Well, well, well. Time flies when you're having fun right?! It also flies when you're mad busy, super stressed or wishing away the weeks to get over certain blocks in the road. Basically, I swear down, that time goes quicker as we age?! I never, ever look back at a year and think- phwoar that was shit as even in amongst utter crap there's good. 2015 wasn't amazing, 2016 was wonderful, 2017 wasn't amazing and I as always this time of year, feel on edge for what the next brings. Scary to look across a whole unwritten year right?
SBN has grown massively in 2017. I didn't make my all my goals but I made most and more. When I started the business back in October 2016 just as a little- well let's just see how it goes. I didn't expect it to become so established so quickly after Christmas and into the Jan of this year. It really took off when I launched my pears in April.
Where the pears began...so it all started with the lovely light companies light up pears. I kept seeing the pears and apples around Instagram and I started to wonder how easy it would be to find wooden shapes to paint with faces. After some research I realised you couldn't just order wooden pears and apples so suddenly I got excited as I then realised a) it can't be being done and b) it will be hard for people to copy my ideas. However, I did then panic when I was making sure I wouldn't be stepping on any ones toes when I saw a brand in Aus turning their own pears and putting faces on them. However, they are in Aus, they are bloody expensive to ship to the UK and my ideas extended far beyond what I had found on their Etsy which made me realise that I was actually going to be creating something different. That and my pear shape wasn't going to be similar. So I found someone who could help me with the turning, worked out logistics and went for it ensuring I never looked back at what the Aus company were doing EVER and I still don't for fear of seeing anything similar or getting an idea in my head I wish I didn't have.
How they developed...they really took off after my pear competition and then people saw that I had made a bunny and the requests flooded in. I built up a massive range of pears yet there's still animals I want to make. The unicorn which Sharlene Home asked me for has been my biggest seller especially on NOTHS. I made an A/W collection and my plan is for a S/S collection to launch Feb-ish which will be based on my ideas for a new nursery all being well of course.
Other items I make with wood remained strong sellers, for example my garlands. But now my plans and vision has grown. I will let you into my ideas ever so slightly- though never a good thing delving into my thoughts if you ask my husband...I am desperate to grow SBN to a point where I have a complete office space, I am shipping more items per day rather than per week, my website becomes a one stop place for gifts- I want to be able to provide you with everything you would need to purchase a newborn present, christening gift, birthday gift (you catch my drift) but everything will remain my own and my own designs. I want to grow it to a point where I am working more closely with NOTHS so I make even more sales through them and then I reach a point where I need help (I don't mean like I already do but to a point where I am really, really struggling and can afford help). Someone who can come in and help me package, email, take photos and make items with me as well as be alright with a toddler who likes to be involved in everything. This person must also be able to make a decent cuppa and have a love of all things biscuit. It won't grow enough in 2018 but down the line I really hope it will. This isn't something I want to dabble with for years to come. I take this seriously and I am working really bloody hard.
2017 has had its downs personally but I have always remained focussed on my goals. I have wanted to do more and sometimes I have had to park ideas because I just haven't had the time amidst the carnage of other things. However, the support I have received, every order and every exciting share on Instagram has perked my year right up and I am forever and I mean forever grateful of everyone's support.
One of my biggest concerns going forward is copying and something that is pretty prolific on Instagram because there are a lot of people seeing others' success and wanting a piece of that pie but not always knowing what to create. Annoyingly, I have had a few copying incidents this year. I don't 'out' anyone and I don't do anything other than block them on Instagram as a 'I know you're looking at my styling, products- re-creating them and then looking at the people I am friendly with on Instagram and targeting them and buying their products to style with your similar ones etc' whether they have slightly adapted them or not- still annoys me. So my fear is someone will re-create my pear designs completely which is why I need to take the steps I am making and why I continue to LOVE anyone who shares SBN because it's me! me! me! who makes unicorn pears etc You can't stop the buggers but rise above and know that you are true to who you are and people will buy from you because you are you. You get me??! Enough 'yous' for one sentence... I mean Emma Bridgewater must get well pissed seeing other brands with mugs and hearts but hey- even she is aware of her copy cats and believes in rising above. However, I will be heartbroken if I see anyone doing exactly what I am.
Other SBN highlights this year include, being nominated for Product of the year with Mollie Makes, being shared by NOTHS, completing my video course with Xanthe so I can make more videos for the family and bring the pears to life, honing my styling after working on it for two years through Makelight, working with other brands on Instagram to promote myself and meeting people from Instagram in actual real life.
I am expecting twins and have a toddler and technically will have three under two for a couple of months. I am shit scared something will go wrong but all being well it won't and the aim is that the business continues. Yep, I know that you may be reading that and perhaps having a little 'pft yeh right' but seriously, I will not sit back for SO many reasons. It will continue in some kind of capacity to begin with and then with the aim of it being as it is now and more towards the end of the year. I am just praying, hoping, wishing, believing and doing yoga so we end up in 2018 with three children and my fourth child- SBN growing to the grand age of two with even more people owning my designed items.
Here's to you, here's to a new year, here's to all that love so many of you share. Here's to growing a pair and pushing myself even more creatively. Be more like this Greek grafiti artist...
Lots of love
P.S you can get £5 off an order if placed before next Sunday with 'hey2018'