Posts tagged creative business
Shop independent this Christmas

One thing that I love about the internet is how easy it is these days to sell things online - as a result there are so many creative talents selling beautiful products. I love starting my Christmas shopping early and feeling organised and on top of it all - I think part of it is because I just love buying gifts and thinking about what my friends and family will enjoy. 

In recent years obviously being a small business owner myself I feel more and more passionate about supporting small businesses and shopping from 'independent' places as much as possible.

I am gathering quite a nice little collection of independent shops online and so I thought I would share them in case you are like-minded and want to start ticking things off the list in preparation for Christmas. All of these shops I have featured below are also all UK based because lets support local while we are at it hey!

So lets dive right in...

The Pattern Guild  - A friend brought me a pencil case from these guys and I use it constantly and love it. The patterns are beautiful and the products are handmade and really quality! 

The Pattern Guild - A friend brought me a pencil case from these guys and I use it constantly and love it. The patterns are beautiful and the products are handmade and really quality! 

Wild and Fawn  - Simple but striking jewellery is where it is at. I have a beautiful ring from Wild and Fawn but also have my eye on the necklace above. Great for your stylish friends.

Wild and Fawn - Simple but striking jewellery is where it is at. I have a beautiful ring from Wild and Fawn but also have my eye on the necklace above. Great for your stylish friends.

Pluck'd Designs  - What I love about these hats is they are super stylish but also reflective! They are handmade and beautiful quality and would make such a great gift.

Pluck'd Designs - What I love about these hats is they are super stylish but also reflective! They are handmade and beautiful quality and would make such a great gift.

Clement and Claude  - I have got really into candles recently and so was really excited to discover these guys at a Crafty Fox market. I bought a couple and the scents were perfect!

Clement and Claude - I have got really into candles recently and so was really excited to discover these guys at a Crafty Fox market. I bought a couple and the scents were perfect!

Esme Winters  - I have the most beautiful patterned journal from these guys. Great for stationery lovers and also for getting your wrapping paper to make your presents look top notch!

Esme Winters - I have the most beautiful patterned journal from these guys. Great for stationery lovers and also for getting your wrapping paper to make your presents look top notch!

Dianne Tanner  - I have the clutch above and I absolutely adore it. I love Dianne's products because they are quirky and different and you won't find anything like it anywhere else. 

Dianne Tanner - I have the clutch above and I absolutely adore it. I love Dianne's products because they are quirky and different and you won't find anything like it anywhere else. 

Basil and Ford  - These guys have really fun bright typographic prints that would look great in any house! They also have a glow in the dark print which is pretty cool! 

Basil and Ford - These guys have really fun bright typographic prints that would look great in any house! They also have a glow in the dark print which is pretty cool! 

Geo-Fleur  - Everyone is crazy for succulents and plants these days - these guys have such beautiful and affordable planters that would be ace gifts and add a stylish twist to home decor! 

Geo-Fleur - Everyone is crazy for succulents and plants these days - these guys have such beautiful and affordable planters that would be ace gifts and add a stylish twist to home decor! 

Above are a few of my current favourites that I have featured but there are also some old favourites that I always like to go back to and check out - so here are a few more links for you to peruse at your leisure:

Oh my clumsy heart
Chloe Vaux
Prickle Press
Lucie Ellen

Also, don't forget to check out my shop for paper goodies that would make great stocking fillers or that would be beautiful additions to your friends walls. 

Happy Shopping! 

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Things I am loving at Crafty Fox

Guys I have probably mentioned it enough on Twitter but just in case you haven't heard, this Sunday I am going to be selling my cards, prints and notebooks at Crafty Fox Market. I have been wanting to sell my stuff at a market for a while now (see my goals earlier in the year) and I am so glad that Crafty Fox is going to be my first one. 

The market (which I have been to before as a punter) is going to be at the Dogstar in Brixton, which is a pub that gets transformed for the weekend. The bar is still open though so you can pick up a beverage while you wander around taking everything in. If you are free I would absolutely love for you to come visit and say hi. There are so many amazing creative people selling their stuff there it should be ace. 

