I wasn’t planning to write a round up blog post of 2016 for a few reasons, hence this one being late. But on reading everyone else’s and feeling super proud of their achievements I started to think about what I had achieved and my overwhelming feeling was that I hadn’t achieved that much. Now this isn’t a cry for you all to say “oh yes you have” but honestly this year I feel has been much the same as the last, that the last 12 months have been taken up juggling home stuff, kids’ stuff, wedding fairs and admin! So with this in mind, I am going into reflection mode.
At the start of the year I was asked to deliver a seminar at London Edge on social media and how to grow your followers. It was at Olympia and was my first speaking gig on my own so I was a little nervous. Turns out, it went really well with a packed-out audience full of questions, and from this talk, I got a new business client that I now help with marketing. Just shows that putting yourself out there and overcoming your nerves can lead to better things; the marketing and PR consultancy part of my business is now doing well and I’m ending the year with some exciting plans for 2017 with the launch of my new business Indie PR. I also got to hang out with my virtual friend Perelandra, which was a fabulous reminder of how we make friends these days and that we should make the time to see people more!
In May, I was so excited to get a regular article in Reloved Magazine, the leading upcycling publication packed full of fab projects. My first one was a bike wheel clock for Father’s Day and since then I have created 9 projects (which reminds me I need to create March’s one this weekend!) Huge thanks to my hubby for helping me in particular pushing me to do the sawing for the Christmas Pipe Tree project (my arms ached for ages afterwards!). I am so proud to have this opportunity with them, and watch this space for more exciting news on this for 2017!
From this I also got a regular feature in Real Homes magazine and The Lady as well as continuing to write for Vintage Life, which I have done since July 2010. They asked me to be their Wedding Editor in the summer, which I was so chuffed about as it is a great way to promote all the amazing wedding exhibitors I work with through The National Vintage Wedding Fair.
In May I broke my foot, putting me out of action which gave me time to stop. I had to stop which was a god send to me. I needed to rely on others which was an eye opener as the people helping the most were not the ones I expected to, resulting in some new friendships. I slowed down in June and July and enjoyed my first 2 week holiday since 1996!
In 2016 I, have run 12 events across the UK which will increase to 20 next year. In the summer I had a bit of an epiphany realising that I couldn’t manage these events on my own, and that working all these weekends was taking its toll on me and my family. So, I put the call out to recruit regional managers and had a great response – and from 2017 I have event managers and coordinators working for me.
My Leamington Spa fair, photographed by Amy Rose Photography
On that note, in the next month I finally accepted that I was doing too much and running myself ragged. I took on a cleaner for our home to free up my time which has been life changing. Sounds silly but I am now less stressed in the house, have weekends chore free and everyone is happier to have a happier Kate. I also took on a book keeper after I realised the amount of people that owed me money! Again, out sourcing has really helped my peace of mind, giving me the clarity I need to move forward personally and professionally.
I had this wonderful photo shoot with Sharon Cooper in the poppy fields. It was with my children too, and she showed me that she has the patience of a saint!
I am a creator not a finisher – I have so many ideas that I often go for, and then don’t follow them through to the max as I am already onto the next idea. Again, in September I realised that this was not a great thing and to slow down more and not do everything all at once. A great example of this was my Unique Bride Box (a subscription bride box) and my Vintage Brooch Club (monthly brooches sent to your door) – both great ideas but ones that I couldn’t fully commit to. BUT trialling both ideas has given me many learnings that I can use going forward. In the new year, I am launching a fab new product that I know you will love – and I will be taking it slow with it! Watch this space guys but here is a clue “Pyrex”
October (my successes all seem to be in autumn!) I finally invested in myself and took on a 12 week PR coaching course which has been overwhelmingly good for me and my motivation. Through this I am now a Huffington Post writer, something I have wanted for years as I’ve wanted a place to write about non-vintage things such as being teetotal and parenting issues.
I have also appeared and been interviewed in Prima about how much things could be worth in your home, The Daily Mail chatted to me about the rise of the drinks trolley, I wrote about why you should have a vintage wedding in Wedding Ideas and soon to be in Top Santé and Cosmopolitan. I was interviewed for The Mirror, The Sun, The Telegraph, and The Metro but all were dropped due to word count restrictions; but do you know what – I’m cool with that as I’ve made some great contacts along the way.
I have been blogging less and finally don’t feel guilty about this. This has of course affected my readership stats, but on the other hand my social following has grown so much (I hit 100K this year). I started the year with a long list of e-books I wanted to write which I didn’t, and again feel ok about this (I can always write them next year). I also got a new face to represent my brand thanks to Claire Spake.
For me 2016 has been a year of acceptance, realising that I can’t do it all and being pretty relaxed about it.
It’s been a year of realisation.
It seems to have come together towards the end of the year, and I’ve ended the year feeling excited about 2017 and what it holds.