So I write one year, but really I started my Doodling Lucy journey back in 2016 when I first created my instagram, however, I don't really consider my business birthday to be until I really got myself in gear, launched my website and told the Tax man that I was a proper business ready to go out in the world.
2020. What a year to start hey? I mean, if I can make it through a global pandemic I liked to think I can make it through anything but I wont jinx it. Let's take one day at a time and see what the future holds.
I think reflecting can be a good thing, so I thought I would go over some of my milestones, bumps in the road and what 2020 bought me...
January - My Website Launch!
Ah I remember being SO excited about this. This to me was when I felt most professional, having a space dedicated to solely your work, blog and products really is special and if you are thinking of making the move from larger platforms like Etsy and Ebay I thoroughly recommend it, it pushes you to get on with things as you a little more on your own. My sister tells me I was listening to The Greatest Showman on repeat on the night I launched so whenever I hear From Now On It reminds me of the beginning of my business.
March - First ever wedding fayre
My first wedding fayre - I'd never done any sorts of fayres before so it was a learning curve. Wedding invites and table places is still something I am new to, but it was so lovely to meet other suppliers, couples and get a feel for what fayres are like. I learnt it's important to have an 'opening line' to get people chatting, to be open about your work and enthusiastic about what you do.
March - Lockdown 1.0 commences
National Lockdown. Well, we don't need to dwell too long on this one. We all can remember what it's like (mainly because here we are again!) but I couldn't really miss this one out. I was put on furlough from the coffee shop I was working in, and really that was the major catalyst in my small business journey. I suddenly found myself with a lot of free time. I used that time to really focus on what I wanted from Doodling Lucy. It was no longer a hobby or side hustle. It was what kept me going, it gave me purpose in those long, quiet days.
Throughout lockdown I found that I reconnected with nature again, we didn't have plane trails in the sky, we listened to bird song, I went on long walks. I really appreciated what we have in the countryside. This definitely inspired my work and what I produced in the Spring.
And of course let's not forget the beginning of lockdown dress up, Sunday brunch with my sister! Something I looked forward to and kept me going each week.
June - The Decadent Daisy Launch
My first real, full collection launch - the Decadent Daisy collection - definitely a highlight of 2020. I produced my first ever notepad - which is now a best seller! I was able to have a handful of my friends to join me in my garden, pop a bottle (or two) of prosecco and celebrate for the first time in a long time. It was so much fun and made me realise that this is definitely something I want to continue to do.
July - Big Commissions
I completed one of my biggest commissions yet. 100 hand drawn, ink botanical illustrations of the flowers over at Persephone Violet , this was a real achievement and something very different to what I normally do. I met Emily (owner of Persephone Violet) at the first wedding fayre earlier on in the year. So even though there were few weddings last year, that fayre bought me some amazing connections and new friends.
I also found a love for heel-clicking and decided to create a competition with it!
In October I launched my second major collection - The Mr Pheasant & Friends Collection, including my Christmas cards and tags. My biggest launch yet - a slightly stressful one as I thought I would never get any Christmas ideas but they all fell into place in the end.
Then came perhaps the most exciting thing of last year - I went full-time! The most scary thing I've done. It was getting to the point where I was giving up commissions and work with my business to be at my part-time job which was when I made the decision to leave. I still can't believe that this is my full-time job and one of my favourite things is telling people what my job/career is. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, it has its down sides but I definitely wouldn't change it!
December was a Christmas extravaganza, with the most commissions I've ever had. I spent a lot of time sat at the table painting your bespoke pieces to give to your friends and family at Christmas time! I opened up my first ever brand ambassador applications, with over 50 applicants I realised it was going to be very tough to decide who to choose!
My first year of 'proper' business has been a real roller coaster, so many business highs mixed with so many lockdown and Corona lows. It's difficult at the moment to look to the future when it's so uncertain, but all we can do is carry on chugging along. I have so many exciting things I want to do with Doodling Lucy. So many products I want to make, so many charities and causes I want to help. I am so thankful for everyone who has continued to support me on my small business journey. I really wouldn't be where I am today without all of you lot, so I want to take this time to say thank you. It really means the world. Keep shopping and supporting small, we need you now more than ever.
Lots of love,