Onwards and upwards!

This (kind of) follows on from my last blog about re-thinking my social media strategy. By default, I haven’t posted much over the last few weeks due to the fact that I’ve just been so busy making! Everything always happens at once doesn’t it, and following months of going through the process of moving house, we’re finally due to complete this Friday! As welll as this though, because I currently work entirely from home, I have to also move my workshop.

Now, I could have taken the easy option, and just continued being at home, but it just is happens that about 2 miles away from our new place, is Taurus Crafts...and...it also just so happened that they’d just finished, and had put up for rent, so shiny new workshop units...it had to be fate right?

I picked up the keys on Saturday, and we got straight in to paint the floor, and begin kitting it out. I have some gorgeous new jewellers benches, that will the base for running “Make Your Own Wedding Ring Workshops” and already have my first couple booked it at the end of June!

It’s going to be a big change work wise, including the fact that my commute, which will be by bike, will increase by about 4000% (an estimate, I haven’t actually done the maths)! I’ve had my confidence knocked a fair few times in my life, which I think I manage to mask pretty well, but right now, being in a position where I can afford to pay rent on my own proper “studio” feels fantastic!

Currently very empty looking, but this space will soon be the new AFJ HQ!

Currently very empty looking, but this space will soon be the new AFJ HQ!

March Meet The Maker and Social Media Strategy Thoughts....

Yesterday, I read the news that Lush have decided to leave social media almost all together. They say it’s due to data breach concerns, and it’s really made me wonder about doing the same. Despite all of the worries about brexit, 2019 has so far been busier than ever for me. A bit too busy in fact, and I think I’d love to be able to just remove it from my list of work tasks! I know though, that this is definitely not a time to start getting complacent. UK business is hanging on a knife edge and some rich people sat on expensive leather benches, shouting at each other across a room, are doing their best to start the next depression! 

Last month I took part in March Meet The Maker, an instagram challenge where “makers” post every day (in March!) based on a particular prompt. I’ve tried to do it before, but this is the first year that I actually managed to get to the end!! It seemed to be really good for my social media presence, and I picked up quite a few new followers along the way. It was hard work keeping up though, even with posting via a scheduler app, and since the end of March, I don’t seem to have been able to find any spare time to post anything at all!! 

So, I know I’m, not Lush, and so not in a position to be able to just throw away a wonderful source of free advertising, but I am thinking that I need some kind of strategy, rather than just randomly posting. I don’t know what that strategy is yet, and it’s time to go for a run, so I’ll just continue to think about it for a bit longer, and I’m the meantime, here’s a few of my #marchmeetthemaker pics…

EWE is back - who wants some free tickets?

What can I say about the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza apart from the fact that I’ve exhibited at the last three, and in my opinion anyway, I’d just like to say its THE most amazing wedding event ever!!!

IMG_1480.JPG

This blog is part of a massive “thunderclap” of posts, all timed to go out between 11am-12noon today (28th Jan) in order to launch the next bigger and even better show!

“EWE” is the brainchild of Jo, fantabulous wedding dress designer and maker at The Couture Company and Sassy, photographer extraordinaire at Assassynation, and all takes place on the 16th and 17th of March, at The Bond Company and Fazeley Studios in very hip and cool Digbeth in Birmingham.

So for my part of the thunderclap, I’m giving away 2 tickets (worth £20) for the Sunday. To enter, just reply to this post and tag the person you’d like to bring with you.

This is going out on my blog, instagram, facebook, Pinterest and twitter, so if you REALLY want to win, feel free to enter and tag your fiancé/partner/bestie/mum/dad/brother/sister/long lost great aunt (sorry no dogs unless its a guide dog) on as many of those platforms as you like!

The lucky winners will be announced on Wednesday night (30th Jan).

Good luck and if you’re planning a wedding, don’t be a sheep and come to EWE

Me and Nate at the last show - thank you to  Emma and Rich  for the photo. X

Me and Nate at the last show - thank you to Emma and Rich for the photo. X

First Week Back

Gosh, it feels like ages since Christmas, but I’ve just checked my calendar and I’ve actually only been back in my workshop for just over a week! January is typically a time when a) couples start getting into full on wedding palnning mode and b) a time when there’s lots of newly engaged people around looking for a ring. I’m also going to add a “c)” in here as this Christmas was probably the first time that I’d really noticed a surge in commissions “before” December 25th. Business wise, this is fantastic, as it means that people are finding me when they’re planning their Christmas and New Year proposals. All these things together though, had added up to a “very” busy Anna!

No way am I going to complain about this, but it has left me feeling like there isn’t any breathing space for anything unexpected that might happen. I’m being very mindful of this and am at least “trying” to plan my making/designing/admin time carefully. Trying is good, even if it doesn’t quite work, right?

So, in my first week back, I’ve completed 3 commissions and have got 2 more “almost” finished and ready to go for hallmarking. I’ve also done several commission drawings and started designing a new collection of pendants and earrings for a gallery. Oh and I almost forgot about exhibiting at a wedding fair and researching and booking another new one.....AND......of course not forgetting all my mummy duties! 

OK, writing all that down was great. I often think that I don’t get enough done, but that’s loads!!! 

Here’s a few pics..........