June 11, 2018
So this is my first ever blog post. And this is the opening sentence (well, second, to be exact). So I guess that means I’ve started, and now I’m the dedicated and responsible owner of a fledgling blog, or journal (call it what you will).
I wasn’t entirely sure what topic would be suitable for a first blog post. There’s so much scope, it’s almost overwhelming. There’s so much to cover about how we’ve gotten to this point, how the business has grown over the last 3 years, where we were pre-Lighthouse Lane and how it feels to run a small business, that I found it difficult to decide where to start. So I suppose present day is a good starting point (we’ve all seen the inspirational social media posts about practising mindfulness, it’s something that I struggle with sometimes, but there you are, my mind can wander).
The business turned three years old in May of this year. It feels exciting, strange and a little unbelievable to be able to say that we’ve been self-employed and trading successfully in a creative business that we’ve grown from scratch since 2015. I’m still so happy and flattered when a customer chooses to buy something from us, either to wear themselves or to keep close in their most personal of places – their home. I get a particular buzz when it’s a piece of art that has taken a lot of time and effort to complete, or when it’s a new idea that we’ve been beavering away in the background to complete.
I still consider us a new business and I want to keep driving the growth that we’ve achieved over the last three years. Being stagnant isn’t something that we want to be; we want to keep things fresh and exciting for our customers and for ourselves. We also need to juggle this with the demands of two little boys (and like any parent will know – wow, these kids know how to demand). So keeping all this in mind, we decided that now is the right time to start focussing a bit more on our online presence. We want to grow our brand and reach a larger audience, so to help us do that, we knew that our website needed some serious work!
We got in touch with a digital marketing agency in Leeds to help us on our way. Giving Howard his credit, he’s very technically savvy (I wouldn’t even know where to start with a lot of the things that he does for us. I give him a painting, set him a challenge, and he goes away and turns it into something that’s not just pretty, but useful too). In saying all this, we did realise that our current knowledge had its upper limits, so we wanted to get the professionals involved to ensure that the website looked great and had the snazzy functionality that we’ve all come to expect from an online shopping site. We set about re-photographing and rewriting the descriptions for every product. As we now have over 200 products, this was no mean feat; we had spreadsheets with boxes of text and many, many different attempts at photography! We also had a photography shoot with a lovely guy from the agency in Leeds to provide us more interesting, contextual shots of the shop and of us working. We even took the kids with us to make it that bit more fun – they behaved really well, our 4 year old got quite into being in front of the camera (even though he was pretty adamant he wouldn’t be having his photo taken!) and our one year old fell asleep after all the excitement.
We’re now at the point where the new site is launched. We know it’s still a work in progress but we’re excited to get it out there and hopefully reach a much wider audience. We’re getting some help with understanding the technicalities of search engine optimisation so that we might have a chance of Google’s whizzy ‘crawlers’ finding us. We’re excited about this next stage of our business and like everything before, we’ll put our all into it and approach it with enthusiasm and positivity.
Thanks for reading so far - it turns out my first blog post was quite a long one!
Until next time,