I know I sound like everyone else when I say that I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone, but honestly it’s true! And this is why I’ve found it necessary to write about Laura Felicity’s 2019 reflections.
It feels like I’ve only just Tied the Knot to Dominic (that was October 2018!), and we were planning our honeymoon, as well as continuing on with our DIY home decorating projects.
When 2019 came into this world, I didn’t really have much of a plan other than to enjoy what was already in the calendar (as mentioned above). Which to be fair, I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing? Or maybe sometimes you need years like that, especially when the previous one was all about planning, meeting deadlines, and really striving towards your goals.
That being said when I said I had no plans or goals set; looking back over the last 12 months there is so much that has been achieved! And I would love to take you on this journey with me…
Laura Felicity’s 2019 Reflections;
Home DIY Project
In the Summer of 2018 Dominic (the hubby) and I took on a huge DIY Home Renovation Project, for our first bought home. This had been on the cards for a while, as we had been living in this house for two years beforehand and had done no work to it.
Even though we had the joy of living in a very dated and not so well functioning home (it was livable though, which is all that mattered to us), we knew we were taking on a big project and we needed a couple of years to live in this house and plan what we were going to do to it, to get the best outcome from it.
I have been documenting our journey for our DIY Home Renovations, which you can read about here.
In the New Year I will be releasing a mini blog series sharing what our home now looks like after all the work. But for now, please do see what our house looked like as we moved in, and the work that we have done since.
This project was a mammoth task when looking back. It took us from August 2018 to April 2019 to complete from start to finish.
All the large jobs were done over the 2018 summer, and then the decorating and styling jobs carried on all the way through.
I had to juggle a lot of Laura Felicity as a business during this time to make sure we kept to our April 2019 deadline.
This meant a lot of the business took a side step, however something really interesting came out from this, which I will touch on in a little bit.
Come April 2019 I was able to hang up my decorating and styling hat up, and get ready for a photoshoot of our home by a lovely Freelance Journalist and Photographer who both had been following this DIY journey. (Which is why we had the end goal for early 2019.)
Even though it was fast paced, time consuming and tiring, it honestly this was such great motivation prod to just keep going.
Now, our home is now finished (except a few small jobs to be done), and we can relax and love the space we are in, as well as be a showcase for my Laura Felicity product range.
In September 2018 I had my first collaboration with Wayfair UK, to write a guest blog post about how to style with Wallpaper, which you can read here.
Since then and throughout 2019 I carried on writing for their blog to give styling and decorating tips in a number of areas.
Plus I have been invited to be their Home Expert where I have been working with Wayfair on specific product campaigns, like this ‘How To Create A Shelfie’ Blog.
This has been an amazing experience for me, because I am able to share my expert advice across a wider audience of people. Not just from an interior designer point of view, but from a designer and producer behind interior products themselves.
John Lewis Talks
Since September 2019 I have been invited by John Lewis & Partners to contribute towards their monthly Home and Interior Events, based at the Welwyn Garden City branch.
This opportunity has been a great way for me to share my interior expert knowledge to their clients, which is based on John Lewis’s current seasonal interior trends.
They have also given me a platform to promote my products and services under the Laura Felicity brand, along with these talks, which has given me some really great exposure.
This has been a brilliant opportunity for me to enhance my talking and presenting skills, as well as promote my Laura Felicity brand to a local area and community within which the business is based around.
New Studio Space
More recently in October 2019 I have moved into a new studio space! This has been on the cards for just over a year, but now I have finally moved in.
I have a shared studio space, with another wonderful creative, and even though I am coming in to my second month there, I already love it.
This space is based in an old factory based in High Barnet, in North London, which was one of my dream spaces to set up a studio in.
It’s has been opportunity for me to step up the business with regards to moving out of the garage space I was occupying in my parent’s back garden.
With this, I want to make this studio a place that I can now offer appointments to meet clients about interior styling projects and product viewings. As well as hold Open Studios, selling events, DIY and Craft workshops, and generally be a creative hub for me to work in.
With our Home Renovation, the Guest Blogging for Wayfair UK, and the John Lewis Style Events, I have had the opportunity to really think about the direction of where my business is going.
With small case studies, including my own home, it has been in the making since 2018 for me to re-framed the business. My new venture is aimed more towards interior styling and decorating advice. As well as continue to have an interiors product range to compliment.
I have found when working with previous clients that this interior decorating and styling advice has gone hand in hand with my wallpaper, window blinds, and interior fabric collection. Therefore it’s been a no brainer for me to explore it more over the past year.
As of now, and into 2020 I am able to start promoting this side of the business, and reduced the small accessories side. Therefore watch out for a Sale of these small products to come in the January Sale 2020.
Becoming a Décorbuddi
With my business re-frame, I have also been invited to join the Decorbuddi team, to represent North London and Hertfordshire.
The Decorbuddi is a new bite sized approach to interior design. It has been designed to focus on our clients, who have the opportunity to stay in control of how they want their home to look, working with their own timings, as well as budget.
Decorbuddi ‘s purpose is to make it easier and more enjoyable for you, the client to create your individual home (and garden).
Being a Décorbuddi is all about having expert advice at your side, whilst you’re on your journey to decorating. We are there to be your friend (with access to great sources and resources), who can help you along your interior journey, rather than be a designer who designs a project for you.
It’s a really exciting new venture that again fits in beautifully within the Laura Felicity Brand. Make sure you head over to the Decorbuddi website and discover more of what it’s all about.
And if I can help you in anyway, please get in contact.
Our honeymoon and felt my Creative Spark again.
This Summer I had one of the most amazing times of my life! Dominic and I went on our Honeymoon, where we spend 30 days travelling around Italy. We travelled with our backpacks in tow, by train and stayed in some amazing places, in some gorgeous destinations.
I’ve since written a mini blog series about my inspirations of all things Colour, Pattern and Interior Styling, which was just the tip of the iceberg to how inspired I felt whilst out there. As well as how many photos I took! I was truly snappy happy!
When we went there, I didn’t know how inspired I would be whilst travelling around. When looking back I now realise before we left for Italy I really had a bit of a creative slump.
I think with the Wedding, Home Renovation, as well as juggling (Maternity Cover) Teaching, my Visiting Artist Role (both at Queenswood School), and the general running of Laura Felicity, made me feel like I was simply chasing to keep up with the working days.
I wasn’t able to let my creative brain explore anything new, in terms of designs. And Italy really did release a creative spark again.
It has felt extremely refreshing to be inspired and get a feeling of creativity again, and I’ve realised that trips away are exactly what I need to keep the inspiration flowing.
Whether these are visits to exhibitions and art galleries, mini breaks away or longer trip away in and around the UK, as well as abroad.
I think this has been extremely important for my outlook and mindset, which leads me very nicely into my final learning and reflection for 2019.
As well as having amazing opportunities sent my way this year, without planning/searching for them, I have also been a lot more mindful of who I am as a person, and what I can achieve whilst having a Chronic Illness.
Even though this year has been a very productive one, I also have had to juggle a big relapse of Chronic Fatigue, which I was diagnosed with 11 years ago.
It’s not often I have a relapse, because I have learnt (and am still learning) how to take care of this illness. However with a lot of juggling I think this got the better of me, and I had a big set back, which also triggered my anxiety and depression again as well. (Let’s just say Italy came about at the right time for me.)
The relapse lasted for 5-6 months, and as of September this year, I saw a little light to move forward into, where my energy and mindset has shifted and is coming back to what (I feel) is my ‘normal’ self again.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not been easy. In fact there were dark times for me over the 6 months, but I think it was something I needed to live through to make me realise certain things needed to change.
I’m a big believer that from every negative, there’s always a positive.
This health set back has been a huge learning curve for me. Making me realise that actually what comes first out of everything I do, is myself. If I don’t have my health to keep me going, then running a business is near on impossible for me to achieve.
And not just for business but even my personal life, including my self-confidence.
Since my relapse began I have been working a lot more on what I need to get back to a better health. Which has been a task within itself.
I have been learning to be a lot more kind to myself and put my health first/what’s achievable with my health. For example giving myself time off when it’s needed, trying to work more consciously and not every hour there are in the day, not to be so hard on myself when I don’t achieve certain goals…and to exercise, eat well, socialize with friends and family a lot more, especially those who are positive and have the same outlooks in life as myself. As these things I have found are essential to keeping a good balance of health; physically and mentally.
Plus I have reflected back to my therapy session days, and am now taking part in more mindfulness activities to calm my mind when everything feels like it’s going at the speed of light, and I have a thousand thoughts at one time, which I’m sure most of us can relate to.
Overall Laura Felicity’s 2019 reflections has been a great year with some amazing achievements and memories to account for. Although not one I was expecting mind you.
Going into 2020 I think I am going to set myself goals to what I want to achieve in particular with Laura Felicity as a growing business, as well as be a lot more refined and focused on going into 2020 with my outlook and mindset.
Bring on 2020! It’s always great to start a new year with a new focus and have a chance to change things that working for us.
And I’m going to be sharing with you what 2020 has in store for me in the next coming days.