I can hardly believe 2014 is almost over! I have to keep checking the calendar because I think that can't be right! Where has the year gone? It's a little bit crazy to think that this time a year ago I was getting ready for my youngest son's first Christmas, doing the odd chart when time allowed to sell through Jodyri Designs, and worrying about what I was going to do when my maternity period was over. That all changed on 12th January! And what a year it has been! The change in my life between this year and last is incredible!
My oldest son has just completed his first term in the final year at primary school! He'll be joining the big kids in just a few months, and I'm really not sure if I'm ready for that! My daughter has just turned nine, and what a proper little madame she is becoming. It's also very scary how much of myself I see in her, and true to that, she loves messing about in the kitchen (the batch of mince pies she's just made are cooling in the kitchen as I type), and she still picks up her stitching when the mood takes her. My youngest is 19 - NINETEEN!!!!! months old now. He is absolutely loving the Christmas decorations and lights, and I can't wait to see his reaction on Christmas morning!
But all of those changes are just in my personal life. Professionally, not to blow my own horn too much, but I have never been prouder of myself. In a little over three weeks, KLT Charting will be a year old! It's crazy. It's insane. It's brilliant!! I love it! I've waited a long time to find a career path that suited me like this one does. I get to spend all my free time with my children, and when the older two are at school and the youngest is sleeping, I work my butt off doing things that I love! Then it's time for the school run, dinner time, play time, bed time... and then I work some more! Yes, just lately I have been exhausted, and most days it feels like I don't stop doing something from the minute I get up, until I finally collapse into the arm chair or turn the laptop off in the late evening, but it is all SO worth it. I did start tearing my hair out a little at stitching withdrawal, so started being a bit firmer with myself - I don't work in the evening at weekends. That's MY time, and in the last few weeks since doing that, I think I've been a lot happier. It's all about balance, and I really believe I'm getting somewhere with that.
I still very much feel like a small fish in a very big pond with regards to where I stand in the cross stitch world, but I'm not as small as I was this time last year. I was non-existent then! I am dedicated to building a good reputation for creating charts people want, and great customer care will always be at the top my priority list. And do you know how I know I'm building my reputation? Because I have the BEST customers anyone could ask for! They are loyal, kind, generous, and I see them sending others my way, and I hope they know how much I appreciate that, because I really REALLY do.
My stock has grown massively in the last year too. As someone who started off just designing charts, I listened to what people want, and combined that with a direction I wanted to go in, and now stock DMC threads, needle minders, hand dyed fabrics, stitching accessories, and more! As mentioned in a previous blog, I also have plans for a new product in 2015. No, it's not hand dyed threads (I have absolutely no intention in going down that road - I do not have the time or space to deal with that haha), but it's something I'm looking forward to getting sorted and on the website. I hope all my customers will like them as much as I do!
A few months back I was going through some orders and realised I was well into the 400s, and I set myself a mini goal of fulfilling my 500th order before KLT's first birthday. Well I did that a few days ago, and I was SO happy! 500! Five HUNDRED orders have been placed through MY website! Me! I did that! I've had the most amazing support, advice, guidance and suggestions from some very special friends, but all of that wouldn't of been worth a thing if I hadn't put in the time, money and effort. Am I tooting my own horn too much? I don't care! I'm proud of what I've done, and you know what? You won't believe how much I am looking forward to 2015 (apart from the big boy going to school in September - I'm going to hide my head in the sand over that one)! If I've achieved all of this in a year... imagine what I can do in two!
So if you've put up with my ramblings this far, thank you!
If you've been a customer in the last year, thank you!
If you're one of those who has given me advice, suggestions, help, guidance, support... THANK YOU! There are FAR too many to name them all, but I would like to say a very special thank you to Nicola, and in particular, Michelle. I don't think either of you will know how much I appreciate all you've done for me.
If you're going to be a customer in 2015, thank you! I can't wait to work with you!
But until we actually get to 2015, I'd like to wish all my customers a very Merry Christmas. May all your dreams come true, and as always, happy stitching!