My big goal for 2012 business wise was streamlining the work I do to become more productive and focused in less hours. In 2010 and 2011 I worked every single day weekdays and weekends. I had my son in part time nursery so worked a few hours during the day, then looked after him and once he was in bed (around 7) I'd then work another 4-5 hours until 11-12 o'clock at night. I also had Beth Edmondson and Juliet Bawden helping me as it became too much work for just one person. Unsurprisingly a couple years of working non-stop made me constantly run down and ill.
Despite an incredibly busy 2012 I have refined my processes, and even managed to take a whole week off end of October and take a family holiday! I'm still working way too many hours but it is improving. Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer my survey back in the summer, this helped me to figure out what you wanted more of and what you aren't too fussed about so I could make sure my time was being spent on the right things.
New workshops database
This datebase has proved very popular with over 1,500 people using it each month. You also said you wanted to see more reviews of kits, patterns etc not just books so I have cut our book reviews back to one set per month and we are reviewing more products, patterns and kits instead. Find those reviews here. As you can imagine reviews are very time consuming so Beth Edmondson who used to help with the social media updates and book reviews is now focusing on product and pattern reviews instead although she will do the odd update over Christmas/New Year.
A big change we are bringing in for 2013 is the introduction of The Sewing Directory Meetups. After almost 3 years of chatting to you online we wanted the chance to meet you in person, and for you to meet us and some of our customers too. So in 2013 we have arranged 3 meet ups, in London, Exeter and Liverpool. I (Fiona) will be attending all 3 meet ups and Beth will be at the Liverpool meet up, she will be teaching us all how to make cute Russian doll brooches.
Depending on how these go we may look to do others in different locations in the future, but in the meantime please do try and come along to one of the ones mentioned above. We have purposely kept costs as a low as possible, and timed the meet ups to allow people to travel from outside of those locations. There will be sewing, chatting, cake & biscuits, prizes and of course lots of fun as well as a little class at each meet up.
Goals for 2013
So after an incredibly busy but productive 2012, what next for The Sewing Directory? Obviously we plan to keep on bringing you great content - more projects, interviews, techniques etc as well as fabulous giveaways, details of the lastest sewing products and fabrics, special offers/sales.
I've got a few ideas in mind to change the layout of the site a little to make it easier to find things so you may notice a few cosmestic changes in 2013. We have so much content on the site I'm just trying to figure out the best way to fit it all in!
A recent social media feature I wrote for Craft Focus Magazine
With many of you seeking to make an extra income from your crafts at the moment our Craft Business Guides are proving incredibly popular so we will be building on those. We have written a few for trade magazine Craft Focus, and are guest posting on the CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) website in 2013. I've also got an idea for a craft business manual so will be working on that idea too to see if I can make it a reality.
Is there anything else you would like to see more of in 2013 on The Sewing Directory? Please do let us know, either by commenting below or by using our contact form.