A New Year, A New Plan… Moving Our Business Forward

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We are back!!!

Happy New Year, I Hope you all had a wonderful festive period with your loved ones and are having a great start to 2017.

Today we re-open Cards And Candles For All Occasions after our extended, one month, Christmas break and along with those closest to me we have decided that I need to make some changes to the way I run the business.

As much as I love the handcrafted work I do and dealing with so many amazing people, both customers and suppliers, over the past few months I have been forced to stop and look at my own health too. Since launching Cards And Candles For All Occasions in April 2010, I have been working full time hours every day of every week, some times working straight through the night to meet customer deadlines or get things all done and the realisation has now come to me that I cannot continue in this way.

At thirty six years old, I have been suffering with Fibromyalgia, Depression and Anxiety for a number of years and especially over the past eighteen months my health has been deteriorating, there are days where I feel unable to function but I sit at my desk doing the best that I can to fulfill all of my commitments to our business and customers.

The end part of 2016 was particularly difficult for me as my health was not in a good place due to the hours I was working, I was taking on more orders than I could handle as I did not want to disappoint anyone and in turn this was adding to the need for working excessive hours and stress levels were rising. It was getting to the stage whereby I could barely function effectively as I was so exhausted, in huge amounts of pain and I constantly felt stressed. Something needed to change.

I took the decision to have an extended break over the Christmas period to give myself some time to recharge (I slept most of Christmas, only really waking up for my pain medication), re-evaluate the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and plan the best way to move forward with my business. The thought of closing the business was considered and discussed, but this is the last thing I want to do. I know what I want to do, I just have to put those plans into action.

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Over the last couple of weeks we have made a lot of decisions about the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and how we plan to move the business forward… in order for me to be able to continue with the handcrafted business which I love, the biggest change I have to make is to reduce the hours in my working week.

Until now I have pretty much been working seven days a week, every hour possible and it is having a detrimental effect on my health – the increasing pain, the insomnia and exhaustion, the mental effects of Fibromyalgia, they all contribute to making me miserable and the thing I have found hardest of all is accepting that I cannot keep up with the lifestyle and working life I held before Fibromyalgia took over.

I never thought I would end up in a wheelchair with a chronic illness at just thirty five years old!! But here I am, this is the life I have and now I have to move forward with a plan to make the most of what I have, make things so that they are manageable and in the bigger picture remember to look after myself too.

I need to find a suitable “Work + Life = Balance” otherwise, as a friend stated this morning:

You need to stick to the plan sweetheart or you will be permanently closed. Invest in you xx

The last thing that I want to do is to be forced by my health to close my business, but I can totally agree with the above comment as the way I was going before Christmas I was heading for a serious burn out and I cannot afford either physically, mentally or financially to risk this in the long-term.

Today is a big day for Cards And Candles For All Occasions as not only are we re-opening for 2017, but today is also the day we are implementing the changes which have been decided upon which will allow me to continue to work with you, our wonderful customers, on the unique, handcrafted and personalised products we all love.

working_hours

As I have said above, the biggest change we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions is our business working hours, with immediate effect our working hours are as follows:

Monday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Tuesday – open from 12:00noon until 6:00pm

Wednesday – CLOSED

Thursday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Friday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Saturday – CLOSED

Sunday CLOSED

We hope that you will understand our reasons for reducing our working hours and in time, once we adjust to our new schedule we are hoping that it will make us more efficient in dealing with your enquiries and processing/handcrafting your orders. My hope is that by reducing my working hours it will help to improve my mental and physical health allowing me to be more productive when I am working, therefore if all goes to plan there should be minimal disruption to our customers.

about-your-online-order

The second change that we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions to help in moving forward more efficiently is lead times for our orders, with immediate effect we have listed below the minimum amount of notice we will require for each product we sell to allow us to source materials, design and handcraft your product ready for dispatch:

Standard Greeting Cards
Minimum 10 days notice

Keepsake Cards (eg. Bookatrix, Easel Drawer, Handbag)
Minimum 14 days notice

Exploding Box Keepsake
Minimum 21 days notice

Ecosoy Candles
Minimum 14 days notice

Wooden Gifts (eg. Themed Frames, Plaques, Candle Holders)
Minimum 21 days

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you throughout 2017 and beyond.

xxx Love Laura xxx

Cards And Candles For All Occasions website

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Twitter

Wordless Wednesday – Our Etsy Shop Has ReOpened

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Etsy

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook

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Our Products, Past And Present

www.cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

www.badgerswoodcrafts.co.uk

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Silent Sunday: Support Staffordshire SANDS

Staffordshire SANDS poster

Staffordshire SANDS Ghost Hunt

Face My Fear

Halloween Party

Staffordshire SANDS Website – www.staffordshiresands.co.uk

Handcrafted Keepsake Cards – Customer Orders

Cards And Candles For All Occasions

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Bookatrix Keepsake Cards For Any Occasion

In the past few months we have been asked to handcraft our bookatrix keepsake cards for some very special occasions, here are just a few of those designs.

We hope you like them as much as our customers did.

Did you know that we can include a special photograph or small keepsake of significance to the sender or recipient on our keepsake cards? We can also include your choice of poem, verse or personal message as well as any personalisation you require.

Remember, if you have a special occasion coming up or just want to let someone know that you are thinking of them, you can email us at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk to discuss your ideas.

We are currently working on our range of Christmas keepsake cards and also three very special Christening keepsake cards which we look forward to sharing with you soon.

You can also visit our website by going to:
Cards And Candles For All Occasions, Stoke on Trent website

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I’d Like To Recommend A Wonderful Fellow Crafter

A long time ago I began chatting to a lovely lady on Facebook, her name is Michelle. We initially started talking through a few of the wedding supplier networking pages we both use on Facebook but over the months (or is it years?!) we have developed a close friendship, Michelle is someone I share many of lifes ups and downs with, both from my life and hers.

I have been an admirer of her work for quite some time, as Michelle is the brains, creator and designer behind New Beginnings – Celebration Stationery… for those of you who are not familiar with this business, Michelle creates beautiful handmade bespoke wedding stationery. Designs which are not only elegant and eyecatching but also unique and affordable.

Recently Michelle decided to extend her talents to include sweety trees for adults… the first one I saw on her Facebook page was a Ferrero Rocher tree and I fell in love. Ferrero Rocher are my favourite chocolate indulgence.

After mentioning this to Michelle, and of course hubby, I was absolutely delighted to come home on my birthday (29th December) to a parcel waiting for me from New Beginnings – Celebration Stationery with the most gorgeous tree inside.

Michelle had created a beautiful birthday gift for me using my favourite sweets, my favourite colours and it looked amazing!! What’s even better is that hubby doesn’t really like Ferrero Rocher so they are mine, all mine!!

I love the rich purple colours used, the gold compliments it so well and the purple bows and butterfly are beautiful finishing touches. I would recommend Michelle’s work to anyone looking for that something special, whether as a treat for themselves, a dinner party or a special occasion.

Not only is New Beginnings – Celebration Stationery a professional company who have superb customer service, but the business is run by a very special lady who has an amazing eye for detail, her designs are always so unique and very pretty and you will always be greeted with warmth and friendship.

If you are looking for something special, or just like to browse pretty things then please pop over and visit Michelle at https://www.facebook.com/NewBeginnings.CelebrationStationery – just tell her that Cards And Candles For All Occasions sent you đŸ˜‰

Thank you so much Michelle, I love my Ferrero Rocher tree and truly value your friendship.

Love Laura xxxxx