I know I'm a bit late to the party wishing you all a Happy New Year with it being the 5th of January already but thinking back on 2021 it was a good year even with it's ups and downs. Our achievements are too easily forgotten, so I wanted to take a moment to appreciate them and start 2022 on a positive note.
2021 started with a bang when I launched my own online shop in January. This is something I'd wanted to do for a while. Online marketplaces like Etsy are great and certainly have their place but to be able to have full control of my own shop on my own site has been great. I have to thank Business Gateway for their help with this project as without the one to one support I received during a Digital Boost program, in conjunction with Business Boost, I'm not sure I would have had the confidence to get it up and running. So, a big shout out to David for all your digital help, your a star.
February saw the launch of my eco-friendly Crafty Creator Kit. I'd been looking for a way to utilise my waste wool and fabric for sometime, so it was great to finally come up with a use that was fun and good for the environment too. I also took part in online event Postable Pop-Up. Organised by Curated Makers, this is their take on the online market. They encourage you to shop small, by browsing their Instagram account @postablepopup and exploring all of the makers involved all via the hashtag #POSTABLEPOPUP. In February we also saw the arrival of some snow which meant we had great fun testing out my products and doing an ad hock photoshoot.
In March I decided to take part in Instagram challenge #marchmeetthemaker created by Joanne Hawker, an initiative to help people discover more about British makers. Each day you were given a subject which you had to post about. It was a good way to connect with your followers and tell them a bit more about the person behind the business. I also updated my baby accessory range, adding a comforter square (otherwise known as a taggie blanket) and chose five cute new fabrics to make them in. Towards the end of March I was thrilled to spot some of my scarves in Jane Keenan Design's shop window on the channel 4 show Hire My Home. I hope that wasn't my only five minutes of fame.
In April I launched my first knitted headband range, an addition to my Arch collection. It's an item I'd wanted to develop for a while so was happy to finally get these in my shop. With these proving popular there will definitely be more headbands in 2022. I also reached 1000 followers on Instagram which was fantastic. I know numbers aren't everything but I was really proud to reach that milestone.
May was mostly spent developing a new range to sit along side my Arch collection but the best thing that happened that month was shooting my first ever lifestyle photoshoot with photographer Hayley Fraser, along with a whole bunch of lovely models and my twin sister for support. I'd dreamed about doing a professional shoot for sometime so it was great for it to finally come to fruition and I couldn't have been happier with how the images turned out. Such a fun day! I have so many ideas for my next one so watch this space.
June saw the completion and launch of my Block collection. Both it and the Arch Collection use the same colour palette but Block as the name suggests is more simple, there's no jacquard pattern on this one. It also includes my new ribbed beanie where you can choose your pom pom colour or none at all if you prefer, it really gives this product the personal touch. But most of June was used to prep for July as I embraced the epic Tea Green Market Place Month. It was so much fun with giveaways, treasure hunts, virtual open studios, talks, workshops and of course the fab Tea Green Marketplace shopping weekends! Being part of Tea Green Directory has been fantastic and I'm looking forward to seeing what it brings in 2022.
In August I took part in CLOTH#21, a direct selling event set up to promote all who work with cloth or make cloth as part of their creative practice. Whilst I was unable to attend physically, in the beautiful Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, my work was featured as part of the online cohort of textile designer makers online. This month I also gained two new wonderful stockist's Haym in Carnoustie and Lindsey Gallacher Studio and Workshop in Thurso. Independent stores like these are invaluable for me to be able to spread my products far and wide, so I am ever grateful to them.
September was all about the North East Open Studios. This is a fantastic event promoting all things creative in the North East of Scotland. I exhibited in Maud along with six other creatives in Jane Keenan's lovely design store. As the first physical selling event of the year it was great to connect with people face to face and have some lovely conversation about all things creative and more. As a bonus at the end the month I received my copy of the third edition of independent bi-annual publication We Are Maker where I was lucky enough to be featured, yay! This publication showcases a wide array of talented makers across the globe, so as you can imagine how excited I was to be part of it. This also gained me new stockist Hatch in Glasgow. Another fantastic independent store supporting all things craft.
November started with a bang taking part in the V&A Dundee Festive Design Market organised by the wonderful Tea Green Events. I couldn't think of a more fabulous venue to have my first physical festive market since 2018. It was great talking to real customers and catching up with makers I've not seen for ages and one's I've only ever spoken to on Instagram. I also launched my latest collection Crosswise at this event and I'm happy to say it was well received. I plan on adding products to this collection as the year progresses.
December saw my first appearance at HAAN Design Pop-Up organised by the team at Look Again held in the recently renovated Aberdeen Art Galley. I was situated in the sculpture hall which is a beautiful place to spend your weekend. It was so nice to speak to returning customers but also meet so many new ones. There really is nothing better than face to face so I'm glad I got the opportunity to be there. The rest of the month was spent making, packing and sending out orders to you lovely people for which I am ever grateful. Thank you to everyone who bought an item, followed me, commented on a post or got involved in some way, it really is appreciated.
And that's it for my 2021 round up, I hope you've enjoyed my wee recap, if you did let me know, I'm always happy to hear from you. I'm really excited to see what 2022 will bring? I have lot's of product ideas up my sleeve and I can't wait to see what other projects I undertake. So Happy New Year to you all and good luck for whatever you do in 2022.