I love to read how other businesses are progressing and have enjoyed their reviews of the year. I thought it would be a good chance for me to reflect on my own year. When I sat down to begin this I wondered how on earth I would fill 12 months but as I thought about it I realised quite a lot has gone on this year and I think I’ll always look back on 2014 as a year of big changes for me and my business.
This time last year feels like a life time ago..and there have been a lot of changes to my work since. A big change was my step into the world of silver smithing..something I’d touched on in university. After a course in January I now make tiny silver cups and holders which my precious porcelain pieces sit into, making my jewellery much stronger. I’ve had two great photoshoots and a very exciting wedding…but I really should get started…so hear I go…
So hears a little round up of my year…
January is my favourite month of the year. Its a time for lots of planning, list making, research and having a really good sort out! This year I began January with a research trip to beautiful Paris, my favourite city. It was cold but wonderful..I loved wondering the streets, visiting galleries, drinking coffee and eating crepes. When I came home I began making these tiny porcelain lidded pots on the pottery wheel. I decorated them all with tiny porcelain details, gold petals and silver wired handles. I realised they were the result of my inspiring visits to many a patisserie! Its funny how you can be so inspired from something as simple as food! I exhibited these little pots at http://www.newashgate.org.uk/ later in the year. I hate to part with them…they are just far too sweet.
After a nerve wracking interview at the Crafts Council in London I began Hothouse. (http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/hothouse/) Hothouse is a scheme for new makers lead by the Crafts Council. It is a program of business support alongside creative development and has been vital for me to figure out where my business is heading and who I am as a designer. The things I learnt over the 6 months on the scheme I will be putting into practice for years to come. Any newly set up businesses I would really recommend applying for this program. I also met lots of wonderfully talented and like minded makers who are all early on in their careers. They really kept me going during some of the intensive sessions.
In March I had my first photoshoot of the year with the fabulous Giulia Zonza http://www.onloveandphotography.com/. The lovely ladies at The White Closet http://thewhitecloset.co.uk/ Eve and Nikki were so kind to let us use their beautiful boutique for the day. I love having photoshoots….it pushes you to get a collection finished and makes you proud once you get the images back. For new makers out there I can say for sure that having good images has been so vital to my business and is worth every penny! Thank-you Giulia, Eve and Nikki.
So April is a little turning point in the year for me where I need to have all my summer pieces ready and heading to the shops. It’s a really exciting time when you begin to finish all your collections for stockists and start sending them out. This year a big newbie were my porcelain rose rings set in sterling silver. https://mariecanning.co.uk/shop/marie-canning-jewellery/rings/ I was really pleased with them and already have plans for new rings for 2015!
May was the month Marie Canning hit the shelves of Brighton and Bristol! I began stocking two wonderful craft and jewellery shops; Made Just So http://madejustso.com/ and Brass Monkeys http://brassmonkeys.co/ They have been so nice to work with and I’m very grateful for their support.
The most manic time of year is preparing for a show and June 2014 saw me getting ready for the huge Contemporary Craft Festival in Devon http://craftsatboveytracey.co.uk/ Despite the hectic build up it is always great to actually meet customers and to network with other makers. It was also wonderful to meet Victoria Sewart there, whose beautiful contemporary jewellery gallery in Plymouth I now stock http://www.victoriasewart.com/
July was pretty crazy…Marie Canning went international! And pretty much as far from England as you can get….New Zealand! I’ve visited New Zealand twice and it is the most beautiful country with the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. I was so delighted to be stocking the gorgeous Primrose and Finch in Auckland http://primroseandfinch.com/ Thank-you Kerry for having me!
August was a busy month for me with my bridal accessories. I loved getting pieces finished and sent off to brides. It is so exciting to be a part of somebodies special day. I also began stocking at a new and very cool bridal boutique in London called Heart Aflutter http://heartaflutterbridal.co.uk/ The boutique was opened and is ran by Cecilia Di Vita who is all about showcasing independent designers. This boutique is one to watch, the dress designers are out of this world..you can read more about it via this blog post by the GB Wedding http://www.thegbwedding.com/wedding-blog/357/independent-designed-dresses-at-a-hackney-bridal-boutique
Actually September was most definately the craziest month because thats when I squeezed in my wedding! You can read about it on my previous blog post here https://mariecanning.co.uk/blog/what-matters-most-on-your-wedding-day/ and I’ll pop more photos up in the new year. I made a lemon rose on gold halo to wear which I wish I could wear everyday! https://mariecanning.co.uk/shop/marie-canning-bridal/head-pieces/
Wedding over I had 3 weeks back in the studio until my honeymoon..and good job too as I had two more collections to make for new stockists The Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool http://www.bluecoatdisplaycentre.com/ and Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno http://www.mostyn.org/ I visit the Bluecoat a lot with it being so close to me and I never believed I would stock there! The staff are so lovely…you really should pop in. Mostyn Gallery has such a beautiful shop full of amazing pieces and in a wonderful location. Thank-you to Maureen and Barry!
Just about returned from my honeymoon and I’ve a new collection in the White Closet Bridal Boutique in Manchester http://thewhitecloset.co.uk/ I have worked with the White Closet for two years now and I’m so happy that they saw something special in my work when I first met them. They are a joy to work with, so friendly and welcoming. I made a ‘Something Blue’ collection which is exclusively available at the White Closet and features a collection of duck egg and cornflower blue coloured porcelain accessories. I look forwards to blogging about the collection in 2015.
December was the month my new website was completed and was also the month I gained enormous respect for all those web designers out there!! It really is another language and one Pete Ruane from We Are Life http://wearelife.co.uk/ patiently walked me through. I am so happy to have it up and running and to be able to do regular blog posts like this….in fact my new years resolution is to keep blogging!!
Thank-you everyone for reading, I hope 2014 was a great year for you all but I hope 2015 is even better. Wishing my stockists, customers and followers a very very happy new year x x