2017 Highlights for Claireabellemakes

After finally waking from my Christmas food coma, I thought it was about time I wrote my yearly review post! I’m not sure if you guys enjoy these kind of posts, but I love writing them to look back on my productivity and positive moments. After creating a new product every month in 2016, my 2017 goals were to find more balance across my business and to focus on wholesale for the shop. Here we go!

2017 in Review Claireabellemakes


The year often starts slowly as I spend time on my tax return and stock inventory. I also take time to review the year past and set goals. Even so, I also opened a shop with the new marketplace Look Lane and took some time out for a watercolour class with Emma Block – thanks to Jo for the great gift!

Claireabellemakes on Look Lane


In February I launched the Glitter pins in 6 new colours and they were featured in  local magazine, Cambridge Edition. I worked on some freelance Crochet commissions behind the scenes.



This was the month the blog hit 1 million views!! I also took part in the March Meet The Maker challenge on Instagram and continued work on my freelance crochet patterns. I hosted another Craft party in Cambridge for a private booking.


In March I also started a new part-time job working as a receptionist in a Cambridge technology company. I absolutely love it and really enjoy getting out of the studio to work with others each week.


In April I decided to retire Cambridge Craft Parties to focus on the shop, so hosted my final one for a fantastic group of girls. Jo and I hosted another Cambridge Creatives Photowalk and a TON of people came! I also went on an Olympus Camera photowalk and sold at Norwich Makers Market for the first time.



G and I visited Amsterdam in May and I got to see the beautiful tulips and bicycles! This was the month I finalised the planner pin designs after much sketching and designing. I continued with freelance DIY projects until this month.



The planner pins finally launched and I sold my glitter heart pins on the merch stall at Blogtacular. Attending Blogtacular for the 3rd year was awesome for catching up with my creative pals.



In July I worked with Axa to share a patio makeover on the blog. This marked the start of many evenings spent in our hammock! I also visited Pinterest HQ in London and launched my new card collections in the shop.



I got busy in the kitchen in August to make an apple cake for Pink Lady on the blog. I sold at the Cambridge Made Etsy Fair, went on a fun trip to Dreamland Margate and saw my party hat DIY published in Caboodle Magazine. I also spent the day with Viktorija and Jo exploring Cambridge on our bikes. It was such a fun month!

Caboodle Magazine Party Hat DIY


In September I visited Etsy HQ to meet the team and was selected to become an Etsy Educator. I worked on wholesale orders and sent the planner pins to my first international stockist; Washi Gang in Australia. I also sent an order to a Tea themed cafe in Dubai!

Etsy Educators_group image 2

Jo and I hosted the Autumn Cambridge Creatives Photowalk where we worked with Cambridge Satchel Company again and set off confetti canons.

Cambridge-Creatives-Photowalk-Autumn-2017 Cambridge-Creatives-Photowalk-Organisers

I was thrilled to get crafty on stage with Kirstie Allsopp at the Handmade Fair for Pinterest  too – A great month for business achievements and productivity. Pretty tiring though!



I worked with Wicked The Musical to run a children’s craft workshop in October and loved every minute! Reloved magazine featured me on their Blog Watch pages and I held my Etsy Educators class in Cambridge to help new sellers get started. I worked with Crown and Glory to add my glitter heart pins to their monthly subscription boxes and took on new stockist Sew Me Sunshine for the SEW necklaces.

Glitterati Box


November was spent preparing for the Christmas market season! I also uploaded more planner videos on my YouTube channel and worked with the Sofa & Chair Co and Boots for sponsored content on the blog.

The Cambridge Creatives group visited Escape and Create for a sewing day and mostly just ate cake and chatted about our projects!

The Glitter Wheelie Festive Bikes Decorations were launched in 8 different colours in the Etsy shop (currently on sale until 7 January).



I was thrilled to see the bicycle decorations featured in stop-motion queen Xanthe’s video for Etsy and loved having this full page feature in Velvet Magazine. I took part in Etsy Made Local markets in both Cambridge and Norwich and worked with John Lewis to share decorating ideas on the blog. Jo and I hosted a Cambridge Creatives Christmas meet up at a Wintergarten and I sent out loads of sparkly orders to customers.


G also surprised me with a 2 day trip to Arras in France where we ate lots of cheese and explored the Christmas markets. It was at a crazy busy time of year, but it was great to take some forced time out and feel festive!


PHEW! What a year. I definitely feel like I had a better balance between part-time work, freelance and business work across the year and I was able to be more selective about the projects I worked on. I loved meeting people at Etsy and Pinterest and seeing all my creative pals work with Kirstie too for her Christmas TV show in December.

This week I usually sit down and figure out all my goals for 2018. I know that I want to work on getting more stockists so if you know any cool shops that my work would fit in, do let me know! I also want to finally finally finally launch a new website and of course keep creating new products and fun content here for you.

Thanks for all your support in 2017! What was your highlight of the year?



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