It got me thinking about all of the independently made HP gifts out there, and I knew that I would need to prowl the depths of Etsy and the internet for this weeks Wednesday Wishlist!
First up, is this amazing Hogwarts art print by WonderWallArt. I absolutely love the art style of this print, and the colours used, especially in the illumination of the castle! It reminds me of the old fashioned railway posters in the UK, and there is something so nostalgic about this style of poster for me.
My final item on today's wishlist is a bundle of utter joy! Claire from The Little Shop of Lathers, creates incredible bath bombs, lip balms and creams that are out of this world. I recently purchased her Golden Snitch (packaged to perfection may I add) and Hufflepuff bath bombs, and the smells were amazing. They made my skin super soft, and with the addition of the shimmer in the Snitch bath bomb, I came out of the bath feeling fabulous. I originally didn't want to use them because they made my bathroom smell so good! Her items are constantly on my wishlist, and I will definitely be spoiling myself this Christmas with her other Harry Potter inspired goodies (I'm looking at you Butter Beer lip balm!!), as well as other themed items she produces.
I'm super giddy to share my first ever Kickstarter project with you all today! I started the morning so nervous and anxious about releasing my new baby into the wild, and I suppose that's how i'll stay for the next 30 days! So if you love dinosaurs (as much as I do) and pastel pins, then take a peep and help me to create the beauties in real life!
There are four pastel lovelies to choose from; Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, Apatosaurus and my personal fave - the Parasaurolophus! All will be produced with soft enamel, with added epoxy dome, to really give them the illusion of being folded paper! Each will be 30mm in size and silver plated with rubber clutch backing. So if this tickles your fancy, please pledge for your chance to own one or all of these dinogami cuties!
Eeeeeek! They have finally arrived and I absolutely love them! For any backer that pledged and wants a sneak peek before they are delivered, here they are in all their pastel glory :D Sorry for the dark photo - I was just too excited to show them off!
Design inspired by the origami work of Dr Stephen O'Hanlon! :)
Unfortunately, I can't be one of those people who boast about being super organised and on top of life, because I would totally be lying. I also can't pretend to know what i'm doing with a lot of stuff I do. I seem to get by though, but I do have the odd person asking me "how have you made it this far in life, without hurting yourself?". I guess that's down to how unorganised I am as a person really. I live my life setting constant reminders on my phone, failing to take note of business expenses, forgetting birthdays, not having the courage to progress (in life and business) and letting Future Lauren deal with problems that I don't want to. So this year, I decided to change all of that.
The first thing I did was browse for yet another notebook to add to my collection (yes, I know, I have a problem). I had seen several people on Instagram and Pinterest create Bullet Journals, a notebook filled with super organised and well thought out sections, and I couldn't wait to get started on creating my own. I figured that this would be the first step I needed to start kicking the crap out of this year. Armed with my wonderful new vintage vinyl notebook, handmade by the even more wonderful Gemma of Melodies, I began my first pages into my Bullet Journal...
First stop: decoration! I'm sorry, but a true procrastinator can't dive in at the deep end, they need time to progress. I have no other excuses to make, I just wanted to colour in, test my calligraphy pens and play with washi tape. So this is exactly what I did. I planned out all of the things I wanted to track over the next few months, like my weight loss goals, budgets/spends and all the anime/manga we are currently watching/reading (it sounds silly, but just knowing where you are with little things like this, definitely makes me feel better). Having anything laid out in front of you, and not on lists on your phone really does make a difference. It was nice to see my yearly plans, and so far, I've kept up with checking and filling in my BuJo. I honestly didn't think i'd make it to March! I also took this "decoration time" to move around and decorate my entire office, just so I could put off the inevitable organising of my life as a whole. Just by stripping back the awful wallpaper, and replacing with a very light pink paint, it has given a new lease of life to my little room. I still haven't finished moving everything around, but at least my desk is back to being pretty!
At the start of the year, I also gave myself a couple of resolutions. I've never done this before, because I give up waaaay to easily, but this year was going to be different. I knew that to grow my business, I had to kick everything up a gear! I have to physically expand my selling channels and also branch out more with social media. I had never had the confidence to sell my work to other businesses or websites, so I decided to do some research and find some stockists! I started by Instagram stalking my favourite small businesses and seeing where they sell their items, and came across two shops in particular that stood out from the rest. Down a cobbled street in Sheffield lies the awesome Bird's Yard, and in the Grand Arcade in Leeds, the wonderful Our Handmade Collective. I decided to be very brave and approach both shops to see if they would accept my Thriftbox items, and to my surprise, both said yes! So now I am the proud provider of stock to both of these amazing shops, along with some of my all time favourite designers :)
It is so difficult to make new friends as an outgoing introvert, and unfortunately for me, this is who I am! The close circle of friends I do have, I adore. But I find it so hard to let anybody else into that tiny circle. So I knew that I had to let some of my guard down to grown within the crafty community. I started making myself post to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter more, and going out of my way to comment on fellow businesses posts, rather than just "liking" them. By joining a couple of Instagram chats, I started to chat more with people all over the small business world. I found that I enjoyed conversing, sharing stories and experiences with these wonderful people. I also found that it made me want to socialise more, and to go so far to meet up with them in the real world (scary stuff!). I really do think that this little push has boosted my confidence with others out there that are also in the same position!
I'm hoping that the rest of the year sees the same sort of productivity and motivation as the start of the year! I would love to be reading this in January 2018 (2 stone lighter) and to be proud of what I have pushed myself to achieve the past year. I want to see my comfort zones being expanded and my product lists to grow! Who knows, I might even try and do Thriftbox full time... but I better not get ahead of myself there! So here is to pulling your finger out and finally taking charge of your life, friends and business :) Fingers crossed that 2017 becomes a brill year to me and my small business, and to all you others out there!
I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the lovely Girl Bosses that I have met over the last few years, through Instagram, Colour Walks and craft fairs. You all are awesome, and I wouldnt enjoy doing this as much without you all! I have made some amazing friends and had awesome experiences with you. So here's to all the brilliant ladies that have made that happen - you are awesome! :)
Crafter. Anime Lover. Cat Lady. Ghibli Enthusiast. Hufflepuff.