Its been a funny year has 2014 business wise. That's funny odd, not funny ha ha by the way...
I took a very long break from the sewing. You know sometimes you do something so much that it gets you down and you end up feeling unsure whether you want to do it anymore... well that was how I was feeling. I became stuck and I didn't know how to become unstuck, I don't know what happened to my passion for fabric,someone must have stolen it, so the easiest thing for me to do was to pack most of my stuff up, hide it and kind of forget about it for a little while. I tend to deal with lots of things like this!
I still kept some workshops going, but that was about it. Months passed, I had started another business, which was fabulous, but in the summer I picked up a craft kit whilst on holiday for something to do late evening in the cottage and I felt that spark again. That spark I felt way back in 2011 when I used a sewing machine for the first time. For the first time in months I went to bed with my brain whirring of other things I could make and couldn't wait to finish off that project I had bought.
Then came the mixed emotions. The feeling of guilt for packing everything away. For neglecting blogs, social media sites, websites, not staying in touch as regularly as usual with my loyal customers. For letting things slide so much I was on the verge of wondering if all was lost and that would be that.
We came home from holiday and in September I got to work planning out winter classes and new products.
And you know what, October, November and December are the best months I have had since I started Sweet Williams. I am amazed at what could been achieved in such a short space of time when you put your mind to it and when you find that passion for something you love again. I actually forgot what it felt like to sew!! How bizarre is that!?!?!
So, I started supplying to shops again, customers came queueing up to purchase Christmas gifts. I sold just short of 200 cushions, around 30 stockings, approx 350 Christmas decorations along with a whole host of other bits and bobs at the many craft fairs I managed to book in.
I ran lots of lovely workshops and was approached by our Town Council who asked if I would run some classes for them. They were fantastic and I am sure that everyone who came had a lovely time and were proud of what they made.
And so, here we are. It's January 2015 and my mind is racing. I am completely fired up and am looking to take Sweet Williams to another level this year. Whilst having a long break, including over Christmas I have thought long and hard about what I want to do with Sweet Williams. I do have an ultimate goal in mind which is rather big (for me) but not impossible, and so this year is going to be about ticking off lots of smaller goals to get closer to what I ultimately want.
This year will see LOTS of fabulous sewing workshops, where there will be much more machine classes. A range of gorgeous sewing kits in equally gorgeous new packaging. The return of popular products, brand new products, the website will be back up and running and will be looking to work with more retailers this year.
I am organised (well, getting there)! My diary is already filling up, I have a wall planner, a life and business organiser, a whiteboard and I am determined to keep on top of my admin (bleurgh)!
I am also VERY excited to be involved in a new local project called Swing into Spring which involves LOTS of fun and LOTS of bunting. I will tell you all about that soon.
So... the long awaited sewing dates so far!!
These are the current dates I have booked in between now and the end of April. There will be more to be added, I am just awaiting confirmation on a few more things first.
10th - Flower Brooch using felt and fabric. 11am - 1pm. £5 per person.
24th - Felt Magnets - afternoon tea theme! 11am - 1pm. £5 per person.
24th - How to make a simple Patchwork Cushion. 1.30pm - 4pm. £25 per person and limited to 5 people. This class must be paid for in advance. ONE SPACE REMAINING
7th - Heart Decoration. 11am - 1pm. £5 per person.
21st - Felt Sheep. 11am - 1pm. £5 per person.
21st - How to make a peg bag. 2pm - 4pm. £15 per person and limited to 8 people. This class must be paid for in advance. 5 SPACES REMAINING
7th - Easter Bunnies. 11am - 1pm. £5 per person.
21st - Easter Chicks. 11am - 1pm. £5 per person.
21st - Spring Bunting. 1.30pm - 4pm. £20 per person and limited to 5 people. This class must be paid for in advance. 2 SPACES REMAINING
11th - Star Keyring. 11am - 1pm. £5 per person.
25th - Felt Squirrel. 11am - 1pm. £5 per person.
25th - How to make a door stop. £15 per person and limited to 8 people. This class must be paid for in advance. 2 SPACES REMAINING
These workshops are all to be held at Port Talbot Library which is situated on the first floor of the Aberafan Shopping Centre. Refreshments are provided. Each person who attends gets issued with a loyalty card. The more you take part in, the more stamps you collect. Fill a card and you will receive a fabulous inspiration pack. Beginners are more than welcome. To book, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or visit my Facebook page and send me a message (www.facebook.com/sweetwilliamshandmade)
Oh, and did I mention that by the first machine class at the end of the month I should have lots of brand new shiny sewing machines for you to use too, since I seem to find myself with a temperamental set at the moment that I am fed up of shouting at!!
Soooooo, lots planned and so much to look forward to. Its safe to say I am very excited and can't wait to get 2015 properly underway.
Shall be back with lots of lovely updates soon.