2017 Business Goals Review January – March // Sunray Sister

Welcome back sisters!

Following on from my Happy Highlights post – where I reflect each month on the small things that made me smile and the big things that I achieved – today I want to zoom in a little closer to focus on my Sunray Sister 2017 business goals, and think about where to go next.

From now on I will be doing these goals reviews every month (on the Sunday after Happy Highlights), in order to closely assess and re-evaluate my goals (business and personal) as the year progresses.

Here is my original list of goals, as explained in my 2017 business goals post:

  • Focus brand on spreading positivity through creativity
  • Write business plan
  • Stick to products which are sewn/made of fabric
  • Use reduced and sustainable packaging
  • Create YouTube videos
  • Have 60+ items in Etsy shop at one time
  • Have 50+ Etsy sales
  • Get public liability insurance
  • Have a stall at 20+ craft fairs
  • Get products in at least one local shop
  • Attend 5+ Etsy seller monthly meet-ups
  • Increase social media following to 300+ on each platform
  • Use a social media strategy
  • Write blog posts at least one week in advance
  • Gain 20+ WordPress followers

I have highlighted the ones which I have already made some progress with, and will discuss further below…

Write business plan

At the end of January I attended a Prince’s Trust Explore Enterprise course, which focused on starting a business, and gave us all the tools to go away and write a business plan. Since then I have had a 1-1 meeting with a mentor, which gave me a much-needed boost. I now have more clarity and enthusiasm to continue with my ideas, get serious in terms of creating a business, and get back to making products and art again!

Stick to products which are sewn/made of fabric

Even though I have not yet made many new products, I have been focusing on my sewing behind the scenes, and showed a few examples at my first ever exhibition as Sunray Sister a few weeks ago. At the same time, I have realised in the last week that I really want to create drawings and paintings to sell too! Don’t worry, I have a plan for the art to work alongside my dolls. All will be revealed soon.

Create YouTube videos

I have definitely achieved this one! On Valentine’s Day I launched my first video, and have been creating one video per week since then (expect last week!) Check out my channel and be sure to subscribe to support this new branch of my creative tree! Find my latest video below:

Write blog posts at least one week in advance

This goal hasn’t quite been met. But it is certainly at the front of my mind. Writing this blog feels so important, natural and fun to me. I have started planning my weeks more thoroughly overall, using the ‘bullet journal’ system, and just need to find a good time to focus on blog writing.

Gain 20+ WordPress followers

It may not seem like much, but I now have six followers here on WordPress, and this means so much to me. Clicking subscribe means you believe in someone, and want to support and see more of their content. So thank you, thank you, thank you a million times! If you are not subscribed, what are you waiting for? Simply find the little blue follow button in the menu, or click follow in the bottom right corner if you are already signed up to WordPress.

A few small steps. A gradual journey. It’s hard work, but it is so important to keep my eyes and mind open, keep reflecting, make changes if something isn’t working. And keep going.


I hope to see you again this Wednesday, when I will definitely have a new YouTube video! (It finally uploaded after a few failed attempts!) Have a brilliant start to the new week!

 

Peace and love,

Rachel x

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Spiralling Exhibition Sneak Preview!!! // Sunray Sister

Hello lovely sisters! The weekend is almost over, which only means another week of awesome opportunities and incredible experiences are on the horizon.

Tomorrow is a very exciting day for me: the launch of the first exhibition I’ve ever taken part in as Sunray Sister. It will be taking place at The Island gallery space in the centre of Bristol, UK, from Monday the 6th of March at 6pm, and then 12-7pm until Saturday 11th of March. Find the event page over on Facebook for more details, including links to all the other amazing artists taking part. Also, it’s free entry.

The exhibition is being organised by the lovely Spin, who has her own blog called The Spiralling, where she champions creative entrepreneurs from all walks of life with various missions, all worth checking out!

So, as promised here are a few sneak previews of the work I will be showing at the exhibition. I’ve also just finished three larger pieces not shown in the photos. Big love and hugs to Fraz for helping me to hang my work!

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“Job well done”

It would mean so much to see you at the launch party tomorrow at 6pm, full details on the event page. Otherwise come along anytime between 12 and 7pm from Tuesday to Saturday; have a look around and maybe even purchase a unique piece of artwork, and support some creative souls at the same time.

If for some crazy reason you just can’t make it, don’t despair because my next YouTube video this wednesday is going to be a mini tour of the exhibition, so you can be there in spirit!

Peace and love,

Rachel x

Etsy Shop Update // Dolls and Brooches // Sunday Sunray News

Hello again sisters, and welcome to a new edition of Sunday Sunray News. If you’re new here (HELLO!), this is my weekly update all about new products in my Etsy shop, plans for the near and far future, and any milestones that I reach!

So grab a cup of tea, and let’s see what I’ve been up to this week…

My main news is that I re-opened my Etsy shop after a lovely long winter break. I gave everything a little spring clean with some new photos and writing, and added a couple of new items.

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This is how my Etsy shop currently looks. I have tried to make all of my photos consistent, and I am a big fan of ‘flat lay’ compositions. Other small things include not using a banner; instead of being distracted by a huge image at the top of the page, customers can instantly see my listings.

Old products, updated!

There are three dolls still available from my original batch, but I realised the photos could be improved, so I took some new ones! My photography is not amazing, and I only used natural lighting and basic editing software. I also don’t have a tripod yet…!

Compared to the original photos, I simply did more in the editing stage, by eliminating shadows, and adding brightness and contrast. Plus of course adding the new flat lay arrangements!

Below are examples of the before and after photos, click on each one for a closer look…

Amelie’s close-up; from boring and dull, to interesting and bright!

Subtle adjustments to Austen’s held-by-my-hand shot.

The addition of a flat lay photo adds so much interest to Anouk and her sisters’ listings!

Current new products, and more to come!

Before Christmas I finished two new brooches, which are available now. I also created a few other things, but of course they were made as Christmas presents for my loved ones! Do not fear though, there will be new things coming your way in the next few weeks in the shape of embroidered zip pouches and bookmarks with monograms. Exciting stuff!

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These are the two new embroidered brooches with the messages ‘be kind’ and ‘keep going’, with a third brooch from my original batch which says ‘be brave’.

Sunray Sister is all about positivity and self-love, so these messages are intended to inspire the wearer (and those around them!) to turn the message into positive action. I have the first brooch I made on my Kånken backpack, and it tells me to ‘keep going’ each day!

 

What would you like to see in my shop? As my potential customers, I would love to know what you think of the things that I currently offer, how I present them, and what I could do to improve. You can comment below or reach me on social media.

Coming up on Tuesday I am going to be sharing my personal goals for 2017, as I want you to know the person behind this blog, and what is important to me; I would love to get to know you too! In my final post of 2016 I showed you my 2017 business goals, did you see it? There will be a new series of posts on the blog soon, documenting how I am breaking each goal down into actionable steps, and updating the progress of each one. I am determined to meet them all!

Wishing you all a productive second week of the new year!

 

Peace and love

Rachel x