2015 was a jam packed year. You’ve probably read tons of these posts by now but I took longer than expected to rest over the holidays and only wanted to return to blogging when I felt ready. It is important for me to reflect on achievements and goals, as this space is not only somewhere for you to visit, but also a journal for my business.
So today I’m talking about the year past and thinking ahead a little too. Personally, I spent the latter half of 2015 quite sad. It wasn’t something I wanted or felt I needed to talk about at the time, but I had a general low feeling and I didn’t know why. I was in a funk creatively and I even cried on my birthday (and not because I’m getting old!). There wasn’t a reason I could pinpoint. My anxiety and migraines had even been good so I couldn’t put it down to ill health. Luckily it passed (thanks to patience/hugs from G and friends) and I realised I needed to focus more on my dreams and what I had managed to accomplish. My business word for 2015 was COLLABORATE so bear that in mind as you read ahead and let me know if you think I smashed it or not!
Claireabellemakes is and still remains a side hustle for me, but boy is it tough. I spent most of the year working 60-80 hour weeks, working as hard as I’ve ever worked. And this was the result…..grab a cuppa as this is a long one!
In January I started a new contract with Simple Stylish Makes writing for their blog. Working alongside my blog pals Sophie and Jo has been a delight and I have enjoyed getting to know more about the publishing world.
My SEW brooch had a little appearance on the Great British Sewing Bee after contestant Tamara wore it! TV FAME AT LAST for Claireabellemakes.
In February I joined the Etsy Cambridge team which has been an amazing opportunity for meeting local creatives and participating in Cambridge markets in some fantastic historic venues. My local brand awareness was raised!
I was interviewed for the Blogtacular blog and signed a new contract to work with Sizzix UK. I’ve learnt so much about die cutting and I’m completely hooked. I really hope you’ve enjoyed my DIYs and having an additional blog post in the schedule.
In March I attended the Knitting and Stitching Show to work with Simple Stylish Knitting and I also hung out with some local bloggers at the Camb Meet Up. I started book binding classes in a bid to learn something that wasn’t business related.
April was a busy month as I took on a heap of crochet commissions for titles such as Crochet Barefoot Sandals and some that are still to be revealed.
I launched my Positivity Postcards in the shop and they were featured in the local press in Cambridge along with an interview. Spoonflower and Yahoo Makers also featured my DIYs and this blog had it’s 3 year birthday.
I started my You Tube Channel (which I absolutely LOVE doing) and continued my book binding classes by making a hardback book from scratch. I will never ever look at books in the same way ever again.
I began my partnership with Rhode Island in Cambridge to relaunch the Spring season of Cambridge Craft Parties. Many flower crowns were made in the months ahead!
In May I took the Claireabellemakes shop to London for the BUST Craftacular market. Kate came along for moral support and we had an absolute blast meeting friends such as Zoe from Ladybird Likes and Hannah from PupTart. Getting a London market was a real achievement for me.
June was fun as I attended Blogtacular and helped organise the Cambridge Etsy Craft Party and Pinterest workshop. The Cambridge Craft Party fun continued too and lots of people exercised their creative muscles!
In July I was part of the Etsy Cambridge pop-up shop in the Babylon Gallery in Ely and I made this video because it was just ace!
I worked with Cambridge Video Productions on a promotional video for Cambridge Craft Parties which was a lot of fun and quite nervewracking!
August was so exciting as I achieved one of my biggest collaboration goals of the year. My work was featured in the Lucky Dip Club subscription boxes and I was SO proud.
The contributors for the We Make Collective were announced and one of them was me! Working with Fran is a dream as she really understands what bloggers need and how to grow a wonderful community. I’m so excited to see the future kits that are released!
September was holiday time for us as we visited Disney World in Florida. I had two weeks off but spent it packing in as much Mickey Mouse fun as I could. It wasn’t restful but it was amazing.
In October I made the cutest bed for Tammy on the Laura Ashley blog and I sold at my first Crafty Fox Market in Peckham which was a blast.
I hit 600 sales in my Etsy store and things started to ramp up for Christmas.
I had a top secret meeting with an awesome brand. More on this soon I promise!
I also received a silver at the Cambridgeshire Digital Awards which was a great surprise!
I had a two page interview in Simply Crochet and worked again with Creativity Magazine on some scrapbooking DIYs.
Alongside all this, I hit 700 sales in my store on my last Christmas posting date of 21 December. The studio was hit hard but still showed some festive sparkle amongst the mess (which still covers the floor)!
PHEW. What an exhausting but amazing year, and that was just the highlights! I will admit, there was some disappointment along the way, but nothing that doesn’t drive me to improve Claireabellemakes.
I’ll save my 2016 goals for a separate post as this is super long! You deserve a medal if you’ve read right to the end! I’m sure I’ve got some gold chocolate coins here somewhere to dish out.
Thank you so much for all your support. Every like, comment, and follow means so much as Claireabellemakes enters its 4th year of business. Here’s to a year of a little more sleep eh?
Let me know if you are a blogger and you have written a similar post to this – I love seeing reviews of people’s years! Or maybe you can share what your biggest achievement of 2015 was?