When people ask me how long I've been running my business, I usually lie and say about 5 years. The reality is 9 years but I feel ashamed that it has taken me so long to get this far!
So here goes! I actually started my business in 2013.
Planning my first ever stand for Chipping Norton Town Hall, on my dinning room table.
When I started out, I made everything myself in my studio. I had just a few metres of each of my 5 designs printed onto fabric and made some tea towels, aprons and napkins. I also made some lavender filled hearts, these were quite fiddly to get the heart shape right and I made some greetings cards to match my initial designs.
I didn't sell very much on the day, but I didn't give up. I knew this was what I wanted to do, to design and create my own homeware.
It was my lovely sister Anne-marie, who suggested that I could try having a stand at her children's school Christmas Fair. She was brilliant and encouraged all her friends to buy my aprons and tea towels and I had a really successful event 😊🙏.
Anne-marie modelling my aprons in 2014
I was too scared to be the face of my brand, I was much more comfortable behind the scenes.
In 2016 encouraged by my sister, I decided to go for it! No more pussy footing around! "Go big or go home". So I booked a stand for the Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington, London. Surely this big event was bound to be a success for me, so many shoppers.
I was so excited. I really wanted to run my business full time, (I still do by the way, this is still the goal!) I had about 5 months to prepare. I had big plans. I was going to sell a lot of stock, so that meant I needed to make a lot of stock. So every weekend and evening, running up to the event, I had a plan for making the stock I needed.
My sister came to visit she helped with the making. My Mum came to visit and helped with the sewing. It was all hands on deck. There were 2 days to set up on the Monday and Tuesday, to paint the stand and create the display. I hired a van to take all my stock down to London. Then doors opened from the Wednesday to Sunday. And I wasn't prepared for how hard it would be to sell. I guess there was just so much competition.
After all the hard work and the long days I just broke even. I was so disappointed. I thought this was going to be the answer, doing these big events a few times a year would generate enough sales for me to give up my job and run my business full time.
And in spite of all the disappointment, I didn't want to stop. The moments of success I had felt so good. All the small wins kept telling me I was doing something right, even if I hadn't got everything right yet. There was something inside me that kept me moving forward.
Interested to see where I am now? In August I hired a location and photographer and I had a fantastic day styling the most amazing photos yet! Click through to my online shop to take a peek and let me know what you think of the new look for Chez Beccy!