Posts tagged small business
Let's make this year awesome
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I can’t really believe that it has been over 4 months since I last posted on my blog. I knew when I had a baby that I wouldn't be able to keep all the plates spinning, so the blog has been neglected in the second half of 2016, but I don’t really mind because I managed to keep my shop running, create new products AND do a craft fair since Reuben came along, and I am pretty proud of what I've managed to achieve. I have missed it though, so it's nice to be back even if it won't be as often.

I am not really into resolutions but when January rolls around I do like to take time to think about what I would like to achieve in the coming year. It gets me all excited and motivated which can only be a good thing. Quite often though things change and as the year goes by my priorities shift. I decided to look back at 2016’s goals and I didn’t really achieve that many of the things on my list, but actually it didn't bother me in the slightest - some of them seem silly to me now and I've realised that I've achieved other things that weren’t even on the list, so on reflection I am really happy with what I managed to get done (also let's be honest, when I made that list I had no idea what life with a baby would be like and what would be achievable).

So I thought it would be nice for my first post of 2017 to share with you what I'm dreaming of and working towards in 2017. There are some goals which I'm still mulling over and might be for 2018 rather than this year, but here are the main things I want to work towards. I am still looking after a baby full time so I'm fully aware that things might change, or not be possible but it's nice to have something to work towards because I definitely want to keep moving my business forward this year.

1. Wholesale - I have really enjoyed focusing a bit more on my shop, designing new products and also getting rid of some of the ones I didn't love so much anymore. I think the next step is wholesale. I have had a few more wholesale enquiries recently and I think it is something that I want to push forward with. My plan is to put together a wholesale catalogue in the first few months of the year to send out to people and see what happens. I am also toying with the idea of doing a trade fair this year or early next. I know it will be a lot of work and might not be feasible right now but I am going to work towards it. 

2. Keep growing my instagram following - I have been loving instagram even more recently as since being on maternity leave I have tried to be more intentional and strategic with it.  I am convinced it has been making a difference to my business, and I just love all the creative people that I have connected with on there. This won't sound amazingly impressive to most people but I managed to hit the 1k mark this year which had been an aim of mine, so in 2017 I would like to work towards hitting 3k followers. Saying that I don't want to get too bogged down with numbers and I want to keep enjoying it - but it helps me to stay motivated and inspired to have something to work towards.

3. My newsletter - it has been pretty sporadic of late but my subscriber list has been growing and so I want to do more behind the scenes, share more info and goodies for those subscribers in 2017. I have a template which I am happy with now so it is a case of carving out time to do it. With all of these things I think it's a case of coming up with realistic goals and so I am going to aim to be sending out a newsletter once a month. 

4. The blog - As I mentioned before my blog has been a bit neglected recently. It is not something that I make money from, but I really enjoy it and I would like to keep up with it as a way to share news and information about my business and what is inspiring me creatively. Again I think the key will be to come up with a realistic goal, so I am going to aim to do one blog post a week, and then if I manage any more that will be a bonus. 

5. Freelance work - I have had a total break from client work since R was born - which has been great and I know I wouldn't have been able to cope with the stress of deadlines with a newborn. I'm still not sure I am ready to start back up again but I would like to at some point this year (maybe when R's naps start getting a little bit more predictable and regular).

So there we go. My goals for 2017. I am totally expecting them to change over time but its nice to have them down in writing. I also have some personal goals, but there are pretty much the same as most years. Eat healthier, exercise more blah blah blah! ha

Anyway if you have your goals written out for this year would love to read them! Happy New Year and thank you so much for following along with my blog despite it being so sporadic of late! 

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The letterpress bookmark in the photo above was printed by the lovely Prickle Press.

Shop Update: Enamel Pins
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I am so excited to let you know these enamel pins are now up in the shop. 'Winging it' pretty much feels like my life motto right now what with learning how to take care of a little baby - and I always feel encouraged when I remind myself that everyone else is usually winging it too! SO wear this badge with pride and let the world know - you have no idea what you are doing and you are just WINGING IT one day at a time - we are all in this together. 

As I mentioned you can get these pins from my online shop on this website and also from my etsy shop. They are currently available for pre-order at a special discounted price of £5 (postage is £1 within the UK) and will be shipped out on 15th August. On 12th August the price will go up to £7 - so get in there quick if you want one at the discounted price. You have a week to get your order in! The pins are 25mm wide and are black and gold. They will be pinned on a backing board and mailed out in a small padded envelope to keep them safe and protected. 

I would love to hear what you think of these pins. I am so excited to be expanding my product range and I would love to add more pins soon as I already have lots more ideas.

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Hope you all have a great pintastic weekend! 

