Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Another Award (for me this time)!

 I'm absolutely delighted to share the news with you that I've been awarded 'Best Online Gift Retail Owner - East of England' in the Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022!

The awards are run by trade publication, Acquisition International Magazine, who run the 'Influential Businesswoman Awards' programme. I'm absolutely delighted: the awards are given solely on merit to commend participants ingenuity and hard work.

The AI Magazine Awards Coordinator said,  “It has been a pleasure to host this programme and recognise those influential businesswomen who are shaping their industries and helping to reshape the business landscape.”

I'm so excited to be the recipient of this amazing award!

Sarah x

Monday, 27 June 2022

The Summer of Small Business Love

Last weekend we saw #shopindependentday - a special day for sellers and buyers, all about the originality, innovation and craftsmanship at the heart of small businesses across the UK. But it doesn't just stop there... this is a whole movement that you are also part of!

It's actually the Summer of Small Business Love - an entire season dedicated to shopping small. The campaign was started by Holly Tucker, joint founder of Not On The High Street, who now runs Holly&Co, a site for small, creative British businesses up and down the country. Holly says, "We want to encourage the nation to show heart by shopping small, asking everyone to think how they could change their usual spending behaviour to support our independents"

When you consider that 99.9% of UK companies are small businesses who contribute massively to the local economy, it seems strange that those independent tiny businesses need your help. But they do. We do, I do - because I'm one of them too! Especially now. As Holly stated, "Some of the most colourful and creative businesses out there are independently owned, yet these same businesses have been hit the hardest in recent years. If we don’t support them at this crucial time, we are at risk of losing them altogether. So we need to act now, working collectively to ensure this doesn’t happen."

The world needs small businesses because they're the ones that bring about creativity, originality, imagination - they're actually the driving force behind the big businesses. Because behind every great big company, there has to be a great micro business!

Tiny businesses like mine don't have marketing budgets like large organisations, but what we do have is creativity and a hell of a lot of drive - which is why we're joining together to show the world just how much you need us! Shopping small is for life, not just for a pandemic. Shopping local truly helps your local economy. Shopping independent means you're keeping alive all that creativity and originality - and directly supporting a real life actual person (not a load of fat bankers and investors)!

So this summer I have just one ask of you: vote with your money, spend your money wisely, help the economy, support the independents - and at the same time you'll be discovering a whole world of originality and gorgeousness, and receive the most fabulous service to boot (because no one loves their customers quite as much as a small business)! Look out for the #CampaignShopIndependent across social media.

Sarah x

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Award Winning PhotoFairytales!

Well, I have some rather exciting news to show off about share with you today..!

I've been awarded 'Best Handmade Wedding Keepsakes Retailer - East Anglia' in the 2022 Global Wedding Awards run by Luxlife Magazine - I mean, that's pretty outrageously stupendous, right?!!!

The awards celebrate the finest businesses across the wedding industry, from wedding planners and venues, to caterers and stationers. Everything that makes your wedding day totally perfect and memorable. 2022 is seeing the biggest surge in weddings for years following covid restrictions, so it's a truly wonderful time to be recognised in these global awards!

I'm feeling more than a little chuffed!
Sarah x

Friday, 4 March 2022

It's not been a good week...

I'm going to lay my cards on the table: 

The news has been absolutely awful - what is happening in Ukraine is so distressing and my heart truly goes out to them. So posting upbeat news and messages on social media for work has felt hard: I'm torn between feeling it's all pointless and then on the flip side feeling I need to carry on and try to keep a sense of normality as much as possible. It's a tough one - have you felt this too?

Running a small business by yourself you need to be in a good place mentally: feel motivated and upbeat. It's important for the person who runs the business to have a good mindset and be moving forward, thinking to the future. This last few days, in all honesty, have been hard. I mean, really hard. There have been times when I've felt like throwing in the towel and giving up. Wondering what the point is. Finding it hard to fire up the enthusiasm to log in every day. I've worked so hard to build my little business, I strive to make everything about it as positive and good as I possibly can. I don't want to give it up, but it's hard to keep positive. But I must, and I think it's important that I do. 

So I just wanted to say that if you're struggling mentally and feeling anxious, you're not alone. I am too - I think many of us are. My love, prayers and thoughts are with the people of Ukraine at the moment - but I also recognise that we, as a community, need to stay strong together. The last couple of years have been dire - some of us have been OK, some have been good at saying we're "OK". And what's happening now feels a bit like, "And now this?!". Yes, I know. 

We are more resilient than we know, but let's make sure we look after ourselves and each other, support one another and keep going. Let's keep in mind the struggles we're all facing, let's be kind to others. Let's donate where we can. Let's spend wisely and conscientiously. Let's seek out joy and pleasure as much as we can. If one of us feels like we're starting to droop under the pressure, let's reach out - and let's be honest about our feelings (because we're all very good at pushing it down - which can be a good thing sometimes, but not constantly). 

I've decided that I'm buggered if I'm going to ease up on the ethos I have for my business and give up on what I've worked for, in spite of the bad days when it feels hard to be motivated or creative. When being happy on social media isn't necessarily how things feel in real life - it doesn't matter, I'm still going to be here every day, doing the do, working the work, dreaming the dream...

I'm here if I can help. Let's stick together: community over conflict.

Sarah x

Friday, 11 February 2022

What I love this week... Folksy Friday & Friendship

Happy Friday morning! Today is National Make A Friend Day so I've been having some fun picking out a few gorgeous finds on Folksy to celebrate friendship... 

“Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer” – Ed Cunningham

Folksy (the British answer to Etsy - except all sellers are based in the United Kingdom AND everything is genuinely handmade) is a truly friendly place and one that I very much enjoy being a part of. The site is absolutely stuffed with really unique and wonderful makes from designers and makers that are all completely dedicated to their work. 

The makers featured in my Friendship Gift Collection are:

Fused Glass Best Friends Allium Hanging - Blue Design Shed

Scented Ceramic Heart - Park Ceramics

Pinks Card - Jane Crick Cards & Gift Wrap

Hand Embroidered Hoop - The Flossy Stitch

Ceramic heart trinket dish - Cornish Cottage Crafts

Rose Geranium & Lemon Soap - Trawden Soap Kitchen

Sending you a great big hug card - Hannah Banks Jewellery

Good Friends Personalised Print - PhotoFairytales

Sarah x

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