Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Winning streak and that blooming rain!!!

Sorry I haven't been updating you as much as I should,  As some of you know my Dad is in hospital and I am travelling twice a week to see him in Exeter.  What should be a hour and a half each way is being made worse as I am hitting rush hour and its taking me 2 hours just to get through the centre and back onto the motorway.
My colleague Greg, who uses my studio once a week, is being very helpful and trying to help in the studio as much as possible so I did actually spend an afternoon with Mr WD the other day, which was lovely.  But when in the studio I feel very deflated at the lack of people coming in.  Numbers have dropped right off.  I think there are two reasons.  Firstly people are not wanting to be tempted to buy  and by the amount of pound shops we now have popping up on Weston High Street, then I think they are really only after bargains and not any type of luxury items  and secondly,  this blooming awful weather.  As most of the centre is outdoors then people just don't come if the weather is bad.
The centre is spending some money on advertising ( we all contribute to a fund as part of our rent) and in the brief spell of good weather we had this was showing to be working, and we are due to get our new leaflets soon, so maybe if the weather would let up we would get some more people coming through
I am ok at the moment as my lovely loyal students are keeping me afloat, but because my personal life is a bit of a mess at the moment, I haven't got the time, or indeed the energy to follow up on all my students or get my new leaflets out and about.  Money is getting tighter as I am spending £50+ every week in petrol and parking costs and so I can't afford to sink any more money into advertising, unless I make it in the studio,  so I could really do with those sales coming in.
I am not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me, as I am really doing ok,  just tired,  but to warn those of you thinking of taking the step into turing a hobby into a business, that you really need a back up plan.  If I had relied on sales alone,  I would have been out of business now.  My teaching is what has keep me going.  I really didn't think though what would happen if I was ill and couldn't work or as has happened,  my family needed me more.  I am not saying don't do it as I don't regret taking the plunge but please think though the problems better than I did.

On a happier note we have a new puppy.  Its probably the worst time to have got him,  but he is adorable and makes me smile and lightens my heart at such a difficult time.

I also have had a lot of luck with giveaways recently.  I haven't been online as much as I would like,  but I did enter a few giveaways,  I won a beautiful print , and I mean really beautiful,  form the fab Jools at Umbel Handmade mania,  Thankyou Jools and thankyou for your lovely kind words x

I then won some lovely cakes from Rachel at Rachels bakes
who is just setting up business in Weston

And then I heard that I had wont the fabulous giveaway on etsy ( I am embarrassed to say I have not been keeping up with my etsy friends)
I have had fun spending my winnings and I received my 1st part of the prize yesterday from the lovely Sue at , she went out of her way to meet me yesterday as I was on route to Exeter, to give me a beautiful Art deco pin.  I am over the moon with it.

So at a difficult time in my life I have been touched by such generosity and by some lovely people online who continually lift my spirits.   Some people say to me ,  why do I spend so much time talking online to strangers but I tell them, they are not strangers but friends that I just happen to have met online and I thank you for listening to me and letting me have this bit of a rant today xx


  1. Hi Janice, keep your chin up! It is mainly the weather stopping people buying, my sales in shops are down a bit too. Consider doing some 'one day' courses, if you fill them up they can really bring in the money, and people enjoy them in the summer. Hope your dad gets out of hospital soon. Michele x

  2. Thanks Michele, unfortunatley its my one day course that seem to have suffered the most . I think because I have not been advertising them enough. But you are right perhaps I should concentrate on those and not worry about the sales so much x

  3. Hope all goes well on the personal front and have seen some advertising for your centre in Burnham on Sea keep your chin up

  4. The main thing with courses is to advertise them well in advance (like 6 months) and take a reasonable deposit, otherwise people will cancel and drop out at will. I generally say deposit non refundable if you cancel within 2 weeks of the date, before that I will refund IF I can fill your space with someone else. Consider getting cards and prints out into nearby town shops too, just because you have your own gallery doesn't mean you can't sell in other places ;-) Also consider sharing part of your space with someone who does something different like pottery or jewellery for a commission. It is important to have as many income sources as you can in these difficult times!

  5. What great advice Michelle. Keep positive Janice and hopefully the sun will shine soon and bring lots of punters! I'm planning a visit over the Summer :o)

    Dottie x

  6. Great meeting you yesterday Janice and sparing the time to chat.I really appreciatedit and so pleased you love the pin you chose from my shop. I do hop everything picks up for you soon with family and work. I will come and visit you in the studio sometime as well

  7. Hopefully when the weather improves people will be keen to get out and about again and we'll all feel more cheerful. Glad you won the Etsy Comp - one of my bags is on it's way I hope I can trust you to fill it with nice treats...!
    Best wishes to you Dad.

  8. Thank you everyone it's really not that bad, I was feeling a bit low this morning, but have had a great day with my students so things look brighter this evening x