October Round Up...
I am back again with October’s end of month round-up. The last blog post brought me so much joy, it felt amazing to reflect and look back over the month, sharing the highs and lows with you all - a bit of behind the scenes of running a small business.
We’ve had a lot of exciting things happen this month, like writing a piece for Zabby Allan’s Procrastination Paper (more on that here), AW19 and Christmas production, finalising Christmas markets, building market displays, designing GIFT BOXES (yes I’m excited!) and mini photoshoots - October has been quite a contrast to September.
Note: September was a slightly unusual month for us at Wren & Rye, full of networking, trade shows, freelance work and lots of research. It did make me realise I NEED to network more!
So let’s get to it! Wren & Rye’s October has come and gone in a blur of joy, stress and new stuff…
Reading… I have started reading DO/OPEN - How a simple newsletter can transform your business (and it can) by David Hieatt - I am about a third of the way through and it is fab, already feeling as though this is a MUST read for all small businesses out there! Or anyone that has an interest in newsletters. It’s very easy to pick up and consume in little chunks - whatever your day allows for AND it’s a marketing book that’s not boring - which is a huge WIN!
Hoping to put some of the tips into action very soon, so we can provide better content for our ever-growing newsletter list!
Listening to… as it’s still too early to crack out the Christmas tunes (unless you are @ebonynewtondesigns at @dottyblackgifts or Roxanne at @charmsandchains - yes guys, you nearly broke me), it has sadly been what the boyfriend inflicts on me yet again for another month. BUT all will be fine come the 6th November - Christmas will be in full flow… Why November 6th I hear you say, well Halloween has been, the boyfriend has aged another year and Bonfire night has passed (thank god), signalling just enough time to get in the festive mood for my first Christmas market of the season (which is taking place on the 9th November at Victoria Baths Manchester!).
Watching… The OC! Yes only 16 years late. But my God, why did I not watch this the first time around? I think the Chrismukkah episodes have to be my favourite!
Also re-watching The Gilmore Girls for, let’s say, the 100th time - perfect company for the late nights that have started to commence - Small business life!
For fun… I wanted to say Instagram - as at the start of the month I had fallen back in love with the platform after a little pep talk from @easyinstamcr - BUT sadly I am not enjoying it again (other than to watch @rosemarinoramsey stories of course - I mean who isn’t living for her Saturday night Strictly Come Dancing party stories?). I am hoping the new collection launch will snap me back out of it.
Making… WELL, where do we start with this one?!? We have designed and ordered new shiny branding (to be found in your orders very soon), our NEW Intergalactic Collection, started making our Christmas Collection, stepped out of our comfort zone and built some new displays for markets…. The list simply goes on. October has been a serious making month and I think November will most likely follow suit.
Attending… I haven’t “attended” all that much this month… I’ve mainly been locked away in the office! But I did manage to attend the latest of the Curated Makers Pop Up Shops at Marks & Spencers in Liverpool, which was FAB! If you are thinking of shopping independent this Christmas but don’t know where to start, go and give Megan from @curatedmakers a follow and keep up to date with her pop-up shops that champion makers of the North of England!
And to finish off the month, feeling as though I hadn’t quite done enough eventing, I headed to the “How to grow a digital retail business” workshop at TSB in Manchester with Beks from Tuilibee.Planning… There has been so much planning! I have been planning our “new” website for the Intergalactic and Christmas collection launches, with the aim to make the whole shopping experience as simple and straight forward as possible. Since we can’t provide face-to-face customer service when you’re shopping online, we want to do all we can to make your shopping experience as happy and pleasurable as possible :)
Loving… our Barking Bats bow tie!
I mean just look at these pooches… Need I say more?!
Also Loving… The Sanctuary Spa 1 Minute Daily Glow Face Mask, I know this is no beauty blog and I know VERY little about face stuffs, but MY GOD this stuff has been a lifesaver for my skin this autumn. Give it a try, I do believe your skin will thank you!
What November holds… Well isn’t this exciting? It’s what you have all been waiting for (ok maybe not, but humour me)… Our Autumn Winter Collection - Intergalactic. Trust me, it will have been worth the wait! I am so delighted with how it has turned out. Alongside, what are now my favourite products, we will also be launching our Christmas Collection and Gift boxes, it will be the start of our Christmas Markets (to be announced SOON), the boyfriend’s birthday - hopefully meaning a trip to a very nice restaurant, an Indie Roller Make it Happen meet up and potentially a trip to The Knitting and Stitching Show “Knit & Stitch” in Harrogate. It’s been years!!!!
FACT: Did you know I exhibited work at Knit & Stitch 2 years running the best part of a decade ago? Great memories that make me feel just a little bit old!
Wren & Rye’s Trick, Toy or Treat of the Month… Wren is slowly but surely learning “both paws” for no reason other than it looks really cute I will hopefully update you next month with an unbelievably cute pic!
October Lowlight… Unfortunately, there have been a few to choose from… Mis-prints of many stickers and business cards, missing parcels, delayed orders and getting told I need to wear glasses (not exactly new info, but I have officially fought it as long as I could - maybe it will make me get some answers right on our Monday night viewing of Only Connect?.. Maybe not).
Top 5 things this November…
1. Being featured in the fabulous debut issue of “Beautifully British” Magazine. Read more about it on our Instagram.
2. Seeing all the pretty dogs looking fine in our Barking Bat bow ties.
3. Getting our first Australian order!
4. NEW branding
5. NEW products that I am seriously over the moon with! (That pun was unintended, but way too good to get rid of!)
Until next time, when it will cold(er), dark(er) and much, much more festive!
Ash - Wren & Rye