From teacher to creativepreneur

The journey of a little business with big dreams

 
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Hello and welcome! I'm Sarah and I design and create wedding accessories from my little workroom at home in Weston, Somerset. I love cups of tea at home but coffee when I'm out and I'm a perfectionist, like most creatives.  Before I started all this, I was a French and Spanish teacher but I decided to leave it all behind after 8 years because it was making me so unhappy.

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I didn't really have a plan when I quit my job in 2013. I handed my notice in 2 weeks before our wedding and finally left at Christmas. The sense of relief and excitement about new possibilities was far more interesting than the fear of having nothing to go to and I was really lucky that my family were really supportive of me.

 

I came to the conclusion that now was the time to throw caution to the wind and do something that I would never have dared to do before: make things and get paid for doing it. My husband, Pete, or Fuz as I've always known him, told me he'd support me no matter what and helped me to set up my first (free) website. I named the business Elsa Rose, in memory of my nan, who was a real character.

I should've probably had more of a plan...

The problem is, when you have no direction, you end up doing anything and everything, and making a right old mess of it. I was doing craft markets selling gifts and wedding fairs selling accessories. It was confusing and overwhelming and I wasn't making a penny. It took me until 2015 to actually get round to setting up my Etsy shop but I was glad I did; I was surprised by how popular my cake topper were and started to take orders.

I was starting to realise that things were a bit of a mess and I needed some help. I signed up to a course with The Business Bakery and got the clarity that I needed: I needed to be more specific, consider the time I put into my work and actually invest in my business. I gave up craft markets to focus solely on weddings and switched my website over to Squarespace, so that I'd be able to have a shop where brides could easily purchase my items.

I was really surprised by how popular my cake toppers were.

I was really surprised by how popular my cake toppers were.

The Turning Point...

My muses, Claire (left) and Charlotte (right), who have shaped my business.

My muses, Claire (left) and Charlotte (right), who have shaped my business.

In 2016, I started to think about how I wanted things to look. I turned to two beautiful souls who I felt embodied what I wanted my business to look like and asked their advice. Katie and Claire were both former clients, and while I don't get the chance to speak to Katie anymore, she's in the back of my mind when I'm writing my blog posts. I later added Charlotte to the mix and her and Claire are the ones I turn to when I need advice and encouragement about the direction of my business. It's having them in mind that has helped me to develop the business as it looks today.

With my vision starting to take shape, I asked a designer friend to design my logo, incorporating the colour blue as I give my brides a little blue button at wedding fairs for their "something blue" (Fuz's idea initially!). I created two accessory collections and started reading blogs about how to elevate my brand, before deciding to find my own way through this crazy journey that is being a small business owner.

And here we are today...

2017 has been a year of excitement and change both in business and personally. I won an award for my cake toppers and redesigned my website to what you see today, while we welcomed a little boy into our family. I said goodbye to Twitter and embraced Steller, to tell the stories of the things I make for you and to show you how much I appreciate your custom.

What makes my business special? Awesome customer service, a passion for creative challenges and a ridiculous amount of love for capturing sentimental details. Fancy joining me? Let's sparkle together :)