As the mist lifts on a crisp morning,
the pretty primroses raise their faces towards the canal
to greet the early birds and houseboat dwellers
with their bright promise of spring...
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Looking back at January, it has not been an ideal start to the year,
but it has taught me some valuable lessons in business about adaptability
and the power of community over competition...
In case you are not aware of what's been happening in the UK for many small businesses:
Following the delays and disruption of the Royal Mail strikes in November and December, during the second week of January, Royal Mail suffered a cyber attack which caused them to pause their International Shipping services. This in turn has caused an absolute nightmare for businesses and customers all over the world, where orders and goods were just stuck in sorting offices for days.
Instead of getting back into the swing of new designs and planning for 2023,
I've spent most of January, like many other small business owners, juggling helping customers with their delayed orders and trying to find alternative ways to get their orders to them.
Thankfully, with the help of online creative communities, I have managed to find an alternative way to ship my Etsy orders to US customers - however, that's not the case for other countries but I will keep looking.
Royal Mail seem to be slowly but surely getting their international services back up and running. However, I am still determined to get all my back up plans firmly in place and this has taught me a big lesson in not being too over dependent on one supplier.
Had it not been for other creative business owners willingly sharing their experiences and knowledge, I would still be struggling to find any viable alternatives - as cost and reliability are huge factors. Thank goodness for the support the creative community gives each other and I am certainly paying forward my experiences with this, to help the businesses I've watched grow over the years - we've all gone through this together.
My hope now is that we can all move forward and start the year properly this February!
So with that hopeful thought,
let's put the 'snail mail' January blues firmly behind us where it belongs,
and step into the sweet colours of Spring for some joy and inspiration...
I know it's early, but with the way the world is,
we all need the promise of spring to see us through and uplift our spirits.
Besides, it's almost Valentine's Day, so let's use this time to fall in love
with spring blooms and longer days!...
The cards above are a selection from this year's Valentine's Day collection.
The cards, wraps and prints featured here
are all available from my Etsy shop..,
I hope my colourful creations have boosted your mood
and left you feeling refreshed and ready for brighter days!
Have a very lovely February