Wow and where did that time go.....?
Was it really October last time I posted anything on here?!
So you may have gathered I've been a bit busy to say the least. Time has been marching along punctuated by Open Studio, trade and retail fairs, busy silly season and many many orders.
Last time I was on here I was about to host my first ever Open Studio / Pop-Up shop. This was a huge success and also very enjoyable. I got to spruce up the studio into a 'shop', make and serve tea and cake and sell my wares to the public directly. It is definitely an experience I would love to repeat perhaps more regularly than once a year.
The next challenge was Harrogate Country Living Fair. I have mixed feelings about this. It was busy but not as busy as I'd expected for the centre of Harrogate 3 weeks before Christmas and the stress and exhaustion which resulted from 5 days of to-ing and fro-ing to Harrogate out-weighed the benefits I'm afraid.
In amid the Christmas mayhem I fitted in a lovely wedding stationery commission for my good friends Jill and Matthew. The bad photography (I've been getting lazy again and just relying on my camera phone) doesn't do it justice but the end result was a subtle and beautiful motif perfectly suited to their wedding style. I think they were happy with it too. With two and a half weeks to go to the wedding in Edinburgh I look forward to seeing the whole wedding theme (as an Interior Designer Jill is bound to have thought of every detail and I know there will be a beautiful and very unique look to the whole day).
Pre-Christmas is always chaotic with me and the usual frenzy of late wholesale Christmas orders, online orders and early Valentines wholesale orders ensures I have little time to do anything other than work. Last year was no exception (especially throwing Top Drawer prep into the mix) but I managed to get everything out in time and had a little break with family.
The challenge immediately after Christmas was Top Drawer. I was dreading not being fully organised but I somehow pulled it all together in time and the show was an over-whelming success. Re-connecting with my trade customers after Christmas felt like a very natural thing to do as they were all looking positively into the new year and there was very little post-Christmas lethargy. Meeting new contacts and new stockists as well as talking to all my very valued stockists made for an exciting three days. Plus there was a very high standard of products and stands at the show this year I thought - always an inspiration.
Since Top Drawer I haven't stopped for air as I've fulfilled order after order. I think January may well have been one of my busiest months ever for trade orders as a continuous stream of parcels left the studio by courier.
I've also said goodbye to Beth - my studio assistant of the last 6 months who moved on to pastures new and a full-time job. She picked and packed brilliantly for the time she was here and I thought I was going to be lost post-Top Drawer until.......Sarah came along. Now I have a new studio assistant and she's been picking and packing and keeping the orders going out for the last 2 weeks.
So new challenges and creative happenings lie ahead in 2014. I have ideas, plans, notions and NEW YORK! I will be heading to the National Stationery Show in New York in May. So alongside designing and my usual Spring tasks I'll be planning and looking towards May. It's going to be exciting. At the moment I'm a little scared but it's a step I need to take..
I'll keep you posted - more regularly I hope....! (Apologies for the lengthy post!!)