Saturday, 27 November 2010

Slightly emptier Studio.

I quickly dashed out first thing this morning before the snow set in, to take my big boxes of greeting cards to the post office. This extra special delivery is on the way to the Paperchase warehouse ready to be distributed into their Tottenham Court Road, London and St. Mary's Gate, Manchester stores.

The cards on sale will be a selection from my Love Birds Collection and the Enchanted Collection. This is by far my largest customer to date, and I am thrilled to have finally sent the boxes out and to feel reassured that they are now out of my hands and on the way to the stores. It has been an incredibly nerve wracking time for me. I am planning to take my parents to London to have a look at the store. I think they will be overwhelmed by it all as they have no idea how big Paperchase is, especially my Dad!

I hope to take a few snaps in store too, so that I can share the momentous occasion with you all. They will be available mid-January, so if you are in store, please show your support for my products. You may even bump into me.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Fairfield High School Careers Convention. 'How To Run A Business'.

As a Prince's Trust Young Ambassador I represent the Trust at events and share my experience of running a business. Today I was a guest speaker at Fairfield High School in Bristol.

This was my first event as a Young Ambassador, so there was a bit of pressure to do the Trust proud and to represent my business too. It was a little nerve wracking to stand in front of a class of 30 15 year olds, but actually the majority seemed very interested in what I had to say and gave some good feedback to my questions throughout the lesson.

There are lots of talented pupils at Fairfield as it is a specialist visual and performing arts school, and many of the pupils I spoke to today are keen to start their own businesses when they are older. I met students who aspire to be fashion designers and computer game programmers.

Most of the pupils weren't aware of the Prince's Trust so I explained what the charity does, and who they can help. The pupils seemed interested to know that the Prince's Trust can help people into business, or into careers in music through the 'Get Into' programme. The Prince's Trust also helps people who are under achieving at school, have come out of care, who have a history of alchohol/drug abuse, who have been homeless or in trouble with the law, and those who have been unemployed for 6 months or more. There are many programmes that help children from 14 yrs to adults of 30 yrs.

Today I gave the pupils a questionnaire to get them thinking about their attitude towards money. As young people their expenditure is fairly low, and as expected their priorities at the moment include food, games and going out with friends, but it allowed them to consider putting money aside for a rainy day. When asked 'where does their money go' one pupil replied 'to the Government'. Very well said, I thought.

The pupils were great at identifying the positives and negatives of running your own business, and what attributes it takes to be a successful business person. They understood the importance of writing a business plan. I asked them to complete a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of a small business (eg a local convenience store) in comparison to a large company/chain store (supermarket chain). This they found a little more challenging, however they did grasp that large companies often move in, pushing the little shops out.

Overall, I think the pupils went away with lots to think about and I hope they gained a lot from the lesson. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be, and in fact I had a lot more planned to do with the class, but they were saved by the bell.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Giveaway winners announced.

Thank you to those who have commented on my recent blog posts. If you entered the giveaway then you are in luck as I have decided to send each one of you a prize. So, Vixen Lily, Kelly Johnson (Womble), Tatt Giff, Who Drank All The Tea, Sabah Designs, CLare_beaR, bloomers, Stellabombella, the sketchbookartist and Emele you are all winners!
All you have to do to claim your greeting card is send your full name and address to me at
Once you have received your prize it would be lovely if you could post it on your blog or mention it in some other way, even tell me who you will be sending it to this Christmas, or if you are just keeping it for yourself.

Thanks again for leaving your lovely comments and well done!
x Fay

Friday, 12 November 2010

An update on happenings.

Firstly, thank you to those who have entered the blog giveaway. It won't be long until I announce the winners but please keep mentioning the giveaway to your followers and fans.

It seems to have come round very quickly, but on Monday I will be off to The Old Vic in Bristol with my two very important guests (that's Mum and Dad) for the Prince's Trust Celebrate Success Awards. As you may know I am one of the three finalists for the Business Enterprise Award in the south west region. I am really pleased to be one of the finalists and I'm sure it will be a fantastic day of celebrations and a few tear jerkers along the way. Even if I don't come away with an award I will still be thrilled with the outcome, because I know how difficult it is for any business to make it, so the winner will go home with thoroughly deserved recognition. There is no tougher journey than going from unemployment to running your own business, it is a strain financially and emotionally, and wouldn't have all been possible without the support I have had. That goes to my twitter followers too, because throughout it they have been a wealth of information and help and I have learnt so much from trade show exhibitors and designers alike. So thanks to everyone who has offered their advice over the past year. You know who you are!

In just two weeks time, my first ever huge delivery will be leaving the Studio and heading to the warehouse of Paperchase Ltd. This couldn't actually have come round quickly enough as it has been an incredibly exciting time and I cannot wait to see them in the London flagship store. I'll be taking a train to the big smoke, just to see it for myself and then sit back, breathe, and enjoy a cup of coffee to take it all in, upstairs in the shop.

On the trade show front next year, I am already booked to exhibit at Spring Fair International at the NEC in Birmingham and Harrogate Home & Gift. Trade shows are a crucial part of the business, a lot of exhausting work, but a great way to meet and greet new customers, release new products and make friends within the industry.

That's all the news for now, I'll keep you updated about the awards.
Please keep supporting my products and the online shop. 

x x x
Fay's Studio