Where have I been?
How time flies!
I hate to have to say this again, but honestly! how does this keep happening? Time is flying by and my to do lists are steadily going down, or maybe evolving is a better way to put it. I have given myself a strict deadline for my new (stuff I've had designed for years...... ) garments to be done and photographed and having this deadline has been amazing for my focus as I suddenly am so eager to get myself working on the next leg of my business. (more on that later)
So where have I been? If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you'll see that I have been chained to my sewing machine which has been so lovely. Having some serious heavy sewing weeks have been just what the doctor ordered. After some serious laptop heavy times it has been so lovely to have a bit of balance come into my life, but as a result I haven't had a chance to look at the blog in some time which is rather frustrating as I knew I wanted to use the blog as a way to reflect on my work and as I sit here, with my list of what I've done and achieved since I last wrote I feel a mix of emotions. I'm proud of everything I've achieved and also a bit like, how have I not managed to write up a blog post in two months! But when you don't put something you prioritise at the top of the list then things start to slip.
Social Media crack down!
I went on a course. I went and had some intensive one on one time with the lovely Kerry at Social Brighton. It was amazing to sit with someone who knows what they are doing and having them tell you what you are doing right annnnnnd what you can improve on. Kerry was really great and showed me how to really understand what my analytics. We were able to work out my customers profiles and who I am selling to and who I should be planning or talking to with my social media posts. It was also really interesting to see what posts garnered the most engagement. It meant I could look at what people want to see from me which is interesting in regards to what content I've been doing. It may seem like super obvious things but It does help with knowing how social media works etc. We worked out a schedule which I am currently trialing out and with a plan and a head full of thoughts.
Since then I've been following the plan we put together and I've been feeling much better about my social media. It definitely feels a lot less confusing and mysterious. Maybe I just needed someone to point out the obvious but I felt much better about how I was approaching my social media. I have since decided to have a look again and maybe tweak the plan to make better use of what I now know about my Instagram engagement. I'm feeling much better about my social media since seeing Kerry so yeah, That is why I now have different content on Facebook and Instagram and why I have changed up what you see and what I post about. I'm hoping you see an improvement in content and are finding it more engaging and interesting to follow on those platforms.
Slow Fashion and Fashion Revolutions
Sister Society and Sew Fabulous hosted a wonderful even during Fashion Revolution week. As someone who is interested and a big advocate for sustainable fashion and workers being paid a fair wage it was wonderful to go to event that not only highlighted issue I already knew about but also taught me about issues I was less aware of. The ladies speaking at these events were very knowledgeable and spoke in a way that made the information come through with no judgement and in an atmosphere which encouraged productive conversations and talks about how the fast fashion industry is broken.
As a very small brand it is easy to be somewhat blase about your impact on the environment and what you effect is on the system but every little counts in regards to waste. This month was the first month I hired someone to hep me with the sewing load I had and it was so important to me to pay her above the living wage in the UK and to recognise her ski. I have also started thinking more about my waste product and thinking if I can do something about it. This has started a little side project that I've only just shown on Instagram, making little bags from the scraps which were just hanging around making me feel uncomfortable. I'm excited to get them onto the shop as a by product of the lovely lacies I love to make and share with you all.
Fair and AOH and Henfield Open Gardens
I was super excited to be involved in three events since I last wrote on the blog. One was the Fairy Tale Fair in Worthing. This was my first fair in over a year which was lovely to feel that buzz of getting ready for a deadline again, working out all the logistics etc. I met some lovely people and made some good contacts from that. Hello to any new customers on the blog because of The Fairy Tale Fair. I know some of you got yourself onto my mailing list. Ultimately it was a great reintroduction to seeing and speaking to customers in person and getting that one to one feed back with real people and not a computer screen!
Brighton Artist Open Houses. This was super exciting for me as it was the second time I've ever been asked to be involved in the Artist Open Houses and the last time was a few years ago. I was asked to be involved in the shop "Jule's Emporium". Jules was super lovely and welcoming and totally wonderful to work with. She made me feel so good about getting involved with everything and her enthusiasm and understanding were great to see and feel. She understood about my difficult work schedule and was happy for me not to spend as much time as maybe was preferred there and when I did spend a day at the shop it was filled with giggle and lovely chats. Se has encouraged me to do some more fun art textiles which I haven't done in forever so super excited to be getting on with that around Christmas time! My stock is still at Jule's Emporium so head over to West Hove and have a good look at my work in person. Address is 100 Portland Road, BN3 5DN. There is a handy bus stop right outside so there really is no excuse if you live in Brighton. *wink wink*
Henfield Open Gardens and Arts Festival. This is always a honour to be apart of. What else do you want to do on a Saturday then look at a beautiful country garden, enjoy all the bees going about their business and hang out with lovely people. This year we went inside because the weather was threatening and very windy and Christine and I had visions of our work flying away and we were sure the locals and local wildlife would not enjoy that... So yes, we were inside and able to look out. Of course as soon as we had moved the furniture around the sun shined strong but there was a one minute down pour so I do think we did the right thing in the end. It is nice to get out of towns and city fairs and enjoy being out of your normal routine. It was lovely to chat to other people and find out about other peoples crafty hobbies. Who knew the spinning wool was a major thing still happening? Maybe that my ignorance but I found it fascinating. Big thanks to that lovely lady who answered all my questions for so long.
What is coming in the future.
So what's next? Well, I have no event planned at the moment.... so it's going to be a little break at the moment. I have some new products that I am working on getting finished for the summer and then getting them photographed.
My next priority will be going a mass photographic overhaul. Over the last few months I've been educating myself about various issues within the fashion industry such as representation. As a small brand I have had the privilege of having the excuse for not really using models which vary in size or ethnicity due to time constraints and many other factors.
One thing in particular is that my current only model is a dear friend of mine who is an actress who is happy to help me out and support my business by giving her time to me for free as I would for her with helping learn lines and going to her performances but as I've been being aware, my Instagram is very white and thin looking.
I have tried to rectify this slightly with putting myself out there and pushing myself into the spit light as I am not a slim woman. I have curves and fall under that awkward area of not being fully plus size, but sometimes fitting in that "category". But this has been a challenge for me. No matter how healthy a relationship you have with your body and the way you look, it is easy to forget what putting a camera in front of yourself can do to your self esteem ( dear lord that took me far longer than it should of to work out that spelling... which I feel is telling!). All those insecurities can bubble up and suddenly you are having a freak out. This is definitely something I am going to be working on. I hated how awful it felt to suddenly be in doubt about how you look when wearing something you've designed and made and sent out to customers. I feel confident in my clothes and want others to feel so too and I wont let old weird insecurities come out of the wood word and steal away what I've been working on, so Look out for more photos of me on my social media wearing and loving my clothing.
Sooo... that little rant over. Yes! More inclusive photo shoots and some new garments and then (hopefully) some time to work on social media and business understanding before the big Christmas push where I will be working on some new little adventures which I'm not sure will be linked to Curious Alice Studio but we'll see.... We'll see what happens eh? That's part of the adventure.
Anyways, Thanks for reading and keeping up with my little brain rant and working out where all the time has gone and all that jazz. Hope you guys are all well and enjoying the summer that we seem to be experiencing in little allocated sections...
Lots of xxx
(a blogger that'll somehow work out a blog schedule at some point!)
See more at:
Shop link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CuriousAliceStudio
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/curious_alice_studio/ or @curious_alice_studio
Mailing List: https://mailchi.mp/74f6f88dce43/curious_alice_studio