I have been promising (mainly promising myself) to write a blog for a while now. The purpose? To make sure I don't miss a second, so I can look back and reflect, and so I can share our journey with whoever wishes to know. I hope you enjoy it.
The best corner anyone could ever turn...
I believe life is all about turning corners. You never quite know what is just round the next one. Sometimes it's a little daunting because you're not sure it's the right way to go. Maybe it will be difficult to turn back once you've turned it. But corners are just part of the journey and they are two-way. The only thing we do know for sure is that if you don't brave the corners you'll be stuck in the maze.
I turned a few corners myself this year- the biggest and the best was actually in a maze itself. York Maze, a place I have become completely obsessed with since. It's where me and my best friend/partner in crime/love of my life got married! Yes, it's official, we are now Mr and Mrs Tilly Rose Designs! It was a DIY wedding to the max and I'm not going to lie, it was hectic (South African accent adopted for that word). Tilly Rose Designs made and provided the welcome sign, the table decorations, the order of the day board, the seating plan, the wedding favours, the ceremony decorations, all the direction signs (to the 'I do's', to the food, to the loos, to the camping field, to the boogie spot, miles to Cape Town), the sweetie cart, the guest book/door, the 'UBUNTU' banner, the dance floor rules board, the honeymoon 'suite' (tipi tent with all the trimmings), the 'just married' sign and far too many other things to mention just now. But it was so worth it. Hard work definitely pays off. Our little wooden wedding designs just put an extra bit of curve on our guests' smiles and it made it that bit more personal and special for us. There was a whole lot of love in the air that day, even the sunshine was smiling! The easiest corner I ever turned.
This year also saw us branching out a little and turning another corner, or perhaps more accurately, testing a new path, on how we go about sharing our designs. The power of social media and websites such as Etsy have given us a great platform from which to share our work with the public for the past couple of years. Many of our commissioned pieces and stock have been requested through these sites and of course we will continue to use the internet. It's allowed to us to grow, not only creatively and as a business in the UK, but also geographically. We have sent commissioned pieces to America, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East and it's always cool to hear the new ideas that come from different countries and cultures. However, I'm not much of an internet shopper myself, after all the internet is not for everyone. I am much more likely to fall in love with a piece of art, decor, clothing if I can see it, touch it, feel it, maybe even smell it. So I can see it from different angles, try it on to see if it fits, feel its texture, check its quality even. Call me old-fashioned but that's my kind of shopping. Mr Tilly Rose on the other hand loves the diversity of choice the internet provides and the fact he can do it all from the sofa with a cuppa. So it seems we needed to cater for two types of shoppers. Our new path this year has seen us put some of our designs into some fantastic shops in UK. Yes we now have stockists- cool eh? Tilly Rose Designs can now be found in Spuds and Berries in Yorkshire, Salen Jetty Shop in the Scottish Highlands, and Vintage Point in our home town of York. We will also continue to take our designs to events and craft fayres throughout the year, up and down the UK. Hopefully this will allow us to get closer to those people who are a little bit more like me when it comes to finding just what they want. I'll keep you posted on where this path leads us.
Finally, I want to let you know about one corner in my life that I have turned over and over and over again. And I hope there is not one year in my life that I don't turn this corner. It's the corner you turn as you arrive into Polzeath. After the usual 6 hour drive, 1 petrol fill, maximum 2 wee stops (we had to just hold it if we needed more), at least 178 'are we there yets', you get to the road that leads into the Cornish surfing village. You can't see the shape of the headland, the height of the tide, the busyness of beach, the size of the surf, the complete beauty of the place, until you turn that corner- but when I do, I know I'm home.
Me and my little family have just arrived in Polzeath this week and we'll be here for the next 7 weeks or so. Tilly Rose Designs is home for the summer. The driftwood from the beach, the ocean, the amazing sunsets, the views from the cliffs, the clean sea air, the surfing culture, the knowing smiles, the community vibe, and the stress-less way about this place has been a constant source of inspiration and creativity for me since I was a teenager. I always feel the most free down here. I can breathe easier, and my mind is clear. Life just seems simpler. This place is where my true happiness is made and I'm so excited about what we may just come up with while we're down here this time. We have new things to do, new things to spark new ideas. We took our daughter surfing for the first time (she's just turned one and she's a surfer chick in the making!), we have new people to meet, new shops to check out, maybe even property for ourselves, who knows. It all bodes well for the creative minds at Tilly Rose Designs. We are back where it all began, back then when we turned that corner and created this business. Ok, now for an evening surf... Thank you to Polzeath, and the best corner anyone could ever turn...