It has been a well and truly roller coaster month with exciting new challenges and opportunities left, right and centre…
Throughout October we’ve also been really exploring having our products stocked in shops. Now, I know, we were a bit late with this one as it is something we should have done over the summer but unfortunately, as is the nature of starting and running a small business, sometimes things don’t happen as they’re meant to! However, it hasn’t been all doom and gloom (though, mentioning no names, it is amazing how rude some people can be!) and we have been somewhat fortunate in that smaller shops are more flexible and love our beautiful products! So, if you’re Shropshire based we can very happily announce that our products can be found in the lovely Templeton Jones in Shrewsbury and if you’re London based, they can be found at the fabulous Sublime Boutique, Victoria Park Road! This is a massive mile stone for us and is something that hopefully we can continue to develop in the run up to Christmas and over the coming year.
Next on the agenda was the slightly scary public speaking venture! I was contacted by a member of staff from Harper Adams University asking if I would be willing to go in and speak to the current students, as a graduate, about starting a business and my experience to date. I can’t honestly say I felt qualified to stand in front of students and tell them about running a business, but it was a great opportunity to reflect upon how much I’ve learnt over the last year and how far the business has come so was certainly a worthwhile process. The students also spent some time looking at the website and talking about what they liked and where they felt improvements needed to be made which was again, invaluable.
From Harper I zipped back down to London for a Small Business PR workshop at the spectacular Somerset House, run by Enterprise Nation (the same company that I went to NYC with last month). This was a really useful couple of hours and we got some great tips from Lizzie Slee on how best to gain coverage and get some attention, but also what to expect the outcome of the coverage to be and the associated time-scales. Lizzie also broke down the different types of press which is one of those things that as soon as the words had left her mouth, seemed so obvious, but I would never have thought of it myself, so thank you Lizzie!
Later in the week I met up with Nina from Lula Le Bon and headed off to find out about a Fashion Show I had been sent the details of from a friend of my brother… long winded! We arrived at the venue to find we were pretty much the first there and the rehearsal was not under way, but things were soon moving and our beautiful products incorporated. Unfortunately, aside from the fact that I got to catch up with a friend, I can’t say anything much more positive about the show, in fact, the less said the better! On the plus side, the products looked absolutely fantastic on the catwalk which has to count for something and I made sure to hand out my lovely new postcards to those in attendance. Huge thanks also goes out to Sam who made the effort to dress up and come in to London just to see us- really very much appreciated.
We finally managed to squeeze in a weekend in North Wales catching up with friends, but also as a final break before the absolute chaos that is Christmas descends upon us. It was a great opportunity to wear one of the beautiful headbands out and about as there was a food festival (Conwy Feast) on and I’m a sucker for a burger as some of you may well know (I almost started a burger blog, sad but true…)! Having lived up in North Wales, it’s always a bit of a treat to get up there, catch up with friends and hit the beach, especially in gale force winds because, well, you’d expect no less from Wales.
So here the month ends with dashing back from London to pull together some wholesale orders, followed by a further dash to Telford to have my picture taken for the Young Britain Wall of Fame! I certainly not famous but it’s exciting (and concerning) to think that people will see my picture with a link to the website. Here’s hoping the public are so inspired by my mugshot that they check out the website- a bit of optimism never hurt… It’s refreshing to be involved with something like Young Britain, just to be surrounded by other people all in a similar situation which is a great environment for bouncing ideas around or just getting a bit of a morale boost because goodness knows there are days when you need them!
In other exciting news this week, we’ve been awarded Growth Vouchers for use in developing digital technologies within the business! Yay! It will be interesting to see how we can develop what we are doing to enable us to become more effective, which is always exciting, especially in the run up to Christmas- on which note:
Which takes us nicely on to where we’re going to be over the next couple of months… This year we are excited to be attending the Country Living Christmas Fair at the Business Design Centre in London, from the 12th-16th November. This is quite a big deal for us (read HUGE deal), so if you’re planning on attending, make sure you come and see us and if you’re not attending, tell everyone you know about it- hopefully we’ll be smiling! The following weekend (21st-22nd November) we’re heading down to Ascot for the November meeting and Christmas Fair which should be exciting at the least. It’s funny how out of nowhere, I happen to have volunteers to help at that event… not that I’m complaining! We are also attending again to Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants Christmas Fair on Friday 5th December down in London- always a great event, followed by Old Spitalfields on the Saturday. Any other suggestions for other events that we might be able to squeeze in welcome, it’s always great to get our products in front of new faces.
Finally, as well as having our own events to attend and being stocked in some lovely shops, our beautiful headbands can be seen with the lovely Michelle from Baa Stool at the Arley Hall Fair in Cheshire on the 10th and 11th Nov, as well as at the Ideal Home exhibition on the 14th-16th November.
We’re always pleased to hear from you, so if you’ve seen us around or know of somewhere you’d like us to be, drop us a note… Here’s to it getting a bit colder and a lot more Christmassy!