In the spirit of all that, instead of doing a 'things I am loving on Etsy' post I thought I would do a 'things I am loving at Crafty Fox' instead, and share some of the stalls I am excited about visiting (haha if I can convince my husband to man the stall for a bit while I sneak off and spend money!)

These are just a few I have my eye on but check out everyone who is selling here

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Prickle Press - I have been following Rachel online for a while, so I am looking forward to meeting her in person and also checking out her lovely cards. I totally love letterpress so will be good to stock up on greetings cards!

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Lucie Ellen - I bought the necklace pictured a while ago for myself (and also got some other colours for friends) and I love it, so am thinking about buying some more jewellery from her to add to my collection. They are really beautiful simple wooden items and work well with so many different outfits. 

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Clement and Claude - I hadn't heard of these guys but their soy wax candles look awesome! I love a good candle and so am totally planning to snag myself one of these. The scents sounds really good too if the website is anything to go by! Wild plum sounds perfect for Autumn and as things get colder around here will definitely need to up my candle game. 

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Natalie Strachan Ceramics - Another definite Autumn plan is drinking lots of hot chocolate and this mug would be perfect for that. I am really excited to check out Natalie's ceramics and maybe find some nice choice items for our new kitchen that is being installed soon (!!). 

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Dr Designs - I got myself some succulent babies recently and so I really fancy one of these concrete plant pots to make them look pretty and to make a bit of a feature of them. I think concrete can be so stylish when used in interiors. 

Anyway I hope this has whet your appetite a bit. Come visit and see all of these lovely things and meet of all the creative people who make them in real life! Real life is where it is at! Ha! 

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How to deal with rejection as a creative biz owner

I don't think people running a small business talk about rejection all that often - I know I don't. It's the sort of thing you don't really want to shout about as I guess it makes you appear as a 'failure' and we naturally worry that it might make our business look bad. I guess that might be true and although I am not going to talk about specifics I do want to share some thoughts on rejection today. I experienced it recently (and it could be anything from not winning a job, not getting a stall at a market you wanted to sell at, not being featured somewhere etc) and it knocked me a little bit and my natural reaction was to let it get me down and make me doubt and question myself. I wanted to think about it a little deeper though and try and look at it from a more positive perspective. I came up with three points to keep reminding myself of that actually really helped so I thought it would be good to share! 

1. Your worth is not tied up in your creative business and work.
I think this is hard to remember because so much of our identities are tied up in our 'career' and what we do but even if your business/creative activities stopped tomorrow you would still have worth as a human being and something to offer to the world. Although it would be hard, your creativity and your work is not the only important and valuable thing about you. It really helps me to be reminded of this, and even if everything doesn't work out with my small business and even if it isn't considered a 'success' it won't have been a waste because I have, and am learning a lot, and I still have something to offer. 

2. Everyone has to deal with it - even the people who you think are 'successful'
It is always really encouraging to me when people who I class as 'successful' in this industry open up about their journey and often you realise that it hasn't been smooth or quick for them, it is often slow and difficult, full of ups and down and has involved a lot of hard work. Everybody has to deal with rejection and things not going exactly how they planned and so I find it helpful to remember that this is normal. I work in a creative industry and that is full of subjectivity. Not everyone is going to like my work or want to buy what I make and that is ok - and that is the same for other wildly successful businesses too. It would be pretty sad if we all had the same taste and liked the exact same things. Recently I have made friends with other people doing similar things to me but who are maybe further along on the journey and they have been so generous sharing the behind the scenes to me, and opening up about struggles they have had. It really does make it easier to remember that failure and rejection is part of the process and everyone goes through it. 

3. Keep going and get better at what you do
A lot of people don't deal well with rejection (understandably) but they let it defeat them and give up. Sometimes it is right to call it a day and change direction but a lot of the time you just need to keep going - and get better, learn from your mistakes, try again, work out what you can do different next time and grow a better and stronger business as a result. I am really trying to do this...and when I have thoughts of giving up I remember that there are ups and downs and that I just need to keep going and try harder. 

I often get into bad thought patterns and things spiral a bit out of control, so having these three things to remember and keep reminding myself of has really helped and encouraged me. Do you have any ways of dealing with rejection? I would love to hear if you do.

I hope you all have a great Friday and a lovely weekend!

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