Someone sent me a quote the other day that said “We put “made with love” on our product labels because “made with cursing, 2 trips to the craft shop and lots of wine” just won’t fit in a cute little label.” But honestly, after 2022 I’m considering investing in some bigger labels.
I’m not going to say that the last 12 months have been a complete disaster (I’ll go through a few highlights below, life is about balance after all…), however personally I know I haven’t been acting, working and feeling my best and that definitely showed in the last few months of the year.
I also had to take on another job at the start of the year which made me feel like a failure or like I was “giving up” on my dream, but I can honestly say it’s helped me so much in so many ways. My confidence is better, financially it’s nice to have a bit of stability, and it turns out I’m pretty good at spreadsheets and talking on the phone about blocked toilets. Who knew?
I’ve been open before about the struggles of being a small business owner and independent artist so I won’t bore you with all that broken-record-ness. Luckily I have some amazing supporters, customers and cheerleaders who have my back. I think during the last few months of 2022 I failed to see just how much support was there and lost my way a little bit.
After a bit of a rest (which I definitely felt guilty for. Like what even is spare time??) and a few pep talks I finally feel more ready than I have done in forever to take on the world again and get as many absolute badasses wearing my designs. I’m planning a world takeover like a James Bond villain off of the 70s.
I’ve been so lucky to have some absolutely incredible customers this year and I’ve had the pleasure of working with loads of fellow creatives to come up with some new layouts and designs.
I absolutely love it when someone comes to me with a new idea and asks me create it for them and 2022 was filled with so many brides to be who trusted me enough to create something completely new and unique for them.
In spring I was lucky enough to have my work featured in Rock n Roll Bride Magazine. I have no shame in saying I’ve got that magazine framed in my work room and honestly it makes me smile seeing it. 5 year old me who was told “art isn’t a real job” would be so proud right now.
It does make me wonder though, how many photos are out there featuring my work? I’ve probably painted well over 400 jackets over the last 6 years and only one bride has let me know my work has been shared. So a little PSA: please, please, PLEASE tag all your wedding suppliers in blog posts, social media stuff. It really does mean the world. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I’ve felt crappy and unmotivated to pick up the paintbrush until I look at that framed magazine and remember how lucky I am to be able to do something I love as a job.
In October I did my first wedding fair since before the world went mad. This lead on to meeting some amazing local Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire wedding suppliers and working with them to put together an amazing styled wedding shoot.
Absolute #weddinggoals am I right? Not even ashamed to be completely biased right now…
Show more of myself
(No not like that. Don’t be filthy 😉). On TikTok I managed to get up to 79k followers and I’ve come to realise it’s probably because I’m more “me” on there than I’ve ever been on Instagram. I’ve always said that Instagram is like a fashion show and TikTok is like the nitty gritty behind the scenes stuff, but I can definitely feel a shift in what people want from social media and small business accounts on Insta recently. I did a poll recently to see what people wanted and the overwhelming majority was for more personal stories and behind the scenes stuff, so it looks like we’re doing this…
More non-weddingy designs
Pre pandemic working in the wedding industry was a safe bet. Most people are going to get married at some point right?! Turns out self isolation, tiers (who remembers that?!) and having your perfectly applied wedding make up covered with a face mask kind of put people off weddings. So in 2023 I really want to focus on the “just because I want it” market. I think things like Docs and bags would be perfect for this. I’d love to get to a stage where I have ready made designs I can offer to everyone, whether they’re getting married or not.
More bags, purses, phone cases, shoes, belts. Basically if you’ve got anything you want me to give a new lease of life to, get in touch! I’m even thinking about doing pet portrait luggage tags seeing as the pet portrait Christmas decorations were so popular again in 2022.
Put myself out there more
I’ve had this business for nearly 7 years now and whilst I’m not an expert by any means, I’d love to collaborate with other small business owners to share what expertise I’ve learned along the way. I’d love to work on blogs, YouTube videos and podcasts with others within the industry, so if you have any ideas about where I could start let me know!
Thinking about all of the above I’m also trying to shift my outlook on everything. I’ve not had an order for four weeks now (I get it, in January most people’s monthly budget is approximately -£8347) but that’s ok. It’s given me time to reflect, spend time with my son and even have time to write an essay of a blog post…
My point is that at the start of last year I’d have taken this personally and spent every waking second worrying and telling myself I’m not good enough. This year I’m genuinely trying to re-shift my outlook and realise I am enough, not perfect but enough, and that’s more than OK.
As always, my inbox is always open so feel free to DM any time!
If you’re thinking of booking in for a painted leather jacket or wedding shoes for 2023 spaces are running out for spring and summer so get in touch now and we’ll get you booked in.