Happy New Year!

It’s a brand new year and what would be better than to sum up 2010 in this post. Needless to say it has been very eventful, embarking on my first ever trade show and following it up with a second, an award nomination, brand new customers and a start to a team of sales agents covering the UK.

Progressive Greetings Live was a two day show which gave me an insight into trade shows. Although for me it was a quiet show I met lots of new contacts within the industry that were all happy to help me source new materials and suppliers. It was a steep learning curve that was money well spent.

I turned 27 in August. It was good to look back over the past 15 months to see how far the business had come and to enjoy some cake in celebration.

I also had a lovely break in Mevagissey, time away from the heavy demands of the business before embarking on the second trade show of the year, Top Drawer Autumn.

My products changed considerably last year as I realised that there was a market for environmentally friendly products. Being part of the eco-trail at Top Drawer drew in more customers looking for responsibly sourced products.

I worked hard on launching lots of new designs which now stand at nearly 100 greeting card designs and at the end of 2010 I started working on new stationery ideas to release this year.

I now have three sales agents who work in the North East, North West and West Midlands. I am really happy to have them on board as they are vital for expanding the business.

Last year also saw me heavily involved with the Prince’s Trust who have supported me over the past two years. In recent posts I have talked about my first event as a Young Ambassador and also my nomination for the South West Prince’s Trust Business Enterprise Award.

Pictured below – my parents and I at the award ceremony held in Bristol in November.

Although 2010 was a busy year, 2011 promisies to be even more hectic. I will be exhibiting at Spring Fair International in February and Harrogate Home & Gift in July. I am even hoping to begin exporting my products, so there is lots in the pipeline. It has been a tough year and also financially a huge commitment, no one should embark on this route if they think it is going to be easy. I have had a lot of backing and support from many sources, but hopefully this year will see increased popularity of my products and new adventures along the way.

The most exciting news of 2010 has to be my first order from Paperchase. When their enquiry appeared in my inbox I thought it was spam or a joke, but in reality a selection of my cards are going to be on sale for Valentine’s Day in the Tottenham Court Road, London and St. Mary’s Gate, Manchester stores in the next couple of weeks.

 I wish everyone a really happy 2011, and lots of luck with your creative business.

x Fay