journalist) and asked if I would like to be part of an event she curates at the Top Drawer Trade Fair, called 'Spotted'. Spotted is intended as an entry point for designer/makers to get a foot in the trade fair door without it costing the earth.
I was initially unsure whether I could take part - aside from the quite scary prospect of putting yourself out there publicly for the first time at such a huge event in a renowned venue such as Earls Court in London, there was also the consideration of whether handmade products would be well received at a trade fair alongside mass produced products. Could I price my items competitively enough to interest people and to still be able to make money for myself? And did I actually have enough money to invest in this initially?
After considering all of the above, I decided to go for it. You've got to be in it to win it, and if I hadn't I would probably always be wondering 'what if...'
Fast forward a few months to January, and with lots of planning, deciding and prototyping, I was exhibiting my soft toys, kits and tea towels at Earls Court:
My soft toys and kits

one of my new tea towels

spotted plus (for last years spotted exhibitors)

This was a really good experience and definitely a big learning for me. It was great to speak to potential retailers and get first hand feedback. One of the big and constant pieces of feedback was that retailers wanted kits - I had just two for the show. I'll definitely be following up on this and introducing a range of kits in the coming months.
I've had a couple of orders which I'll be working on in the coming few weeks, and gave my details to lots of buyers so hopefully I'll see some more orders trickling in over the next few weeks.
It was also great to meet some of the other exhibitors at the show - people in the same boat as me and my new business and people with a little more experience - who had really invaluable advice to pass on to a newbie such as myself.
One thing I have learnt is that trade fairs are exhausting. I think I need a few days to recover.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

hello 2012

Happy New Year!
It's a bit late in the day I know. I've been meaning to blog about all the nice things that Christmas brought along with it, but I was just swept along by it and didn't stop to blog it all.

2011 was a good year for me - not least because I married my lovely boy and best friend but lots of other positive things happened along the way too. I won't recap everything - it would take way too long. Looking forward, I'm hoping 2012 will be a good one for me. There are certainly a few things in the pipeline to indicate this.

I suspect I'll be rather quiet here for the next few weeks, as I'll be preparing for Top Drawer - my first ever trade show, at Earls Court no less. To say I am panicking about it all would be a massive understatement. I am well and truly flying by the seat of my pants here and everything seems so last minute. Still, you've got to be in it to win it. At the moment I'm mostly working away on some new products, wholesale lists and prices, T's & C's and, well, everything else!
front of my new business card