Apologies for the longest time between pieces of writing, I have been wanting to write something for ages however doing life with Andy working away, raising a two year old solo, growing another inside me and with huge things happening within the business the only spare time, if any, I spend in an Epsom salt bath! I have toyed with the idea of taking the laptop into the bath but that would be an expensive blog post if I dropped it, right!?
Anyway, this topic has been coming up for me a lot recently and has really, ever since I started the business two years ago. For what seemed like daily, I would receive emails, DM and comments asking "could you do this style but different? or "could you do these but in a different colour?" or "have you thought about doing XYZ?" Doesn't really matter what they said, essentially they all wanted me to do something that was different to what I was doing.
Now, don't get me wrong this could easily be an ego boost. Perhaps they just love Pebble and Fred (P+ F) so much that they just wanted to spend their money at my shop instead of the store next door, even though most of the time they could by exactly what they want there... so I get this and I am truely grateful.
However, after one and half MASSIVE years of saying yes to every single request I now look at a huge box, full to the brim of earrings in colours that I hate and styles that make me cringe, all of which I cannot sell may I add, after the first initial sale! Looking at these earrings every day has made me think long and hard about myself and the business I have created which, actually works brilliantly without all the constant external inputs.
I know that big box of mis-matched earrings is my fault but it came the time to get super duper clear on what P+F stood for, who I was as it's creator and what we both bring to the table and to the market.
Here's what I did to get things really clear:
1. I went down to the garage and found a large blank canvas - or you could buy one.
2. I collected pictures from magazines, printed off images from Pinterest and found colour swatches and fabric samples that felt right and lit something up inside me.
3. I then created a big beautiful vision board which resembled exactly what P+F always was to me and what it still is today.
Here is what I learnt (over again) and what I was reminded of... P+F Is:
Now, here's the best part! After getting crystal clear about this and now having a larger that life vision board that hangs in my studio .... I NEVER have to question myself again when it comes to things like the colours I chose or the styles that I design - I know exactly what fits and what doesn't - how's that for freeing up some head space!? I also have no problem saying no to custom requests that just don't fit or feel right and I am more than happy to send people to the shop next door - share the love as what goes around always comes around, doesn't it?
What I've learnt as well and the whole point of this is that we are all functioning on different operating systems and that is OK. I cannot make bright fluorescence colours look good together, I truly truly suck .... BUT I can make pastels look amazingly beautiful. I fully admire those who can make out-there crazy designs, I know I can't and that's why I am more than happy to stick to what I am good at and won't let myself get caught up with what 'others' are doing. That's so exhausting and pointless.
I hope this helps anyone who feels like they are floundering or feel like a slave to custom requests that don't ring true to them or their brand. After all, the beauty of having different businesses is the differences they bring, like different earrings!