Well, it’s New Years Eve 2018. Whilst this may be a complete cliche, the end of a year is a great time to reflect on the past 12 months. And I think it’s a great thing to do. Normally, I do this privately, sharing only with my husband. But 2018 has been incredible, and I wanted to share (all the good bits at least!)
The beginning of 2018 was crazy for me personally. I was working, full time, in a well paid job, that I absolutely LOVED, alongside running The Shire Bakery, which was going from strength to strength. The downside of this was that I was getting up at the crack of dawn, normally around 5:30am, and basically working until 9pm every night. My husband Phil was an enormous help putting orders together, designing cake toppers etc, but I barely saw him. So, my plan to start building the business up enough so I could leave work commenced.
I applied for the Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme at the beginning of the year, and truly, I did not expect to get a place on this programme; but I was lucky enough to land a spot and from there my life very quickly was turned on its head! The programme helps to grow businesses and gives you the tools and knowledge to excel in the business world. This has single handedly been the best thing I did in 2018.
I went part time in April-June, working 3 days per week, and then in June left work, as I was struggling to juggle everything. This was such a hard, emotional decision, but ultimately something had to give and employment was it!
Since then, well wow, we have designed new packing for the Sprinkle Club, grown our subscribers, gained lots of new customers and kept all of our fabulous original customers, was featured in newspapers and a fab magazine, took part in the Cake & Bake Show (which is another blog piece in itself), and moved into a new premises. All in 6 months! It has been an absolute whirlwind!
In the middle of this whirlwind there have been a handful of people who have kept me sane, and grounded. None of this would have been possible without them. Here comes the smush guys!
Firstly, without question thank you to my husband, Phil. He has packed sprinkles through the night, driven a van to London, held me when it all got too much and I was in bits, been my go to cash machine when I was not paying myself a wage and generally has been like my right arm. Thank you for keeping me sane, you are my number one best friend, I love you and you are my home!
Second, my friends. I have a handful of good friends, one in particular has been my work friend turned into one of my best friends, Lucy. Thank you for the daily chats, sending me inspiring quotes and funny memes. Your timing has been perfect on some of those Luce! We have had a funny old ride together (some of which are far too inappropriate for this blog, but I would catch a grenade for you), and I can’t wait to know you for the rest of my life.
Family. Ahhh family! I have had some fun times with lots of family members this year, and have two beautiful nieces and a nephew who give me life! An Auntie is the best job, and time playing silly games with toddlers and babies is the best thing to take your mind off things! I love all my family, thank you for your unwavering support. You know who you are. Sorry I haven’t spent more time with you, I love you all though!
Also, Laura at the Natwest Accelerator Programme. You have kept me sane when I was adamant I was losing it! You have a huge heart, and have really helped to push my business to where I never thought I would go in 6 months!
So, this 2018, thank you! You have taught me some valuable life lessons. We all need money, yes, but I have had a fair bit less this year, and am actually happier for it. When you strip the material things away you get a true sense of how much grit and determination you have, and honestly, I have a fair bit, which has been quite a surprise! I have also never laughed so much as I have this year! That is never a bad thing.
2019 is going to be great, we have lots of new exciting ideas to put into action, starting with cupcake kits, which we will put in store in the new year when we get ourselves sorted!
So, 2018, thank you…next!