Anyone else read the weather warnings this week about the oppressive heatwave currently hovering over the UK?!
Well, in highly unseasonal fashion, behind the met-office prescribed closed curtains I’m currently busy prepping for Christmas in July. And if that sounds weird I’ve actually been working towards the next festive season pretty much since taking down the last lot of tinsel!
I’m lucky enough to have Christmas decorations and festive-inspired products that have grown a loyal customer-base over the years, and every January my calendar starts with me designing new products. In February I start work on the samples, and by March I’m usually in full creative flow…
My brilliant mum and mother-in-law help me to ensure I hit my product deadlines and I also have a lovely lady who lives locally to me who also helps out with the stitching. Then everything comes back to so I can decorate my designs by hand and add those all-important finishing touches, all ready for the Christmas rush.
I’m actually looking for hand-stitchers who live nearby so if you’re local please do drop me an email.
I’m always bursting with fresh ideas, but last year I couldn’t keep up with all the new products in my festive range so this year I’ve learned my lesson. Instead of adding eight new pieces – yes, I must have been mad – the decorations I’m unveiling this year are a llama, penguin and a cheeky monkey and I hope they’ll prove just as popular as my old designs.
Lots of craft and lifestyle magazines start planning for Christmas now, bloggers like to get a sneak peek of the new festive and gift ranges and on top of all that I have The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court to prep for. All this means that my deadlines are even tighter than last year – the pressure is on!
In the Miss Shelly household it really is Christmas all year round in one sense, so while having a festive photo shoot in May was pretty surreal, it’s also something I’m used to. Not so much my four year old son Ben though who was rather confused at the appearance of a Christmas tree!
With that I’d better get back to the hand sewing, but because I stitch and hand-finish every single piece in my product portfolio if I run out of a design by November there will likely be no more time to make anymore.
My new range will be available from September so be sure to get shopping early this year! And until then enjoy the sunshine!
By Sarah Welsh