It’s been a huge year for me and HandmadebyKatherine. So it’s time to reflect on the year, my achievements, successes and failures and whether I actually met my resolutions set back in January!
I started the year with five resolutions, set around improving the business, increasing my audience and learning new skills. I managed to set up a facebook page which has been fun to do and has grown to have 170 ‘likers’ by the end of the year. It’s a great place to try out new designs and get immediate feedback. It’s also proved to be a great way to increase my audience and a popular way for contacts and orders. So this has been a great success.
Next I set up an Etsy shop, Craftykathcards. This has not been the best success and I will need to add a lot more stock to it and do more promotion in order to make this a worthwhile outlet for my cards and gifts. But I’m not giving up on it just yet! There is more to do and lots to learn…
My third resolution was to blog at least once a week. This hasn’t always been easy, but I have written a variety of blogs on topics ranging from new products, ideas, knitting, cards, kids crafting and baking. I wrote a total of 77 blog posts last year! The most popular seem to be the baking recipes, so keep an eye out for some more in 2014.
I planned to attend at least four craft fairs over the year, but this didn’t quite work out as I had hoped. It was quite difficult to track down local craft fairs with good footfall, and I will continue to work on this over 2014. I did go to two fairs, both of which were moderate successes. I have some new ideas for displaying my products on my stall. Plus it was lovely to share a space with a friend.
My final resolution was to learn to crochet, and after 30 years of wanting to learn, I finally did!
It’s been a really interesting and busy year for me. I left my job of seven years in April and have become a full-time Mum, Housewife and Crafter. A huge step to take. Yet our family homelife has improved dramatically over the last few months. We are able to spend a lot more time together, eating dinner together every evening and not rushing to fit in the household chores. We’ve all been able to add an extra interest into our weeks – for me Slimming World, ballet for my daughter and a local community group meeting for my husband. We’re all a lot less stressed and the best thing of all is I get to take my daughter to school and collect her every day.
I’ve done a reasonable amount of charity crafting over the year. Having the additional time at home as meant I’ve been able to bake much more. There has been a lot of cake in my kitchen in 2013, and most of it for other people.
Once again the chocolate scones have been a big hit at the local community fairs, the mince parcels were an appreciated low fat alternative to mince pies and the banana / bran loaf is a great favourite for coffee mornings. My charity raffle to win my knitted Father Christmas was a great success, raising £170 for the Christie.
In May and June I took part in my first awards and competitions. I was awarded a bronze award by Mumpreneur and entered my local agricultural show craft classes. A steep learning curve in the craft tent, and I hope to enter again in 2014.
Knitting has been my major craft of the year. It was popular throughout the year, but particularly at Christmas. I have really enjoyed making knitted keyrings, and the fruit were a real success.
So it’s been a great year. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the making, blogging, chatting to customers, learning and hard work. Time to look to the future and see what 2014 brings.
Happy New Year to all my readers.