Well, I’ve had a bit of an influx of updates after the Christmas rush for our crafty folks, so I’m back to the occasional tradition of posting an update more than once a week (public opinion suggested that this was more popular than two-person posts but do let me know what you think). So, after Saturday’s chat with Jennifer Woracker, who’s been on maternity leave, we have Shelly Terry from hand-made card company, Evelyn Mae, who’s expecting her first baby! Of course this is going to have an impact on her business, and not only that, but she’s just moved house. This was expected, though – when we spoke to Shelly last in March 2014, she said, “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”. Let’s hear how this year has gone …
Hello, Shelly! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
I am exactly where I expected to be, albeit a few months later than I’d hoped! We moved about 3 weeks ago – so not only am I still unboxing, I am also changing addresses and tackling paperwork as well as downsizing the office! I haven’t had time to explore the business opportunities locally, but that will be on hold until next year now, I would think.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Firstly, we have stayed in Kent, now living just outside Canterbury, so a lot of opportunities locally have stayed the same. I still have a room for my office/workshop, but this time it also doubles as a guest room, so I am streamlining the equipment and learning to be ruthless! The biggest thing that has changed this year is that we are expecting our first baby – so this is hugely impacting Evelyn Mae!! I am half way through the pregnancy, so I am desperately trying to get up to speed, and getting organised so my customers know exactly what they can order and how long for.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
How tired I would feel being 20 weeks pregnant and trying to move house as well as downsize the workshop and replacing old equipment! If I could do it again I would have been far more ruthless in getting rid of things, and I would also have replaced my laptop before I moved, rather than waiting for it to die – as it has broken this week, exactly when I needed it the most!!
Any more hints and tips for people?
Time flies, so planning and time off is important, as is getting jobs done and not always saying ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ !
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
In a years time, our baby will be 7 months old, so I am hoping that I will have offered a few Christmas letters, and be readying myself to open again – whether that is full or part time. I fully intend to spend as much time as I can with our baby, so as long as I have a business plan my husband and I are happy with, I will feel accomplished.
Wow – busy times ahead, but some good general points to pull out for everyone here – regular readers might remember Ruth Badley, who suddenly moved to Dubai and wished SHE’d sorted out her office in advance, too! Although we can’t be prepared for every eventuality, it is important to keep things up to date and keep any equipment maintained or replaced in good time, in case something unexpected suddenly happens. I know I’ve been a lot happier since I’ve had a back-up person who can pick up my work if I’m suddenly indisposed. We of course wish Shelly and her family all the best for this exciting year, and look forward to finding out how it all goes!
You can find Shelly’s work online at www.evelynmae.co.uk (with links on there to other crafting sites where she has a presence, such as Etsy). She has a blog on that site, too, and you can also find her on Facebook.
If 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 books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.