Category Archives: Business Wafflings

The ups and downs and random bits of starting a small business while working a full time job in the City.

Hello 2012 – we’re going to get on famously

This will have to be quick, because I should have been in bed half an hour ago… oh, how I have really not missed the 5.30am starts at all over the break!!

I’m starting 2012 in an incredibly happy, uplifted and motivated frame of mind. I am surrounded by people I love who love me, I have my little haven of a flat and my much adored Poppy-car, changes at work in the last couple of months of 2011 mean I’m much happier there than I thought possible to begin with, and I’m ridiculously lucky that my main stresses are usually that I have too many people and fun things to fit into my social life. Terrible, isn’t it?!

But genuinely, I’m very lucky and well aware of this fact. I’m also intending and hoping for 2012 to be my best year yet… full of all the things I love to do, all the people I love to see and empty (or emptier, at least) of things that make me sad and stressed out. I’m not completely in la la land, I know that various things will be impossible and hard and tearful through the year, but right now things are rosy and I intend to make the absolute most of that.

Things I am muchly looking forward to this year:

Julia’s wedding ~ this is the big one, my best friend and twin soul is getting married on 7th July and I CANNOT WAIT! I’m honoured to have been chosen as one of her bridesmaids and I’ll do everything I can to make sure her big day is perfect.

USA road trip ~ a road trip round the southern states with my parents that we have been talking about doing for close to ten years, we’re flying out to Texas on 9th February and I’m so excited I can barely breathe!

CAE 2012 ~ Camping Auto Extravaganza with the ROC boys and girls is always a highlight of the calendar – this will be my third one, and each one makes me marvel that a bunch of people who only met each other because of their cars can be such very good friends and have such an awesome time.

Neverwhere ~ one of my favourite books by the awesome Neil Gaiman, and my best friend Lou of Contrariety Rose has been working on the costumes for the play for months and months. I’m off to see it on 20th January and am very excited!

Goodwood Revival ~ another one of those things I’ve been threatening to do for ages, Lou & Paul said they’d like to go and much to my surprise so did Rob when I mentioned it the other day… and dressed vintage too! So I’m hoping we’ll get to do that in September… fingers crossed!

My 26th birthday ~ not a traditional landmark I know, but I feel like I’m hitting my prime, and will be taken more seriously once I’m in my late twenties, and I’m hoping to celebrate with lots of friends and lots of family.

Unofficial Ireland rally with Rat Patrol, Team Allegro and Bucket of Doom ~ Assuming we actually manage to get this organised, I would completely adore to see the others again. I am perfectly prepared to abandon the idea of a banger and just go in Poppy if that’s the only way I can afford to go (as the £250 banger car spending limit would probably pay for most of my petrol and camping costs, lol). I’ve missed those guys!

And last but not least, launching Teasets to Typewriters, rejuvenating Ducking Fabulous jewellery as part of that and hopefully becoming involved with a new website, What Simon Said, with a friend I met on the rally and have kept in touch with via Twitter. I have many, many goals this year… some of them are listed on the 2012 Things page of this site, which can be found on the tabs at the top.

So, enough photo-free waffling from me – it’s been wonderful blogging and tweeting and ‘meeting’ people (I’m mostly looking at you, @craftyguider,@fairlyairyfairy@meanyjar, @CraftyThINKer, @MissJimJams, @ShhimUK, @LucyMoose ) in 2011, and I hope the friendship and support continues into 2012 and beyond! Happy 2012… enjoy it!

xx

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Filed under Adventuring, Blogging, Business Wafflings, Collecting, Creating, Driving, Family, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Lists, Love and Stuff, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Planning, Poppy, Projects, Recording, ROC, Thinking, Travelling, USA Road Trip 2012

A new website (or three)

It turns out I can be productive when I put my mind to it, hehe! One of my best friends came up to stay this weekend, so we could overhaul her website. She had one previously, but has now reached a stage where she wants to be able to add to, update and edit it herself without recourse to a web designer every time. So I volunteered to set it up so she could do exactly that (and it was a good excuse to play with WordPress in a bit more depth in preparation for the extension of Project Pin Up, the overhaul of Ducking Fabulous, the revamp of Checks and Roses and the build of Teasets to Typewriters. Wow, I had no idea I made so many websites!

Anyway, I’ll post when I’ve finished it but thought I’d pop a photo up in between times, of a friend of ours modelling a dress from one of Louise’s early collections – gorgeous!

Mads for front page

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A gorgeous Saturday and now I’m off out dancing… apparently

Today’s been particularly gorgeous, clear blue skies and glorious hot sunshine, so I took the car and blasted down the A12 with the roof down and my music turned up loud, and arrived in Chelmsford in a spectacularly good mood. I picked up the book I’d ordered, got a few other errands and bits done, bumped into Apryl and Joseph, popped into the library and saw lovely Anastasia, who is blooming with pregnancy, and a couple of other lovely people, and most excitingly, bought the first few bits of stock for the relaunch of my shop! Squee! Ooh, and needed a new mascara, and accidentally bought ANOTHER red lipstick and matching lip pencil in Superdrug’s 3 for 2 deal… whoops!

