Happy March everyone! I have been planning to write my new year blog for a while now, with a roundup about how Rubyblue has been progressing but so many things have got in the way, particularly in my personal life. The biggest thing being that I’m pregnant – yey! We have a little baby boy due in August. This hasn’t been something that has come easy, it has been an emotional rollercoaster but one that has been worth every minute.
I left my full-time job just over a year ago to pursue my dream of starting my own letterpress business. This has been fun, exciting, and hard work with difficult challenges I didn’t expect along the way. While starting this new adventure we’d also planned to start a family, which had been the plan for a while but it just hadn’t happened, so it gave me more time to focus on my work.
In the beginning I was just having fun with it, learning the medium and experimenting with different stationery but I soon realized that I needed more than ‘lovely’ to describe my work. I needed to figure out what my business was offering and within which market I intended to sell. After having advice and doing some research I was more confident about my designs and what products would fit into my brand. Last year was all about creating greetings cards that were simple, stylish and unique. My cards have been selling in various shops, Etsy being the main one and also in Handmade Nottingham, a lovely little shop in the city centre. I’ve had to keep the places I sell my cards to a minimum, as I’ve also had to put myself first above everything else.
Soon realising that having children just wasn’t going to happen for us we entered the long road of IVF. It was very hard juggling this with a new business but I also had the advantage of working the hours I wanted to. We didn’t tell anyone apart from a few close friends about what we were going through, as we didn’t want it to take over our lives completely. We didn’t want to be constantly talking about it. That way we could focus on holidays, the best one being a road trip around New England, which was just amazing!
The lead up to Christmas was a challenge, as I didn’t want to miss out on stationery sales. I printed as much as I could in preparation for me not feeling well on the 6 weeks of IVF medication. This is the biggest part of the process and really takes some getting use to. I was tired, uncomfortable and emotional, it was hard for us both. My treatment also clashed with Christmas Fairs that I was exhibiting at but this kept me going. The whole process was a juggle with work and keeping it from friends and family. By Christmas we knew I was pregnant, which after everything was the best feeling ever - we were so happy!
The start of 2016 was full of excitement with a baby on the way and new plans for Rubyblue. Unfortunately this was cut short when our 12 week scan revealed our baby might have Down Syndrome, we were given a 1 in 5 chance, which is extremely high risk. I had to have more tests and wait two weeks for the outcome, the wait was agony. The result came back clear – I can’t even begin to tell you the relief that we felt.
This brings me to now. Although the worry won’t stop, I can finally enjoy being pregnant. For the first time in a year I can really focus on Rubyblue with a clear head. This year I’m launching my new wedding stationery, as this is how I originally started my business. I have two shows planned, one in less than 2 weeks – A Most Curious Wedding Fair at the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch. And in April, The Pop Up Wedding Village at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire.
I have lots of plans for Rubyblue, I know it’s not going to be easy fitting them around our new baby, but I fully welcome the challenge. I hope to expand my greetings cards and prints into more retail outlets and continue to build on my designs. I have a lot to do before baby Godden arrives - I’ll be printing Christmas Cards in June this year! I’ll be keeping you posted!