Monday, 28 June 2010

Up & Running...

Getting your name "out there" is probably the hardest thing to do when starting any new business venture, so I figured "in for a penny..." Well, I actually spent quite a few pennies & bagged myself a spot at a local wedding fayre with once again my usual low expectations - why is it so hard to be positive for yourself when you have an abundance of it for your friends & family!
Many weeks of planning & preparation led me up to the big day & there I was - all alone & touting my wares! How ridiculous, but I was quite nervous! Honestly, put me in front of a roomful of people & I'll deliver a business presentation with no concerns, but give me the opportunity to talk enthusiastically about something I love & I go to pieces!

I even made the bunting!

It was an interesting day & I met with lots of people, some of whom understood exactly what I was offering, whilst for others, the concept of hiring vintage china for any occasion seemed quite alien - is it really so odd?

I was delighted with the colour theme. Having recently acquired some beautiful floral china with a soft yellow colour, I thought the combination of yellow & pink might stand out. Neither of these are what I would describe as MY colours, but this isn't about me, it's about tempting others! The palette was quite pleasing & I had some wonderful comments.

I made some good potential business contacts & had far & away more interest than I thought & as a result of the fayre have received my first bookings - yeay! I can now officially say "Booking into 2011" - who'd have thought! I learnt some lessons from the day - one of which was - HAVE MORE CONFIDENCE, but overall I am glad that I took the plunge - no looking back now!

That pretty much brings me up to speed with the business, it's early days & I am already looking at other ways to improve & make me stand out & I will enjoy sharing with you.

Probably the most exciting piece of news is that I have followers - 2 of them in fact! Thank you to Carole & to Lisa at noodleBubble for your comments - please stick with me & we can go on a little adventure together!

S x

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Next Step...

With the excitement & hard work of the wedding over, I decided it was time to focus on my sideline venture of vintage china hire. One thing that amazed me, was that in the 10 months from when I had started collecting china - the number of people with similar ideas had escalated massively! Checking out the competition really opened my eyes, but nothing ventured...!
One thing that my day-job has taught me is that marketing & presentation really do matter, so the first thing I needed to organise was photography - from which everything else could be worked. Now I understand the skills involved with photography - but why are they SO expensive! After hours of internet trawling, I found Heather - a wonderful local photographer with her own studio, who was reasonably priced & the biggest bonus of all - only a 10 minute drive away!

With studio time booked, it was a lot of hard work to get everything up together for suitable settings, but after much deliberation & a few shopping trips I was all ready. I spent a very enjoyable few hours with Heather at the bottom of her garden & was delighted with the outcome...

The next thing to organise was a website. Now, unfortunately I do not have a bottomless pit of money & having spent out on the photography I needed a quick & cheap fix, so set myself up with a DIY website. I was realistic with what to expect & being my harshest critic am clearly not happy with the result, but with my beautiful new photographs, managed to make something half-decent & more importantly gave me some web presence!

I was on my way to having my own little business!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

How it all began...

So, the wonderful Mr M proposed - beautifully & it was all about the organisation of the wedding day.
Wanting to do things always a little differently to my friends, I thought "Vintage" & set about scouring the charity shops, car boots & my personal favourite - eBay, for gorgeous, delicate china that would set the tone of the day.
However, after hours of online research, a lot of petrol & many hours at the weekends visiting suitable wedding venues, our final choice did clearly not lend itself to the vintage theme. Undeterred as ever though, I continued with my new fascination & decided "I'll hire it out - surely there are other people who would want this for their wedding day". Armed with ideas & brimming with enthusiasm, I commenced planning all the facets of my new business venture, but had not bargained on the tiny detail that was...full time job + wedding planning = not a lot of spare time! So the months went by with very little action! Oh - apart from marrying Mr M, having a wonderful day with all my fab friends & family and generally feeling very happy with my lot!
As you can see - a complete u-turn from vintage!

Monday, 7 June 2010

An Introduction...

Am I completely ridiculous at being nervous about this - my first EVER blog? The prospect is, that I write (badly) & no-one ever reads my musings/rantings/general thoughts...Everyone else whom I already follow, has my upmost admiration for being articulate, funny, interesting & insightful - I hope that if anything I am not bland - I hate bland!
Asuming I have not already lost you - hello! My name is Steph, I am (newly) married & I live in Cheltenham. I am insanely jealous of all those who I read about with the "perfect lifestyle". My definition of this is children/pets/rural home, none of which I am currently lucky enough to have in my life, but all of which I dream of. I am also not fortunate enough to spend my days keeping house & crafting (not that I believe these to be an easy way of life, I hasten to add), but when faced with endless days of office work, you can probably understand my fascination!
However, I have a dogged determination that I will achieve some if not all of my above dreams & this is my little story of hope!
S x