Also randomly but massively inspired to customise some more of my shoes I don’t wear enough, so that’ll be a project for the next few weeks in between creating for the two new projects and, you know, living… washing etc. Crap, just realised I’ve forgotten to put my washing on. Whoops. Ah well, too late now, it’ll have to wait till tomorrow. I managed the washing up so I’m not a total slattern.

This week I’ve treated myself to Vintage Life magazine and the Burlesque Bible (which is also a magazine, a new one) – both of them full of masses of inspiration and happiness… made me muchly happy and full of ideas for lots of things. Sometimes I wish I could hit record on my brain, if I don’t have a notebook or my phone to hand I can’t write down the ideas I get at random times and then they just sort of disappear into the ether!

So this evening I’m off out into town to go dancing… promised a friend way back in February that I’d go out for cocktails and clubbing with her, and due in part to my busy schedule and in part to my inherent dislike of clubbing, this is the weekend we’ve planned it for! Now it’s here I’m actually quite looking forward to it, but I’m so tired already… must be getting old! Taxi is booked for 1am so it won’t be a massively late one… and I can at least lie in tomorrow, and/or finish off some designing in bed (thank goodness for laptops!)

Just been reading a really interesting discussion on my car club’s forum about the proposed 80mph speed limit – there are some unexpected points arising, and people on both sides of the rise, which I wasn’t expecting at all. I’m ambivalent at the moment, as there are some people that will always rush and go faster than they’re allowed to or is safe, and raising the speed limit isn’t going to slow them down. On the other hand, it would be great to know that if you have to put your foot down to get past a problem or a slower, dangerous driver hogging the middle lane, you’re not going to get done for speeding. But I don’t think it will stop the dangerous drivers and middle lane hoggers.

Right, enough waffling from me, need to go and sort out what the hell I’m wearing this evening! Have a lovely Saturday night folks :)

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Some random musings on the future

Ducking Fabulous has sort of become my online identity rather than the jewellery brand it started out as. I don’t think this is a bad thing, and I wouldn’t change my lifestyle and beauty blogging and general waffle about life back to solely craft and/or jewellery. However, I do miss making and selling things, and now I have the studio in my flat, there really is no excuse for me not to kick myself into gear. It’s probably only ever going to be a hobby, but there’s only so much jewellery one girl can wear!

I’m also wanting to experiment when my new sewing machine comes from the lovely colleague at work who no longer wants hers; and I have several pairs of shoes to customise; and there’s the vintage bits and pieces I’ve been collecting for a year or so, I think it’s about time that the pieces not on display went on sale so they can have a better home.

So I’m thinking of opening two Etsy shops – one as Ducking Fabulous, for handmade things by me, and one for vintage things. I have a name, which I won’t disclose until I’ve checked if it’s available and if the banner idea I have in mind works! I’ve been playing with category ideas and collections – it’s a great way to pass the commuting time!

However in order to do this, I need to seriously overhaul my life – I’m far too busy at the moment to be efficient with sales, and I’d want to have proper packaging and everything sorted out if I did do it. It’s still a bit of a pipe dream, but maybe in 2012… I’d need time set aside to photograph and list everything, as well as making new stuff and packing and posting anything I sold.

We shall see – I’d love your comments and opinions and thoughts if any of you have done similar things, and if there’s anything I’m overlooking in my thoughts (although I do use this blog as much as a notebook for my own thoughts as I do for writing articles to be read… feel free to ignore this random waffling!)

 

Relatedly, but sort of separately, I have two bigger projects in mind – the first is Project Pinup, which is an overhaul of me and an attempt to be more elegant, more ladylike and more pin-up-like. Not necessarily in shape or size, but in the way I am and the way I present myself to the world. I am thoroughly fed up of doing my makeup on the train and brushing my hair out from wet and then just leaving it, but equally I don’t want to get up at 4am to try and make myself pretty before I leave for work. I also want to differentiate between my work look (which must be sober and subtle) and my look on my own time (which will vary over a range of styles, not just pin-up, but is, like the real me, much louder and more dramatic, without being in-your-face. I hope, anyway.

 

The second is Project Thrifty Chic, which I know is unimaginatively named, but is more essential. As I’ve taken over the flat, I have a LOT less spending money each month than I used to. I have raided my savings down to almost nothing to fund the rally (which I don’t at all regret, it’s going to be the trip of a lifetime and I’d far rather do that than go backpacking, but it does mean I don’t have much in the way of backup money anymore) and I go into my overdraft most months. This is not a situation I’m happy with, but I refuse to give up the car and I can’t give up the flat for at least another five months (and I’m so happy here, I don’t want to relinquish that either). So the solution is to stop with the random spending and try to economise, but as Mimi says, being thrifty rather than frugal – it’s amazing how different the words can make you feel. My intention is to still have a fabulous look and a fabulous life, but spend less doing it – and I think this is perfectly possible, especially now I have the flat to myself as entertaining space, I can actually persuade people to my house instead of out for dinner on occasion! I love thrifting for clothes and homewares anyway, so it will be an extension of that. I don’t intend to ban myself from buying new things, but I will try to re-use and recycle or buy secondhand whenever I can, as it’s greener as well as being cheaper. And with the car I drive, I really should make every effort in every other area of my life to be kinder to the environment. It’s all about balance.

Watch this space – and congratulations if you got to the end of this post, it ended up being somewhat of a stream of consciousness!

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Filed under Business Wafflings, Life Plans and Goals, Planning, Projects