2020 was a roller coaster I can never forget, the year started with such promise but soon turned into a constant fight for the survival of the business. But I learnt so much and so proud that me and the business are still here standing.
Where to begin with 2020? I toyed with not putting a year in review together as it really doesn’t feel like this year has gone to plan! However on reflection I have achieved a lot, The White Emporium is still functioning which after loosing 90% of my weddings and events for 2020 needs to be celebrated!
So at the start of the year business was booming, I had a business mentor helping to navigate the growth of TWE, I had a fully booked summer and along with Nikkita Palmer Designs we were quoting to style some large local events. It was head down time, working hard completely oblivious to the carnage that was ahead.
In March TWE got flipped upside down when lockdown came and the postponements started. I’m not going to dwell on this but to say a huge thank you to all my couples, for being so supportive and understanding through out all this chaos. I honestly could not have got through the year without you! I can’t begin to understand how you have all been feeling with so much uncertainty, but I do know that when you do get married it will be amazing and completely worth waiting for!
So we all know the bad of this year, as a business and individual I have been entitled to £0 financial support, like so many other small business to have been completely excluded has had a hugely damaging effect mentally, but there has been no choice but to keep taking steps forward.
That is enough of the bad lets celebrate the good!
When lockdown started and it became apparent that local charities would immensely suffer I was drawn to the plight of St Johns Hospice Moggerhanger. Loosing their funds overnight meant they were at risk of being unable to provide their crucial end of life care. Joining forces with The Flower Mill we quickly set about contacting local businesses to arrange a raffle, we raised an amazing amount £2025! A huge thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and every local business who donated a raffle prize!
Next up was getting the business through Summer, so I threw my efforts into creating The Stay Home Picnic, a chance to achieve escapism in your own garden. Joining forces with Nikkita Palmer Designs, The Bountiful Table and FM Tents. The picnics were hired for birthdays, anniversaries, small parties (when they were allowed) and missed wedding days.
Stay Home Picnic, we had to be the models! Captured by Em J Photos.
Dried flowers have always been a love of mine, so I started creating bouquets and hoops to sell, I have loved creating various design and later in the year I started working on commissions for intimate wedding bouquets and bespoke vase displays.
Towards the end of August and the beginning of September I had a couple of weddings!!!! 1 fully styled intimate affair at The Farmhouse Redcoats and a small celebration at Tip Top Venues. I was so nervous, I felt like I was just starting out as a stylist not nearly 6 years in!
October saw me style a wedding editorial for a print magazine at the stunning Rushton Hall, more to come on photoshoot styling in 2021! Due to Lockdown this shoot ended up being the last shoot of the year I would work on. Another victim of Covid has been the cancelation of so many beautiful shoots, ideas being put on hold and re-worked for another date. However a lot were able to proceed from the modern and fresh Blossom shoot as featured in Wedding Sparrow that we were lucky enough to start the year with to 70s boho vibes, ruined church locations and rebellious shoots full of love and colour.
In November just before lockdown I held a pop up dried flower shop at Epanoui and it was lovely being in hands on selling products. Then we headed into Lockdown 2.0 plans for Christmas wreath workshops were shelved but very excitingly I got to style the set for a new pilot TV show The Fiddle Faddlers, available on Youtube and perfect for any toddlers in your life. Because 2020 was the strangest of years November which is usually the quietest months of the year was also one of the busiest! I lent backdrops to Love and Life Studio and styled Christmas backdrops for Two-D Photography. I also appeared on an episode of Work Actually Podcast, it was so refreshing opening up about the challenges 2020 has bought and definitely worth a listen if you want a peak inside my mind.
Christmas Pop DIY Wreath Kit
I also saw the start of selling Christmas products for the first time. I sold out of calligraphy baubles and dried flower baubles so it was then time to launch Christmas wreaths and table centres. I have loved working on physical products and feel so honoured so many people chose to support my business by buying from me. A huge thanks to Epanoui and Browns of Stagsden for believing in me and giving me a platform to sell from. Hannah and I joined forces for the DIY wreath kits and from every kit sold we donated £5 to Mind – Bedford, Luton, MK. I was fortunate to be able to hold a couple of socially distanced wreath workshops at Southwood Social Hub that were beautiful and simple in their striped back styling.
So on reflection 2020 hasn’t been all bad, I had hoped heading into 2021 there would be a road map for the reintroduction of wedding ceremonies, but we will get there and the weddings will be better than ever! For now lets just take it one step at a time.