Hello Self Employment!

It's happened! Ok, I should retract that sentence and say I have MADE it happen! This morning I awoke, stretched looked at the time, the usual, and then remembered, oh yes yesterday was without doubt in the top ten days of ever. What a day.

Work was wonderful. Having been awake since 4am (see previous post!) I was slightly giddy and high on adrenaline all day. I chose to wear my favourite vintage dress which made me feel like an iceberg lettuce coloured princess. (This is a photograph I took at the bus stop, I should have probably asked someone to take a photograph of me at my desk with it on!)

The whole day was really incredible as it was filled with 'lasts' but in a great way. I'd made a little plan weeks ago that I was going to find a clever way if handing out business cards on my last day, and somehow combine it with baking. I baked about 80 little flapjacks in 4 different flavours, and spent two episodes of Mad Men worth of time (yes, 2 hours!) wrapping them, and then adding corresponding twine to their flavours, and making a little key. I then brought them in and set up on my desk in one of my suitcases I use as a stall prop. They went down a storm! My web analytics for yesterday are slightly crazy as everyone logged on as they munched at their flapjack, which felt strange... Seeing my boss sat next to me reading my 'about' section made me feel really nervous.

All day I had people coming up to me telling me how much they loved my website, I really struggled to take it all in! People who I rarely spoke to as well as those I'd class as friends, it was so surreal. I got so many lovely emails too, and shared my website with some of my favourite suppliers who I have worked with over the last few years and it was wonderful to get feedback. It massively felt like putting myself out there with no idea what would happen, but it simply couldn't have been any better. So surreal.

I got some lovely gifts on my last day too, really surprised as I'm one of those people who always forget about things like that. It wasn't until we were coordinating the collection for a colleague who was leaving the same day (who will go on and do wonderful things, I am so proud of him!) that I thought oh gosh I might get a present too, how exciting! I had to do a little speech thing which as usual was hilariously rubbish (public speaking is going on the list of things to work on!!) and got a beautiful Jane Packer plant (always wanted one!) a bottle of Champagne for when I've made my first million (!), John Lewis vouchers (which I vow NOT to spend on printer ink or thread...) and a book about blogging for creatives that I almost bought last week but then thought no I should save my money, so that was perfect!! I got some other lovely gifts from friends at work too - it felt like it was my 21st birthday or something!! 

At the end of the day I had to out my final out of office on, which was sad! (it was rewrote based on the photo below as the top sentence clearly isn't finished, I got excited and wanted to record the moment)

I also made sure to take home one of the sample labels the factories send which had my name on next to 'Buyer' which I'm actually going to stick in a frame because it will always remind me that is what I was (well, Assistant Buyer not Buyer!).

What made yesterday extra special was that everyone I spoke to was excited for me. There was no 'oh what are you doing that for' or even any passive comments, it was so wonderful that people believed I was doing the right thing and that after seeing what I do they understood. To have so much support behind me is astounding and I can't feel any more happy about it than I do. I know I have done the right thing, I know full well that the challenges ahead are going to be massive but I am ready. It was funny that a lot of people sat and read my blog, I secretly love that though, on my blog I do witter on and what not - but it is me, and this is just a nice space to talk about the path along the way which I think is important for a growing business. 

When I left the office to head to the pub for cocktails I choke up a bit. I did well not to sob as I'd been emotional a lot of the day, but walking out of the office I really felt it. It wasn't leaving that job in particularly, but leaving something else behind. I've been in Fashion Buying for 5 years, I've worked in the West End for 5 years, and this has been everything I've known as a 'grown up'. It was strange thinking that is the end of a little bit of an era. It's a very exciting path ahead, but this really is a massive change. & that's just the geography! Not even mentioning the passing of regular pay cheques and human company on a daily basis! 

Now the first challenge of the day is to find my voice (I can't even speak, I think I've got laryngitis again which is not good news with a big event on tomorrow), tidy my room which at the minute is an explosion of bags of clothes that I've been hoarding under my desk at work for months, oh and make lots of exciting new stock for tomorrow! Good challenges I think! I also need to learn how to look after my lovely little plant as I have not got the best history with these things...

Katie x