2018: The Year of New Beginnings
I haven’t written a post for so long so this is both overdue and suitable timely!
In fact, I’m actually writing this on my phone, while Pete drives us to my mum and step-dad’s to watch the panto later on today - the joys of technology :)
I’ve spent a little time reflecting on the year these last two months and, while things may have appeared quieter on the social media and blog front than this time last year, the achievements that I’ve made this year far outweigh the negatives.
At the beginning of January I decided that my ultimate goal was to just feel happier. I’ve struggled with anxiety and perfectionism over the years and it was time to take action after a bit of a tough Christmas last year as our little family settled.
So after a break from reality, which consisted of Pete taking little one out for the afternoon and me sitting in a bubble bath, I made the decision to stop making cake toppers.
They were my best sellers; they were also my least profitable product and I wasn’t able to pay myself for the work I was doing.
I made that decision in April and it cleared my head and helped me to see the business in a much clearer and objective light. The website had a quick redesign to reflect the services I offered and I changed the colour of my logo to fit better with my redefined brand.
The achievements I’ve realised haven’t all been public knowledge yet so I thought I’d share what I can here :)
First of all, I secured a space at Bristol Museum and Art Galleries’ Make Space in the Summer, which, although didn’t quite go the way I expected it to for reasons I’ll come on to later, was a real boost for me. Just to see my work displayed with the light catching the crystals and hear the comments of people walking through was all I needed to remind me that I’d made the right decision.
I also contributed to two photo shoots; one was published in an online magazine, the other will be revealed early next year - and I’m so proud and excited to share it with you!
From those opportunities came more. The chance to contribute to something bigger…again, the details are still being worked out so I’ll share more when I can!
The photo shoots then extended beyond magazines. I’d long admired designer Galina Hnaticova’s beautifully detailed dresses and, having left the cake toppers behind and turning my focus towards accessories, decided to reach out to her.
She beat me to it though and suggested we work together. I couldn’t believe that she wanted to work with me - it was an absolute dream. She sent across sketches of her dresses and I set about creating a range of accessories for her to use.
The shoot took place in Venice in the Autumn and I feel so proud to have played a small part in it. Those pieces will soon be available in my new shop, here on the website, so you can order them for yourself.
A quick message to photographer Mouna from Memoires en Or also led to more work. This time for a styled shoot, over in Canada.
The sneak peeks I’ve seen have blown me away and I honestly can’t believe that it’s my work! Another proud moment, and I’ll share what I can with you when I’m able to (although you may be able to see them on my Facebook page still ;) )
So in short, my hair accessories have travelled further than I have myself in a few months than I have in years!
This was also the year to start approaching bridal shops. I’ve been selective with who I’ve approached and I’m pleased to say that you will be seeing Elsa Rose accessories in Curve Bridal Boutique, Weston Super Mare, in early January, along with brochures of my work in other boutiques in Bristol and Somerset.
I also joined forces with Wedding Espresso and took part in a few webinars - more about those soon but I’ve shared links on my Facebook page if you want to take a look now :)
One of the biggest eye openers for me this year though was when I broke my hand.
I fell off my bike a week before my Make Space Exhibition and sustained a lovely boxer’s break, taking a notch out of the knuckle under the little finger on my right hand.
Luckily all my cake topper orders had been completed days before, but it made me realise how precious my hands are for my work. This not only coincided with the Make Space Exhibition but also my meetings with Galina, wedding fayres and the start of the school term, meaning I couldn’t drive little one to school, couldn’t make new stock and couldn’t keep my teaching commitment to the primary school I was working at one afternoon a week.
It was a blessing in disguise.
The 40 minute walk to school (20 minutes without smaller legs walking beside me!) and home made me more productive. Despite the odd shaped cast that had had to be bent to set my poor knuckle I managed well and felt so much better for having to take time out.
While my hand was in the cast, I was approached by Basic Invite and asked if I could write a post about their products. It was great to put myself back in my wedding planning shoes as if I were a bride-to-be and discover their products - I wish I’d known about them earlier and am so happy to recommend them to my brides.
The doctor said it would be 4-6 months until I would be able to work fully but while my hand aches from time to time, it’s not held me back as much as I thought and is healing well, despite my sunken knuckles when I clench my first!
So what does 2019 hold?
A fair bit, I hope!
To start with, you’ll see a brand new website, that is hopefully clearer to browse and displays these posts better. I’ll also be bringing back my online store on here so you can purchase your accessories directly from me.
In early February, I’ll be launching my first collection of jewellery - necklaces initially - which has been inspired by spring gardens. Picture dainty pieces, similar to my hair vines, with soft colours, beautiful Swarovski crystals and vintage-inspired filigree clasps.
I can’t wait for you to see them!
Later in the year, I’ll be introducing bridal belts to my collection. This is still a work in progress but it’s something I’ve thought about for a few years so now is the time!
Once again, thank you all for the support, likes, shares and kind comments; they mean the world.
I want to finish this post by wishing you all a happy new year; I hope it brings you good health, love, friendship and happiness, wherever you are.
See you in 2019!