Over the last few days I've been looking back over my last year and over the past 10 years as we've hopped over into a new decade. As with most people there are have been many ups and course the downs. I thought it would be a nice idea to look back over the last 10 years and see where I was in comparison to where I am now.
2010 - This was the year I completed my degree in Graphic Communication at the then University of Wales Institute Cardiff. Feeling a bit lost and down hearted that it was all over and I was leaving Cardiff, I walked straight into a job on a pepper farm in my home country of Somerset whilst I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
2011 - This was the year of the grand opening of my Etsy shop, haha! I laugh because it took me well over a year to get just one sale! I may have opened it but it was a struggle. I almost closed it 3 times! But thankfully, I stuck at it and learnt how to create a professional looking store and how tags and titles worked.
2012 - A year later, I was scrolling through twitter and saw that a couple of makers had joined NotOnTheHighStreet. Having never heard of it before, I had a look, because I'm a bit nosey like that. FOMO got the better of me and on a whim I applied. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be accepted. My shop was a mess, I had no real style, and to be completely honest, I didn't know what I was doing. I spent a great time thinking about it because the fee was an awful lot more than it is now and was a substantial amount of money for someone who didn't have running a business in their sights. But I bit the bullet, dove in, and got to work figuring things out.
2013 - This was the year for taking part in exhibitions, attending NotOnTheHighStreet events and meeting other makers for the first time. It was also the year of solving my printer woes (after spending a lot of money on things that didn't work for me!) and learning how to use my printer to the best of it's ability. I introduced personalised prints for the first time, out sourced my pocket mirrors and added a line of pretty earrings to my collection! I actually miss making these maybe one day I may revisit costume jewellery, who knows!
2014 - A year later, I stopped out sourcing my mirrors and saved up all of my money from my day job to buy my badge machine! Looking back, it didn't cost 'that much' but it was a really big thing at the time. I spent so long trying to decide whether to go for it and after a lot of contemplation, took the plunge and it worked out for the better! In that year I went on a badge machine crazy spree and released product after product, all shot at home, whilst working my full time job with my bugs, peppers and plants on the pepper farm.
2015 - This was the year I found of my love of scratch cards and revealing secret messages. It's hard to believe it was this long ago as it only feels like yesterday that I created my first! They're still one of my favourite products to create and I hope to add many to my collection over the next year! It was also the year that my NOTHS colour Saturday photo was used in the Metro! Seeing my silly face in that paper was really exciting and I still have a copy somewhere!
2016 - Ah yes, the year of massive highs and super low, lows. 2016 was the year my husband and I purchased our first house home together. But in the same week of buying the house, my sister was diagnosed with something you never want to hear. 2016 was also the hardest year in my day job. I learnt about being just another number on the payroll and all the previous years of hard work and dedication meant nothing. It was the year I left the stressful life of looking after a pepper crop and pursued my own dreams and ambitions. It was also the year that I started the Somerset Etsy Team and began to start meeting some amazing makers that I'm lucky enough to call my friends.
2017 - I was invited to London where I had to go completely out of my comfort zone and do a presentation for the Mollie Makes awards in front of a panel of judges. Needless to say, it couldn't have gone too bad because I won an award for my #MarchMeetTheMaker Instagram challenge! In that same year I went to Mollie Makes HQ and Pinterest HQ which was pretty amazing! However it goes without saying that the best thing to happen that was year was the wedding proposal from my now very lovely husband!
2018 - I had a go at something that I'd always wanted to try - screen printing! It was also the first year that the Somerset Etsy Team hosted Etsy Made Local in Wells! Which also coincided with me doing my first ever craft market! However, the main event was always going to be the day that I married my favourite human. It really is true when they say that it goes in the blink of an eye!
2019 - This was the year of doing really scary things. My resolution for 2019 was to get out of my comfort zone and I think it's fair to say that I did that alright! I sat on the panel for She Can She Did on the move in front of an audience of around 100 which was terrifying! And shortly before, a seagull decided to steal my sandwich straight out of my hand! I also travelled to London on my own to meet the founder of NotOnTheHighStreet to record a podcast episode in her living room! It was completely nerve wracking and I made myself ill over it because I was so nervous and not used to this sort of thing but I'm soooo glad I did it. It's one of my highlights for sure! Later on that year I was pushed out my comfort zone again when invited by a friend to join her on live radio for BBC Somerset!
2020 - I'm unsure about what 2020 holds for me but I'm really excited to find out! I'm hoping for another successful year for #MarchMeetTheMaker, lots more creative meet ups and adventures to new places!