Another year has ended. And my first (not quite) 12 months in Manchester have come to an end. It’s definitely been a year of two halves. And I’m ending it with an over riding sense of ‘good riddance’.
The first 6 months were all go and full of paid work. The second half has been one of re-evaluation, focusing on what my brand means and changing the way it works, setting up my online shop and realising that old ways just don’t work like they used to.
Relocating is always an interesting challenge. Changing the structure of your business at the same time is an added facet. It’s a little bit like starting all over again. In some ways you are going back to square one. And that’s a place I don’t particularly want to be again right now.
One thing I have finally resigned myself to, is that if you build it, they will not come. You have to be a slave to social media, and eager to network at every available opportunity. These are not things that come easily to me. I am happy to shut myself away in the studio creating beautiful things and managing accounts. Hawking myself about is another job entirely and it’s one I have to do myself. Selling online through Etsy was ineffective. And setting up my own shop means all of the above but having to manage the publicity and traffic myself.
Coupled with multiple issues behind the scenes in my personal life which have knocked me for six at every available opportunity, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. There are days when you just want to shut yourself away and deal with other issues. But instead you are there planning, making, typing. And the personal stuff doesn’t get sorted and mentally it’s running around in your head forever unless you can face it.
Despite this the figures look good. This year I have achieved 29 shoots and 13 publications. And so many collections I have lost track. I shouldn’t complain. It’s better than my other years. So something is going right. I just need more of it. And I need it to translate into hard cash.
I have high expectations for 2016. Things will be better. Things will be bigger, more of, more positive. Embracing every opportunity is a rule I must stick to. Already I have an editorial confirmed, 3 shoots booked, talks for a catwalk show and I have a huge list of potential collaborators.
There’s no doubt that if I keep up the momentum, things are going to be good. It’s about remaining focused, energised and moving forward. Even if the personal stuff is still there.