Saturday 31 December 2011

Looking back at 2011 ...

I said to myself at the beginning of 2011:  if I don't make a go of this by Christmas, I will go out and get a 'proper' job and give up this idea of being a designer running my own label. Things were getting tough and I hadn't really worked out what I was doing clearly, along with taking some business advice that meant changing the plan a quite dramatically.

This last year has been the one to define what we do (there's still quite a bit to go).
I'm just like most of my lovely customers when choosing a dress, I wanted to do everything, and design every dress imaginable, but after this year I am beginning to get a sense of myself and my brand to start working on fully next year. It's very exciting!
It's definitely been a roller coaster (I'm going to try and not be one of those people who talk in metaphors when it comes to business!) emotionally and accounts wise. There were scarily quiet times and then crazy busy times which I suppose are all part of running your own business. The skill is going to be in planning for this and making sure everything runs smoothly throughout each of these times.

There were a few tears, and many many smiles, my obsession with seams and old techniques really did pay off along with wanting to make each dress individually and with the best hand crafted techniques possible.

 Katie's dress has to be my dress of the year, it is the defining dress of my career so far and the dress that will always mark a point where I decided that using the best techniques will always be what my dresses are about, no cutting corners to cut prices. I was the dress that made me really beleive in what I was doing.

I launched my first bridal collection, was on the radio and opened a boutique on Asos. We made some fabulous prom dresses for gorgeous girls and made two ready to wear collections that I will find hard to say goodbye too. I even braved the camera and in doing so learnt much more about how I want the dresses to feel and fit.
The Astor Dress from 2011 Bridal.

We have had the most wonderful brides and customers this year, each has worked with me to produce individual dresses that I have been so happy with! 

We worked on dresses for women all around the world and here at home, for their weddings and events. We met the wonderful Millie Moon and made the pink elephant dress and even made a dress for the fabulous RocknRoll Bride.

The prom dress became perfected, we made some amazing on off dresses and I even taught you how to make your own underskirts on RocknRoll bride.

It's been a really wonderful year and I can't wait to start back on Monday working on the new bridal collection, on Valentines brides dresses and meeting lots of lovely ladies January. Plus I have my first workshop at Millie Moon on the 22nd January in Wells.

HUGE thank you's to Anna for putting up with me crazy ramblings and making th dresses so perfect, Mum for all of the support and super hand sewing skills, Dad for drilling holes in my studio and for all the wise calming words and of course to Wing for helping me with the blog design, being so, so patient, for making me always try and look harder and for being the best husband ever, ever, ever!  

AND of course to all you incredible customers with wonderful visions and all the lovely people we have met this year including the beautiful models, bloggers, photographers and amazing people out there who do amazing, excellent quality work! THANK YOU AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Providing I don't get hit by a bus, it's going to be a fantastic and very exciting new year ahead in 2012!

P.S. I have too many dresses to work on next year now so I can't go out and get a proper job, looks like designing and running my own label will have to be my job :) xxx