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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! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

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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Summer goals for my business
Summer Goals - Liz Mosley

I like thinking up goals and plans for my business in January when I am feeling all excited about the potential for the new year, but in the summer I always seem to get the urge to sit down and take stock of where I have got to and also come up with some new goals (or remind myself about ones created in January that I still want to complete). Although I have a bit less time to spend on the business having gone back to full time work for a few months, my brain is whizzing with ideas and plans for what I want to achieve. 

I thought for accountability and also transparency that I would just write these things down and give you a bit of an idea of what I have planned and what I am working towards in the second half of 2015. 

Set up a shop on my own website
I love Etsy and it has been a great start for my little business but I am feeling eager to get the shop up and running on my own website. I am in the process of moving things over and also adding new products. I am not sure what the exact launch date will be but I will keep you posted!

Start an email newsletter
I have been umming and ahhing about this one for a while. I have read/listened to lots of people going on about how you must have a newsletter. I can see the positives, but need to really sit down and spend some time thinking about how it would work. Anyway, I have decided to launch it in October. It will probably be some behind the scenes stuff, exclusive discount codes for the shop and maybe some free printables and downloads that are not available on the website. If you are keen to sign up and see what happens then there is a box in the banner on the right of this blog - it will probably start off being just once a month or fortnightly so no spamming for sure. 

Get organised for Christmas
I know, I know, sorry for mentioning the C word...but if you run a shop, especially if you design cards this is the reality...designing Christmas cards in August. I have got a plan for what I want to do cards wise this year so I need to get on it and make it a reality. I want to have designed and printed the cards in plenty of time to photograph them get them up in the shop and also start promoting them, rather than them being a bit of mad rush after thought! (ahem...a bit like last year). I feel glad that I am learning and getting a bit more organised year on year though.

Add more stock to the shop
I think I will always be frustrated on this one...that I just never have as much time as I would like to design more products. I was hoping to be able to add things to the shop almost weekly but let's be honest that was not realistic. But I am going to try and have a big push over the next few months and make the ideas floating around in my head an actual reality. 

Sell my stuff at market/fair
Eek this has been on my goal list for a while and to be honest I am not sure it will happen this year...I think I probably don't have a big enough range of stock yet..but I am going to keep working towards this goal even if it happens in 2016 rather than this year. 

Do you have any goals that you are working towards for the second half of the year? I would love to hear them! 

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Reader Survey 2015

Guys I have been thinking for a while that it would be pretty interesting to do a reader survey. I have really noticed that since January onwards, as I have been blogging a lot more consistently, engagement and readership has increased, which is great! As much as I write this blog for my own enjoyment and as a creative endeavour that I find inspiration from - you, my lovely readers are pretty key in the whole process. As I work on the blog and develop the content and try and work out what is working and what maybe isn't, it would be so useful to know a bit more about who is reading it and also your thoughts on what you enjoy and what you don't. I know there are a lot of areas that I can improve on, and I am really enjoying that process, so your answers to these questions I've put together will really help me to work out how to do that more effectively and how to grow in the right direction. 

You can find the form below and it really would mean the world to me if you would take five minutes out of your day to answer these questions (seriously you can see how grateful I am - my arms are open wide to give you a hug in the picture above! Haha such a silly photo but it made me laugh!).

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I hope you all have a lovely Wednesday!

(photo above taken by Samee Lapham)

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things I am loving on Etsy

I have noticed that there is a mega gold foil craze going on right now? I have always loved the look of gold foil prints and stationery so I am pretty happy with that, but I have also noticed that some of them can look kind of lame. There are a lot of people doing faux gold foil which I am not massively into. Anyway May is seriously the month of birthdays for me so I thought I would do a little round up of gold foil goodies that I have found that I think would make great gifts. The first print though is from my friend Chloe Vaux and it is classic, beautiful and real gold foil. You will actually be able win one of these (along with a lot of other amazing goodies) on May 25th when I am doing a mega giveaway. 

1. Chloe Vaux gold foil print - Chloe is a great friend of mine and has beautiful prints in her shop. She recently started selling this gold foil one which is think is really classic and beautiful! 

2. Meticulous Ink, Gold foil notebook - This little notebook would be great for carrying around while you're on the go. Beautifully classic.

3. Clouds and Currents, You're the bee's knees gold foil card - This card is super cute and would be a great birthday card, but also you could send it anytime to let a friend or loved one know how much you think they rock! 

4. Moospie, illustrated gold foil journal - This journal is a stunner and is hand bound and includes a cute little illustration in the bottom right corner by illustrator Francesca Eastwell.

5. Sparrow and Wolf, A6 gold foil notebook - I love the patterns on these notebooks. Especially the ones with the little plus signs. These would make a great little gift for a creative friend. 

Hope you enjoy all these treats, also did you see my post about the launch of Calder & Byrne last week? They are selling some of my prints and cards and I am so happy to be involved because they are all about supporting small local makers and designers and Siobhan who set it up has great taste! If you haven't seen it yet go and have a look around! 

Hope you have a great Monday! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy