Blue Ticking is 4!
Today is Blue Ticking’s 4th birthday which makes me very happy! Birthdays always provide an opportunity to look back and reflect and the last year has been full of firsts as well as a few challenges. Here is a little summary of some of our highlights.
The new studio/workshop
In July we got the keys to our brand new studio and in September it was all up and running. This was a major step for us because though the old barn had been a great place to start it was never a long term solution. It lacked space, the basic facilities like water and decent lighting as well as broadband and it was also damp and extremely cold. I feel quite proud that we stuck it out for so long, it wasn’t easy especially during the cold winters when the paint froze and I couldn’t feel my fingers!
Moving to the new space means everything is in one place including my office. This was another major driver for finding somewhere else because running your own business is difficult enough and I was finding it very hard to switch off and find a good balance between home life and work. There are now certain things I can’t do at home because I don’t have my computer and that’s a very good thing!
We still need to sort out the back area a bit more and have more defined areas and the actual studio needs a bit more finessing but the fact we are in and the space works for us is pure gold. What has also been lovely is how much more Edith and Maggie understand what Blue Ticking is. They are very much part of the family business and really enjoy visiting where Mummy and Daddy work. They really got involved in the transformation of the studio and loved helping after school and in the holidays. We do need to work on getting them more appropriate work wear though!!!!
Having the space also means we can have open days where people can come and view and buy our goods. We had out very first one in November which was great and it was lovely to meet more Blue Ticking customers.
I enjoy coming to work and it’s also lovely being surrounded by other creative businesses. Plus we have a pretty mega cafe on site which keeps us fuelled with coffee and cheese on toast!
The new studio has also enabled us to dip our toes into new areas and towards the end of last year we launched our ‘fun stuff for your wall’ range. Lots of people were asking us where we got the prints from that feature in our photos and so we started to sell some to see what people thought. Along side the prints we also introduced other contemporary goods for your wall including Block pegboards and hooks. Its been lovely to showcase these products alongside our heritage goods and it seems you lovely lot like them as much as we do! We hope to add to the contemporary side of the business over the next year.
We also approached the brilliant Gayle Mansfield to see if she would like to collaborate with us on a couple of prints. We chose two phrases which our girls say to us all the time and ones we thought would resonate with other families. Gayle then worked her magic and created “Treats” and “It wasn’t me.” We are so happy with the results and it has been great seeing the prints pop up in various homes around the country.
After three years we thought it was about time for a little logo and strap line reboot. We had gone with brilliant spaces for kids originally but I came to realise this was a little misleading and made us sound like we were more of an interior design company. We also wanted something which reflected our new contemporary range and so ‘Modern heritage for kids’ was born. We also slightly rejigged the stripes so the logo was better balanced.
I have been a big fan of the brilliant lifestyle store Pedlars for quite a while so it feels rather special to now have a collection of our goods listed on their site. They specialise in vintage goods and paraphernalia as well as other wonderful stuff for your home. Go check them out!
Period Living feature
The shoot for this took place in 2016 so the feature finally being out feels very triumphant!! We were approached a couple of years ago by stylist and writer Sian Lewis. She saw our goods in another magazine and wondered if our home might be worth looking at to potentially do an interiors feature on. We were fairly sceptical because you never know what they are looking for and it’s not something John and I would ordinarily do but in the end we felt it could be a good way to promote Blue Ticking. Sian did a recce and seemed to really like it so it was full steam ahead. We had a frantic few weeks trying to sort the house and garden out to ensure it was all looking great for the shoot. We both felt a little nervous about the whole thing because it was the first time we had ever done anything like this before and we are not used to being in front of the camera. There was a lot of ‘just look natural’ and ‘have a chat amongst yourselves’ which when you are told to do with a camera in your face seems impossible. After lots of laughing and furniture moving they managed to get a great number of pictures of us, the house and garden and also our old work barn. Sian then set about writing the feature. This was then sent to various magazines who we thought would fit with our style and customer base. We were thrilled when Period Living said yes because we could really see our home in their magazine.
Fast forward two years and the feature is now out! It’s a shame we have had to wait so long but because our house is on the colourful side and the garden very much is in bloom it would only work at various times of the year. It wouldn’t for example look right in an autumn or winter edition. It’s funny looking back at the photos because the upstairs now looks completely different because of the loft conversion!
When you have two young children home life never really stands still. Our youngest Maggie started school in September and then work on our loft conversion quickly followed. We had builders in to do all the major structural stuff to the roof and then John took over. He is obviously involved with Blue Ticking but also has his own building firm so amongst all of that has been working on the house as and when he can. He’s done such a fab job and I really couldn’t be prouder. The girls new bedrooms are my favourite and really give them the space they need, especially to house all their toys and ‘stuff!’
We now just need to finish the ensuite and a few other jobs and we are there. I love everything about interiors but I must admit I will be pleased when we don’t have to think about paint colours or worry about dust and the constant state of chaos that building work causes!
So all in all its been a good year and we are excited about the year ahead and what it might bring! Thank you for joining us on this journey and for all your ongoing support.