Welcome to another update from one of our crafty ladies – this time Shelly Terry from hand-made card company, Evelyn Mae, We first met Shelly back in in February 2013, and then updated with her in March 2014, February 2015 and most recently, April 2016. I’ve really enjoyed watching Shelly’s story unfold – last year she was working around having a young baby, and this year she has different challenges to face. Is she where she expected to be – “I imagine I will still be open but still only taking incoming orders, and not actively advertising. Keeping the pressure off and spending time with my daughter.”? Read on to find out …
Hello Shelly, and welcome back! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Yes, I have had a very busy Christmas period, and an unexpected amount of corporate design work on, but all work which I didn’t advertise for, which is great, and what I had planned for.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Much is the same as last year, although I have a better routine with my daughter’s naps, which is helping me to plan my work time better. I feel the business hasn’t grown in any directed way, although it is organically growing through word of mouth and repeat customers which I am very happy about.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I would like to have known that I would still put pressure on myself to build the business and have a good home life! I am learning that I can achieve all of it a little better if I let off the pressure of working, and keep some free time to not do anything – and enjoy it!
Any more hints and tips for people?
When you are working in your children’s naps, there is a tendency to not leave any time at all for a hot cup of tea or watching TV! I would say to make sure you have down time in the naps, as well as productive work. Work benefits from you relaxing, as well as yourself.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Next year I have a feeling it will all change when my daughter starts to drop her naps- I am hoping this is the same time she can attend nursery, so I can still have some designated work hours, but we shall see!
I admire Shelly’s resilience in keeping her business going and agree that organic growth through recommendations and repeat business is an excellent way to grow – it’s rare to not get the work if you’re recommended for it, I find. Good luck to Shelly through this next exciting period!
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. 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.