Every year I write resolutions, I am just that sort of person. Here is one from last year which you may know about (copied and pasted from my vast list):
"Make cards to sell, must must must do this, I do not want to get to thirty and it still be an idea, actually I don't want to get to twenty five and it still just be an idea, stop letting worries or sadness hold me back"
If you didn't know this, the thing about me is that I'm fiercely ambitious and independent. I guess, I did it!
2011 was a funny year for one reason or another, and I finished the year in Jersey, bruised and broken from showing off at ice skating. I started this year bright and breezy (still sore from the adore mentioned fall) and had a wonderful day by the sea and at the zoo excited about the year ahead.
On coming back to England on January 2nd I really thought about this resolution, and set to work. I've made cards forever, as most folk have in one way or another, but now was time to really get started. Towards the end of January I returned to Jersey for another week, where I spent time wandering by the sea, then returning to the hotel to draw and cut and stitch, and yes! It all came together.
The rest of the year seems a blur. From my first little stall, to having a go at the real Christmas markets, I've watched my little card making idea grow into what I hope is that start of an actual business. I'm a normal person, I have a full time job, a North London flatshare and bills to pay so there wasn't a chance of jacking that in and moving back to Yorkshire to faff about making things . No, to make this "work" it was about developing a balance and as this has used a lot of my evenings and weekends, it always had to be something I loved and enjoyed, which I do. London inspires me, as does living my own life.
This year I've met so many amazing and wonderful people - I'd love to name check them all but I'd be too scared of missing someone so I won't - you know who you are. It's true that if you spend time with inspiring people, you become inspired - that's obvious. I'm babbling...
The first time I sold a card I waited until the customer had left and immediately did starjumps. On my third market I got home and cried my eyes out as I was so taken aback by the success of the evening and the lovely things folk had said. This always phases me - I wish I'd wrote them down but I think that might be a tad vulgar. Along the way I've been asked to work on weddings, parties and allsorts - it feels just astounding and is the biggest boost!
The more time I spend doing the markets, customers have become my friends and I realise that I don't just "faff about making cards" but I've carved out a niche little brand that I'm so excited about growing. 2013 is going to be a big year and although I've got some scary things to sort out first, my main feeling about it all is pure EXCITEMENT at this new adventure.
All I can say is thank you. Thank you to every customer, every lovely comment, every commission no matter how big or small, and every bit of advice and inspiration that I've been given. Yes I'm soppy, yes I'm twee, but I'm also a person who has got her confidence back this year, and found the thing that I'm good at (cocky!!) and also makes me happy too. I'm very lucky.
I guess on a footnote, I can't say it's been easy either. I might sound slightly flippant at times, but this year certainly hasn't been straight forwards and any success I've had is to be attributed to working hard, and harvesting a lifetime of ideas. Challenges and sadness I've faced in both my personal and professional life have made me all the more determined to prove what I can do, and follow a dream. To quote one of the favourite items in my shop 'Look at the Stars instead of Your Feet'
Now let's all go and have a sherry and a new year boogie!