Happy 2021 everyone! Hope you all had a festive and exciting New Year’s Eve and New Years Day (I’ve still got a splitting headache and feeling slightly gippy due to too many glasses of champagne…) After doing a bit of research about the new conditions for importing to non-EU and EU countries, I have decided not to post internationally now that we’ve left the EU 🇪🇺. The main reason why is that, economically and logistically, it makes no sense for me to spend loads of admin time and costs to sending things abroad especially when things are still up in the air. I am happy to be filling out the CN22 form but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather spend my energy making more of a mark here in the UK and to focus on growth here. I do feel like I’m shooting myself in the foot here by alienating the international market (I’ve had loads of US orders via Etsy all through their algorithms); most of the traffic has been through people searching via Etsy and I’ve had to do little promotion outside of Etsy.
I’ll continue to grow my products and make more beautiful artwork this year. My main goal for the year is to expand my product line and potentially take part in markets (if it’s possible). It just makes me a little bit sad having to say goodbye to potential customers.😥😥😥 I don’t think it’s worth the risk right now and I’m sure there are a lot of small business owners who are also in similar position like myself.
I would like to hear from you in the comments below if you’re an indie business owner. Are you continuing to ship abroad? If not, what are your reasons?
Enjoy the rest of your day and wishing you a wonderful weekend!
I’ve always been writing an overview of the year as it’s nice to look back and reflect on the things that I’ve done, experienced and places that I have visited. I don’t think anyone would’ve expected that this year there’d be a global pandemic and that we’ve all had to press the pause button. It’s just been one weird year where we’ve all had to adapt in the way we live, interact and work. For a lot of people though, the pandemic has exacerbated hardship in terms of loss of employment, mental health, loss of education and an uncertain future in that certain plans have had to be put on hold for the time being. It has also shown the widening gap in poverty and life chances, especially the North and South divide, not forgetting that BAME groups have been completely marginalised in comparison to their white counterparts.
The Black Lives Matter movement has probably been one of the most important social movements of the year; a reaction to the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (of course, not forgetting the countless innocent lives taken away by police brutality and systematic racism) it sent shockwaves across the world. How in modern America is this still happening? It’s like the clocks have turned and they’re going backwards. Social activism has sprung up through social networks organised through grass root communities and organisations- unity and love has been the light through this dark tunnel . It has been a real eye opener, against the backdrop of Covid-19, that solidarity and support is shown no matter where you are in the world. In the summer myself and Ivy raised money in solidarity with Black Lives Matter together with some other artists and illustrators who were kind enough to donate a piece of artwork to the cause. We both felt frustrated by what was happening in America, and though I didn’t go to any protests, sometimes the smallest actions can have a major impact.
During the period of lockdown I had spent a lot of time weaving and throughly enjoyed it. This’ll definitely something I’ll be continuing and I have plans of buying a larger loom.
I took part in lots of virtual craft markets during the summer, made sales through them, and will do more of them as they arise in the future. The pandemic has shown that creatives and businesses have had to adapt in the uncertainty of the coronavirus, although not the same as walking through a market, I think it’s been fantastic that so many people have grouped together in support of one another.
As well as taking part in online life drawing lessons, Sam and I have had the time to cook far more interesting dishes which we wouldn’t usually have the time for. We made cheese (at one point it was mega hard to get hold of cheese), bao buns, sushi (made this twice now), lots of Japanese food in general plus good old wontons which I can’t see to get enough of right now!
As lockdown was easing we went camping for a couple of days and that’s been our holiday; no plans of going away either. We’ll spending Christmas here in London as it’s way too risky to be visiting family members. Once vaccinations have been on the roll-out I’ll be making my way up North as I haven’t seen my folks since July. I also miss my grandparents but it’s just not worth the risk to be seeing them over the Christmas period. I miss conversing with them in Cantonese, eating my Grandma’s traditional and home cooked Chinese food… all of those things I’m really craving right now but I keep reminding myself that one day we’ll be able to spend proper quality time as a family. So we’ll be having a quiet: watching lots of films, eating cheese and chocolate, making artwork in my own time and hanging with the cats.
I’m going to end my post here and I wish you all a festive Christmas and see you on the other side. Since I last updated this post, London and all of South East of England are now in tier 4 which means no mixing with other households, people cannot leave tier 4 areas unless permitted (i.e. for work)… generally staying put then.
(A rather ambient version of WHAM’S Last Christmas to get you into the mood- Enjoy!). x
With lockdown beginning to ease (well, who knows when there’ll be a lockdown 3.0) some craft markets are beginning to have their physical markets onsite- woohoo! If you’re unable to go to them then here’s a list of virtual craft markets that have been taking place on Instagram Stories, and what’s even better is that you don’t even have to leave your sofa! This is an exhaustive list I’ve found on Instagram over the past couple of months so do check out their profiles for more details and timings as each virtual market varies.
Solo Craft Fair: Every Monday from 7-9pm. They used to do it on a weekend but now moved to Monday evening’s.
Crafty North Londoner Etsy: They were running virtual markets and now I think their plan was to have a physical Christmas market, which sadly isn’t going ahead. Anyway, keep your eyes out if it changes though.
Hello lovely readers and I hope you’ve all had a seemingly nice start to December (TBF, the past couple of months have felt the same lol). I feel like I’m in Groundhog Day where everyday is a constant loop, so I don’t know if it’s just the shorter days but I was definitely feeling quite low a few weeks ago. The Coronavirus has certainly changed the way we interact with one another and our day to day lives- despite the vaccine coming very soon, I am hopeful that we will soon resume to some sense of normality one day. I miss going to museums and art galleries and seeing live shows, I have been craving the simple things I took for granted like going to the pub for instance after work. Of course I can still do all of that but it’s more of the extra planning like booking tables ahead of time, registering your details to the restaurants, choosing which sets of friends to see etc. Oh my god, it’s just too much social admin for me!
About a week ago I created ‘You are the Brightest Star in the Universe’, some much needed positive affirming words which I think we all need to hear right now.
The print is available as an A4 and A3 print in my Etsy, Folksy and Urban Makers shops. I’ll be closing my shops during the Christmas period from Saturday 18th December – Saturday 1st January 2021.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and take care.