Wow, our first blog post! I knew this was coming. There comes a point where, as a business, blogging and social media and all that lark becomes a must in order to grow. Customers are no longer content with seeing pages and pages or products, they want to know whats going on behind the scenes, how things are made, your 'story', so, here it is, our story. Lets turn the clock back to 2012.
Sitting in our little 2 up, two down, rented house in an unfamiliar town, miles away from friends and family, I was bored (and pregnant!). I say bored, I had plenty to do, I worked full time in a job I didn't enjoy and was also approaching my final year of a business degree. I should have been revising for exams, instead I started cutting up old cards we'd gotten for birthdays and attempting to make my now brother-in-law a birthday card. Not happy with my feeble attempt, I suddenly had a brain wave. Why aren't I designing this on the computer? I'd self taught myself how to use photoshop and illustrator years ago, designing magazine and CD covers for my media A-Level.
A few weeks later I had downloaded the programs, and start playing around designing wedding invitations and cards. I even uploaded a few to Etsy, thinking nothing of it. A couple sold, then a few more, then a couple of months later I was sending a hundred or so cards around the world a month, I even had a couple of wholesale orders.
The following summer, I was accepted to sell on notonthehighstreet. Boy was I in for a shock, a few cards a week turned in to hundreds, I couldn't believe it. I roped my other half in to help and we carried on sending cards out whilst both working full time, trying to finish my dissertation, and being heavily pregnant.
My 'full time job' was meant to be my 'career', I thought I knew what I wanted and having worked for the company since 16, I thought I was there for the long haul. Unfortunately, I found myself being treated unfairly whilst pregnant, and shortly in to maternity leave I found myself thinking 'do I really want to leave my baby with someone else, to go and work back there?'. I didn't, and we started trying to work out if we could afford for me to resign.
We couldn't, but I did anyway. It was a massive risk. Family thought I was mad. I doubted myself. But amazingly, we made it work. We got busier and busier, the money was coming in steadily and finally, I had paid off what debt's I had and I even had a large pot of savings. Next thing, we spontaneously bought a house in Cheshire, we were back among family, and I found myself happy, and pregnant, again!
3 years on, life is a whirlwind. The house, and now garage, is overtaken with the business. We (sorry, Chris) stays up until the early hours of the morning packing orders. The house looks like a hurricane has ripped through it. Stress is having a major impact on everything. But you know what? It's amazing. I can go on spontaneous walks (new years resolution anyone?), I can choose whether or not to get dressed, I won't have to ask anyone for permission to go to watch my sons nursery 'graduation' this September, I could spend the winter in Australia if I so wished (I'd have to take the kids..), I can have a nap at 2pm and order a chinese for my lunch (I don't, obviously..).
And this is where you come in, yes you. Whether you are a customer who has bought something from us, or a family member who has supported us. I only have you to thank, and I am so, so, so grateful to have you on this strange, stressful but oh-so-rewarding journey with us. Have a huge, imaginary hug from us.