In the first week of 2018, I found myself still clinging onto my Christmas break. I spent my Christmas in London with family (and a new arrival, my nephew Victor!) and then chilled to the max for a few days, which was really nice after consecutive weekend markets through December that left me feeling frazzled. I wasn’t ready to face the world, social media, etc. I am sure many of you will sympathise!
Last week I came out of my shell and I am beginning to get back into the swing of things. It helped that I received a wholesale order and an online sale, which gave me a push to emerge into reality! I started to think about what I want to accomplish this year, while reflecting on my 2017.
Last year was probably the most successful year for my business so far! Financially, I am not sure about – I need to get top of my accounting! – but I am chuffed about the variety of client work I got to do, and being featured in more publications, most recently Creative Countryside magazine. I have also had my most successful market stalls to date!
Despite seeing more success, I was struck down with self doubt and stress more often than not. It hindered my ambition to be creative daily, and my social media presence has suffered a bit too but I’ve proven to myself that I will always find ways to manage it.
Here’s what I did in 2017:
- I got featured on A Year Of Creative Habits website as an alumni
- I worked on my third and biggest wedding related commission – in which I designed and handlettered invitations, food menus, table plans, name placecards, signs, thank you cards and envelopes – and I loved it!
- Aneurin and I had our romantic weekend break in Peak District for our 4-year anniversary and we are eagerly planning our 5-year anniversary break now (we are thinking Edinburgh!)
- I released a lot of new greeting cards, including a Mother’s Day card and a new range of Christmas cards
- I visited Budapest for a week with my two friends!
- I talked to Just A Card about being an illustrator and how small purchases mean a lot
- I drew wild flowers for 100 days and this project was featured on Erin Veness’ blog!
- Aneurin and I went on an unexpected, last-minute trip to Exmouth and spent a lovely weekend collecting shells
- I gained 5 new stockists!
- My products made it into shop windows!
- I visited Woodthorpe Tropical House and got a lot of inspiration
- I met alpacas!
- I successfully propagated some of my cacti and succulents
- I collaborated with an embroidery artist to create a plant themed embroidery kit and PDF pattern
- I released a new range of prints, fuelled by my love for my houseplants
- I talked to Northern Craft about how art improved my mental health
- I had my most successful stall ever in the summer, and then had four more stalls running up to Christmas
- I bought my first ever Monstera Deliciosa plant… and it hasn’t died yet!
- My Houseplants notebook got featured on HuffPost
- I designed my first ever notepad to sell on my shop
- My big sister gave birth to a son and without hesitation I drove down to Bristol to meet my one-day-old nephew!
- I did a Q&A with Becky on her blog, Printed Forest
- I worked on lots of special commissions, including a family portrait, bespoke Christmas cards, wedding stationery, and pet portraits
- My robin illustration got published in a magazine!
- I got my hand built clay pieces fired for the first time and I shared my ceramic journey on my blog
- I got asked by my dream client, geo-fleur to create a ‘Happy Holidays Crazy Plant Person’ card design!
- Stylist included my opinion in their article ‘How craft fairs became cool’
In 2018 I want to simplify my ambitions a bit – last year I felt like I put myself under a lot of pressure, and while I want to keep exploring and discovering, I intend to have fewer specific goals, and just follow one guiding principle: GROW.
My business found real traction last year and I want to keep growing it to be more sustainable. I will be seeking out more stockists and continuing to develop my product range – and I hope I will make plenty of opportunities to get my work out there along the way!