I applied, but knew very well that they can be rather selective with who they take on board their very exclusive website, so I was a little nervous, thinking that my product/brand might not suit what they were after. After a couple of nail biting weeks I heard back and I was floored to hear that I had been accepted! I was over the moon to say the least.
"Dream Big" Notebook using my Freya design
They sent me all their info and I must admit that for the first few weeks I just smiled, not really believing I'd managed to get on!! I was also in the midst of packing and getting ready to move back home to the UK, so life was really busy and I just didn't have time to trawl through all the info. Once I did sit down and try and get my head around it all I realised that they truly are an amazing company. They give out so much advice on photography, product, selling tips and marketing. You are called a partner in their company and it really does feel like that.
Greetings Card using my Mathilda Design
They give you six months to set up your store and initially I thought it was easily do able, even with our big move. I did most of my homework whilst I was still in Australia; things like finding fabric printers, suppliers, paper printers etc to give me a head start once I landed. I thought I could take some product with me on the plane and the rest would go on the ship and be there in good time. Well that didn't happen. Firstly our suitcases were so packed to the brim, absolutely nothing else was going in there and secondly our shipment still hasn't fully landed!!
Toiletry Bag using my Heidi Design
When we finally landed in the UK, I took a few weeks off to settle the girls into their new home and then into their new school. By now we were into September and I knew I only had a few months left to get everything sorted.
I was all ready to go to print. I contacted the printers and maufacturers I had agreed on using whilst still in Australia. After looking at many fabric samples from lots of different companies and what felt like hundreds of e mails to and fro from Australia I really felt that I had found a great company thatI could work with. But then, to cut a long story very short I was let down by them big time. The quotes they had initially sent me months earlier had suddenly gone up massively, we are talking twice the price here. So much so that I was left thinking and worrying that I wouldn't be able to create any of my fabric products. The whole thing could just come crashing down on me. I was angry, deflated, annoyed and generally pissed off.
One of my purses in my Ana fabric
I managed to find an alternative way to print my fabric and by chance found the most wonderful local seamstress who is a real perfectionist like myself, so we work well together. Things were finally on the move. Samples were ordered, which took about three weeks and then finally I ordered my meterage of fabric. Alongside getting my fabric organised I was also busy putting together designs for notebooks, greetings cards and candles. photographing them (OMG the endless photography!!) and ordering up packaging boxes and envelopes.
Notebook using my Heidi Design
Anyway, I'm finally on the home straight and hope to launch within the next few weeks!!! I may not be in time for Christmas, but considering we will be moving house any day, it may actually be a blessing!!!
What next for me? Well now I have all my suppliers in place, I'm really looking forward to getting back to doing some fresh, new designs. In fact, I can't wait to get back to what I believe I do best; creating beautiful patterns.
What will (eventually) be in my store?
All of my products will be available in five of my exclusive designs
Fabric covered pocket mirrors (Once the ship arrives!!!!!)