Time for a sit down and a cuppa and a chat with another of my interviewees from 2013, this time with Shelly Terry from Evelyn Mae, who sells lovely handmade cards. I first interviewed Shelly in February 2013, and when asked where she wanted to be by now, she replied, “In a year’s time, I see my business offering word art and a new style of card, having bought the equipment I need to make this happen. I also hope to be turning a bigger profit, and having some work published.“ So, how’s she doing? Have things gone as planned? Do they ever? Read on to find out more …
Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Not entirely! I have found that I put a lot more effort into networking than I had done in previous years, and have built a very strong network of like-minded business people who I feel have really strengthened my business as a whole. Although I have not sold as much artwork as I have originally planned to, I think my design work has got stronger over the year, and I feel ready to pursue my artwork more fully. In terms of equipment, I’ve not invested in all that I wanted, mainly as my computer needs replacing, so that has to take priority!
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
The biggest change is that I have a new website. I have designed it myself, and feel very proud. It reflects my style much more, and the ordering system is much easier for customers. It also incorporates my blog, so my online presence has much more of a home now! It’s at www.Evelynmae.co.uk if you fancy a look around!
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
That my computer was going to need replacing this year – I would have made better use of my profit by saving to replace it, rather than investing in ribbons and buttons!
Any more hints and tips for people?
My advice is always to take time off – it really does help with keeping your business feeling fresh and exciting.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
This time next year I will have moved house and cities, and as yet, I don’t know where that will be, so hopefully in my new home I will be able to set up my office again (space providing!) and be exploring a new city and all its opportunities for my work.
So, not quite as planned, but Shelly’s feeling strong, supported and well organised, and has dealt with having to make a significant purchase – why do these things always need replacing at the most inopportune time? We wish Shelly well with her house move. Shelly was talking about the life-work balance in her last interview, too, and it is vitally important to take holidays and time away from the business, however important and enjoyable it is to work, work, work. Your health has a habit of MAKING you take time out if you don’t schedule it for yourself!
f you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my book, Going It Alone At 40: How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment.