Wow where did the time go? I can’t believe it has been 5 years since I threw in the towel at my full time job, and decided that I wanted to be top of my own food chain rather than at the bottom of someone elses!. It really has been a crazy journey full of exciting successes, epic fails and everything in between. Thank you to all the people who have encouraged, supported and offered me their time along the way. Here are some of my top 5’s since starting out as a rather clueless but very ambitious surface pattern designer all those years ago!.
Top 5 Highlights
Drooling over the shelves of Wilkinsons filled with my first ever product range with my name up in lights (well not actual lights) alongside, I think I stood there for about an hour!. I also loved the moment I bought one of my products and the cashier commented on how pretty it was, explaining I designed it and the look on her face was absolute gold.
Working in fashion and producing 2 large collections of prints. Although interiors has always been my niche I have always wanted to tick this one off my bucket list and have been very lucky to have been involved in 2 large resort wear collections and more recently a ladies dress line.
The variety of clients and projects is a true highlight for me, and has meant that I have learnt about other cultures and swooned over refreshingly different design briefs. Some of my favourite projects have been in Mauritius, Brunei, USA, and more recently Haiti (pity none of them sent for me!).
The launch and response to my product line. Although I do more on the design side these days my homewares are still going strong and it was such a highlight to have my products featured in the likes of The Independent, BBC Homes & Antiques, Vogue, Northern Living, Marie Claire and more, I even saw my cushions on TV!.
Expanding my Studio and working with other designers has been the highlight of the last 2 years. My designers are not only very talented but also very patient and great at listening to feedback. Easing some of my work load has meant I have had the time to grow the business and work on my much neglected marketing, definitely the way forward!.
Top 5 Favourite things I love about working for myself
I have become the best problem solver around because as any self employed person will understand, you have no choice but to work stuff out for yourself because as much as you love your friends & family, they can’t help you with copyright law or cash flow forecasts. My two best friends are Google and Youtube and between the two of them I can learn pretty much anything or I can find someone who can teach me.
Small business owners tend to like other small business owners. From free tutorials from enthusiastic web designers on SEO to printers pulling out all the stops at the last minute, other small businesses generally will really want to help you as they can relate and are always interested in what you do.
Setting my own hours. This means no unnatural hours & battling with that snooze button, but also breaking out of the monotony of 9 to 5 every day of the week which I have conclude is just plain bad for my soul!.
Learning never stops and I’m sure people who run design businesses would agree that your brain is like a sponge, and I love to learn.
Lastly it takes no time to get ready in the morning, I just don’t have too many mirrors around the studio !. I could be wearing a pink tutu as I’m writing this for all you know, and yes I have worked worked in my pyjamas before just because I can!.
So there we have it, here’s to another 5 years I hope!