B U I L D I N G A B R A N D
Hi Darlings! ★ Scrolling down you’ll see I’m no blogger…(when was my last post?!) I almost cringe calling this a blog as it’s an insult to those who do it for a living but I think as my business develops it’s important for you to get to know me and what goes on behind the scenes! So perhaps think of this space as my diary instead. As you can see I haven’t done a post for a longgggg time but after receiving my new promo cards in the most this morning I was filled with all kinds of fuzzy feelings and felt the need to share them. Grab a brew…I might be a while…I’m feeling all the emotions ha!.
So where do I start? I never really intended to have a full blown business…I kind of fell into having one. I was on maternity leave with our second child, Jack, and I wanted something to keep me busy (he slept A LOT…don’t judge me I was just lucky!). I’ve pretty much tried most ‘at home’ crafts everything from knitting, sewing, drawing and I was crap, crap, crap at them all…I have a dusty sewing machine and textile books to prove it! I was on good old Google looking for new things to try and I saw some stamped cutlery that I fell in love with…it was just some old spoons turned into herb markers but I LOVED them. I wanted to make some for our herb garden (another project…another story HA!) so that was it, I set to it. I told my husband (known as B for future reference) my plans and I saw his eyes roll as he probably thought here she goes again. I spent the dregs of my maternity leave on stamping supplies and it went from there. I watched countless tutorials online and started stamping everything I could get my hands on. I made friends and family keyrings, spoons, present tags and bookmarks. In December 2014 a member of our family was poorly and pretty down in the dumps and I wanted to make her something that she’d know was especially for her and that she’d truly treasure it and so I started making aluminium bangles. Come Christmas pretty much everyone had one and I was encouraged to start selling them. I knew from the off what I wanted to call my new found hobby and it was to be ‘Stanley and Maud’ named after my children’s keepsake teddies. I set up social media after Christmas and opened my Etsy shop in February. I can promise you now I never ever expected the kind of love I got for my makes.
Stanley and Maud will be 3 years old in January and when I look back at everything I am so grateful and dare I say it proud. When I first started I was clueless at branding…I made a logo on an app and pretty much cuffed my photography. When I look back on it now I cringe a bit (okay a lot) but it’s part of how I started and the best things are unexpected. I’m not saying my brand is 100% how I want it but I’m getting there. The last couple of years have been amazing…I’ve had my designs in the glossy pages of Tatler, Elle and Glamour, collaborated with fabulous brands like Taylor’d Bundles, Stackers and Lobella Loves and I really hope for more exciting opportunities.
The absolute highlight of my year was the photoshoot I had with Georgia who runs Georgia Rachael Photography. If I could call any human superwoman it would be this talented lady…I hit her with email after email and all the Pinterest boards and it’s like she could see in into my vision because it was all so easy and stress free. The absolutely gorgeous Leanna http://www.leannastibbonmakeup.co.uk was our make up artist and she is just a darling. Make up is not my thing so I gave Leanna full reign on the model’s looks and my goodness she didn’t disappoint, each look was flawless. I had three absolutely gorgeous models and they were so good at taking direction…it’s like they all just knew what I wanted. Alicia from https://www.facebook.com/innovations.hairbeauty/ was incredible at styling the girls hair…I honestly don’t know how I could have done it without these lovely talented ladies. I cannot tell you how much I love all the shots taken that day but this one brings a smile to my face every time.
Right back to my reason behind this post (told you I was a waffler) when I opened my delivery of my new postcards I looked at them and thought…’Man I did that’…I’ve made that jewellery that’s been on those magazine pages, I’ve made that photoshoot happen (albeit with help obviously!!!) and I have kept going when at times I’ve been so overwhelmed all I’ve wanted is to go back to my old 9-5 job. I think there’s something about seeing it all come together in one image that just gives me that ‘tight chest’ feeling. I’m not where I want to be with my business but I am getting there…building a brand isn’t just about making everything look pretty it’s about making sure it all works. I’m not sure everyone will like how open I am on my social media accounts but in my opinion I am Stanley and Maud and so it’s important for my customers to know me, trust me and see me as an actual person. I’m a mum of two, I’m a wife of one and I too get irritated by dried weetabix in breakfast bowls, laundry left all over the place and school runs in the rain.
I hope you’ve managed to get to the end of this post…jeees I don’t blog for a year and I do about ten in one!!! HA! Well the short and tall of it is I felt so proud looking at my new cards this morning and in all honesty I couldn’t have done any of it without the amazing support I’ve had from my loyal followers and customers.
From the bottom of my heart…thanks without end.