New Year, new plans: welcome to 2016

posted in: Business, New Year | 0

The first post for this year is – yes you  guessed it right – a review of 2015. I also want to share with you my new plans for 2016. I prefer plans to resolutions.

For most people 2015 was a horrendous year – wars, terrorism, the refugee crisis, floods. Compared to what a lot of people had to endure I can really count my blessings that I am lucky enough to have a roof over my head and a caring husband and our gorgeous cat Bobby. Nevertheless 2015 didn’t run smoothly for me either. If you have followed my blog you might know that suffer from a chronic condition – HMS (Hypermobility syndrome) in my left shoulder. It’s incredibly painful and bad as I am left-handed and  when I am not typing I am bent over a lot of my work. This pain is still disabling, though I have found better ways to manage it with physio, heat and medication.

On my good days I have been very productive – and looking back at my plans from last year I am proud that I have managed to create a completely new website for my jewellery designs including a logo I designed myself. It took about four months to get this finished and I am very happy with it. It’s so much easier to administrate and has a lot of features the old one didn’t have.

Another highlight of last year was that I met polymer clay artist Donna Kato at the Polymania2015 workshop. If you work with clay yourself then you definitely have heard of Donna or even bought her Kato clay or her two books. I have written a 3-part blog post about Polymania2015 and you can find my entry about Donna here.

Last year I also finally made 2 sales on Etsy. However I am not sure if I keep the shop – mainly because keeping tabs on and promoting two platforms is more work and 2 sales isn’t really much considering the work that goes into marketing.
I also found translation work last year and translated three music books from English into German- these books are now available on Amazon.de.

Last year I also wanted to spend more time drawing and painting – this didn’t happen. I also wanted to get into sculpting – and that did happen. I created a lot of cute animal sculptures and the response to them was very positive. I am teaching myself the ropes and really enjoy sculpting.

I also wanted to find new PR clients – that didn’t happen. And I also wanted a kiln so I can work with PMC – this also didn’t happen, mainly because of space problems. We realised that our garden is simply too small for a shed – which means finding space elsewhere – the garage might be an option or I simply shelve the idea.

Another thing that didn’t really happen was finding new worthwhile venues to sell my products. Maybe it’s just the Cardiff area that’s pretty bad for selling jewellery I don’t know. I just found most craft fairs are just not worth my time and effort (apart from the stall fee). So I have decided to give fairs a miss for the time being.

So what do I want to do this year?

  • I am attending the Polymania2016 workshop this March which has the same tutors as last year plus a new friend of mine, Claire Wallis, who is an amazing artist and creates stunning canes – check out her work here.
  • This year I want to start making beads – mainly because I bought three tutorials in 2014 and haven’t got round to actually work with them.
  • I also want to design journal covers. The response to my first effort (this is a sketch book) was very positive.
Sketchbook cover - Sloth
Sketchbook cover – Sloth
  • The kiln is still at the back of my mind- but this depends on how and when we clear out and tidy the garage!
  • As I caught the sculpting bug I want to continue working on animal sculptures. Last Christmas my husband bought me a book about sculpting human figurines, so I might diversify and learn how to do this.
  • I also want to create more videos and tutorials for my YouTube channel. Both my pasta machine motor tutorial and my 2-part making a mould tutorial got a lot of views. I have yet to sort out a new video camera and learn how to film myself.
  • And finally I want to get my business known in the national media, so I have to figure out a PR plan. I find PR for other people easier than for myself – so this is going to be a real challenge for me.

This is as far as I go with plans – hopefully I can achieve most of these.
Over to you – how was your 2015? And what are your plans for this year? Let me know in the comments below.

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