Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Home again after a month on the road ...

One of the things that stops me blogging very often is that I arrive at a computer and realise that I don't have the wherewithall (?!) to upload photos of whatever it is that I want to blog about and so I just don't do it. But I am realising that photos aren't necessarily what it's all about and so I am determined that I will post more regularly with or without photos.

I am sitting in my workshop tonight having finished my last Christmas fair yesterday afternoon. That was the culmination of the best part of a month on the road - I have got lots of photos of the month, but haven't worked out how to download them from my wonderful, life-changing iPhone yet - will do that later, but for now the thing to say is this: retail life is definitely suffering in the current climate, but being out and about and getting to meet and re-meet my customers is great. Such good feedback and lovely comments about what I'm trying to do. While I was in London, the new and much improved version of the catalogue arrived and has since been sent out to a fairly limited list of customers - about 1800 in all. I have had so many messages from people saying really lovely things about it - thank you if you were one of them. The best thing is that this is now translating into orders and that is so gratifying - all those hours and days of work putting things together were worth it and people are liking what we're offering.

The past two weeks since the first catalogues went out have been slightly mad - I've been doing Country Living in London and Glasgow and the 'pick and pack' has been left to my unbelievably supportive husband here in Perthshire. There have been a few teething problems - mainly to do with stock levels - but we seem to be getting on top of those and a day back in the office has definitely helped. But I can't tell you how exciting it is to see piles of orders going to the Post Office at the end of the day - makes it all worthwhile.

Met up again with lots of great people on the 'tour' - it feels like a bit of a family now. Had my brother up from Somerset helping me in London - so great to see him and spend some time together and such a treat to have help on the stand - I suspect I took too much advantage of being able to wander off. (And, Tim, huge congratulations on the latest news!)

Had a great treat this evening when we went to hear Sarah Raven talk at Glenalmond - can't believe how much useful information she managed to fit into a one hour talk. Inspirational. And then a delicious dinner in Perth ... feeling very happy to be home.