I am really overjoyed to be writing this blog post. Today is the very first official birthday of mrs L cards, I say official because it is the first full year that I have worked full time on mrs L cards. I can't believe one whole year has passed already. The events leading up to this date last year still seem vivid in my mind...
This time last year I was made redundant for the second time in 2012. To be completely honest neither redundancies came as a surprise to me and fortunately as many of you know mrs L cards was already up and running, albeit in between working full time.
For quite a few years leading up to both redundancies I had felt a little despondent with my career and in turn myself. mrs L cards gave me a new enthusiasm for design and, something that had been missing for quite some time, real excitement and a massive desire for what could be the new path for my life. I saw this second redundancy as a "Sign" to go for it with mrs L cards.
So one year on?
I can safely say I have never worked so hard or so many hours in my life. But it feels different somehow. The hours spent working don't seem like a sacrifice especially when you are enjoying it and you have a goal in mind. And when great things happen it feels so special. And some amazing things have happened this year;
In March mrs L cards won the Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Award. A barrage of emails one Monday night confirmed that my email had not been hacked but that Theo has chosen mrs L cards as one of his six small businesses for that week. At the end of November I'm heading down to Birmingham to attend my first ever #SBS Event AND I get to meet Theo himself!
In May this year I went to my first ever Notonthehighstreet.com "Make, do and Meet" which was a full day in London where I got to mingle with fellow NOTHS sellers and attend workshops and talks. My NOTHS shop is going from strength to strength, mrs L cards has had over 6,500 sales from here alone. I know this is small fry to many of the great sellers on this website but it makes me so chuffed.
Alongside my usual range of cards and prints I have been commissioned to do some wonderful things; from extremely personalised wedding thank you notes to posters to celebrate cycling achievements to heartfelt memorials I have loved doing them all.
Most recently mrs L cards has been shortlisted for Best Home Based Business for the North East Women Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Simply being chosen as a short-lister is amazing and being interviewed and filmed (!)has been actually quite a lot of fun. The ceremony, a fancy black tie event, is being held
on 15th November so fingers crossed!!!
So going forward...
I have so many ideas for how to grow mrs L cards. My "to do" list is never ending mainly because I keep adding ideas for new products. Sometimes I just need to find a few more hours in the day or more arms or something! I now have some super little helpers who take a weight off my shoulders and hopefully if all goes well I will need them more and more.
Every day is not wonderful, there are days when things go wrong, I make mistakes or the amount I have to do just becomes so overwhelming. But and this is a BIG but I wouldn't change it for the world. When wonderful customer comments come through I can't help but smile and feel proud. I've finally found
something I am really passionate about and I'm not prepared to let it go.....