So here we are in August and is it too early to talk about Christmas? For those of you who are in retail, you will know that the answer to that question is no, as you will have been thinking about/planning it/making for it for some time already by now and possibly you plan/make all year for it too.
For me it's a relatively new concept, getting to grips with the fact that we have to be planning the festive season in the height of summer. Not that thinking about Christmas is a problem for me, as I love it and I'm very happy to be thinking about it, but what I'm not used to is how to plan for it with regard to my business and all the fairs and markets I will be attending (click over to this page to see where I will be in 2016), and what about online sales and sales in the emporiums too?
There is a huge amount to think about, plan and make for. When do I order stock, when will my suppliers have their christmas ranges ready to order if not yet already available? How much will I need to order?
Thankfully, I do have some help in the form of Jenny Hyde (www.thejennyhyde.com) who is currently running a fabulous and comprehensive Christmas Support course for those of us (or is it just me?) that don't know or need help to feel more in control about the Christmas selling season and these are all things that we will be covering throughout the month. Phew!
This is a huge unknown for me, not having sold at this time of year before, so let's face it....could be a disaster, but with Jenny's excellent course under my belt I should at least be able to tread water and not drown under the weight of the festive buying frenzy...the frenzy that I hope will take place! Not only the idea of selling lots, but all the prep for communicating about it on social media etc too, having great images and stories as well as plenty of stock.
I have to admit that it is a little bit scary, actually scrap that...it's a lot scary and at the moment I feel a bit out of my depth here. The past year has been an enormous learning curve for me, everything has been new and at times, very difficult, but it's a journey that I am enjoying wholeheartedly and trying to throw myself into 100% (not always possible 100% of the time!). So this is just another step on that ladder to being able to feel like I actually know what I'm doing and that I am a proper business woman. Small steps.
But time flies doesn't it? I still can't fathom how it's August anyway and that as I type it is only 136 days and 9 hours until Christmas. Seriously. I have to admit that I am a little bit excited though, the thought of the build up to the big day, all the lovely traditions we have as a family and ones that I have developed over the years. Nothing too exciting, just that I have to watch Muppet Christmas Carol at least once in December and that there has to be a bottle of Baileys in the house so that I can add it to my coffee. Wishing the time away here just thinking about it....mmm....Baileys.
So I have been pinning lots of festive ideas and images to my Pinterest Boards 'Vintage Christmas' and 'Handmade Christmas' (you can see them here) and I wasn't all that surprised when I realised I'm not the only one on Pinterest that is already in a festive frame of mind. So that made me feel less mental than before, after all I think I was sat here in shorts and t-shirt whilst pinning Christmas images at the time!
Pinterest is an in-exhaustable place of ideas and inspiration and I've certainly found a few new paths to go down and things to try this year. I hope that I can translate all my ideas into lovely products that people want to buy and will love for years to come.
So what are your Christmas traditions? Is it too early to start thinking festively or are you a lover of Christmas like me? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time...Happy Christmas!