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 – Special Gifts

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Our Products, Past And Present

www.cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

www.badgerswoodcrafts.co.uk

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Kidsgrove Victorian Market – 30th November 2013

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Tomorrow we will be at Kidsgrove Town Hall for their annual Victorian Christmas market… there will be lots of opportunity for Christmas shopping, treating yourselves and supporting local charities including Staffordshire SANDS.

We know for certain that the following will have stalls:

1. Cards And Candles For All Occasions – www.facebook.com/CardsAndCandlesForAllOccasions

2. Badger’s Woodcrafts – www.facebook.com/BadgersWoodcrafts

3. Felt Sew Great – www.facebook.com/FeltSewGreat

4. Kelly’s Enchanted Castle – www.facebook.com/KellysEnchantedCastle

5. Staffordshire SANDS – www.facebook.com/staffordshiresands

and lots, lots more

Come and see us, say hello and join in the festive fun at:

Kidsgrove Town Hall (Victoria Hall)
Liverpool Road
Kidsgrove
Stoke on Trent
ST7 4EL

Saturday 30th November 2013

This event is open from 10:00am until 4:00pm

At this event there will be Santa’s Grotto, Victorian Tearoom, Handmade local products (including us!!), Traditional and Vintage stalls, Dress Up Competition and lots of festive entertainment.

Come along and SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES and join us at this fantastic event… can’t wait to see you all!!

xxx Lots of love from Laura and Gordon xxx

Cards And Candles For All Occasions – website

Badger’s Woodcrafts – website

It’s that time of year – Northfield Farm’s Christmas Open Day!!

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Can you believe it’s that time of year again?

Tomorrow is the Northfield Farm annual Christmas Fair – lots of food, crafts and shopping opportunities on the farm!!

NORTHFIELD FARM CHRISTMAS OPEN DAY 2013

WHERE WILL WE BE???
Northfield Farm
Whissendine Lane
Cold Overton
Oakham
Rutland
Leicestershire
LE15 7QF

Saturday 23rd November 2013, 9:00am until 3:00pm

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WHAT’S HAPPENING???

It is the annual Christmas Fair and Open Day at the farm.

Free Entry for all!
Hot and cold snacks and drinks
Full butchery open
Gorgeous piglets to meet
Hands on wood-turning sessions,
and delightful food and craft stallholders …
We have butchers, we have bakers and
we have candlestick makers!

There is mud, so please wear appropriate footwear, wrap up warm and join us.

For full details of the venue please visit www.northfieldfarm.com/

Or to browse the Cards And Candles For All Occasions website, visit www.cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

We hope to see you all there… please tell your friends, family and loved ones about this event, it is always a brilliant day and shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the area!!

Northfield Farm

Revival List – More Than A Vintage Fayre #Review

Saturday 7th September 2013 was the big day… the Revival List event at Kidsgrove Town Hall, our first event since June đŸ™‚

The day didn’t start off too well as we both slept through the alarm clock and were woken up by a phone call fifteen minutes after we were due to leave home!! So it was a mad rush of sort the animals, have a shower, get dressed, load the car and set off… forty five minutes after being woken up and we arrived in Kidsgrove (including stopping for petrol and £1 coins for our float!) – not too bad!!

We got our stall set up and all of our Cards And Candles For All Occasions and Badger’s Woodcrafts stock out on display, including lots of new Christmas stock for 2013 almost an hour before the event was opened to the public which gave us time to relax a little and network with fellow stallholders.

The doors opened at 11am and got quite busy with visitors/customers pretty much straight away… lots of people browsing, buying and wanting to chat. There was a lovely atmosphere and we were made to feel very welcome within the local community.

Throughout the day we received lots of interest and compliments of our handcrafted products, spoke to a couple of people who are organising Christmas events and are going to send us details, had lots of interest in our personalised keepsake cards and a few ladies have said they will be in touch via our website and we also made a few sales.

We met some lovely stallholders including an Avon representative, a lady who makes delicious cupcakes, a lady who handcrafts some lovely felt goodies and a lady who handcrafts beautiful owl themed family trees while her friend does some gorgeous handcut images and quotes. There were also a few vintage clothing stalls, vintage/pre-owned niknaks and books, local community stalls and a stand and display for Staffordshire SANDS. 

All proceeds from todays stall fees and the raffle will be donated to Staffordshire SANDS which is the Kidsgrove Mayors Charity of the Year 2013. You can visit the charity’s website at www.StaffordshireSANDS.co.uk đŸ™‚

All in all, we had a really good day and can’t wait for the Victorian Fayre at Kidsgrove Town Hall on 30th November 2013.

Thank you to the great organisers of this event for all of your hard work and for inviting us to join your fayre today!

xxx Laura and Gordon xxx   

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Lots Of New Stock #Handmade #Christmas

As the busy lead up to Christmas is fast approaching, we have been working hard to create lots of new handcrafted Christmas greetings cards as we have lots of events coming up over the next couple of months.

We aim to provide designs which are suitable for everyone, whether you prefer modern and cutesy, traditional or vintage, simplistic or a little bit over the top.

We hope that our customers will feel confident knowing that if there is something specific they are looking for…. a particular image or theme, a favourite colour or sentiment or even something relating to a ‘private joke’ between sender and recipient, we pride ourselves on working together with our clients to create a unique greeting or keepsake card to suit their requirements.

If you would like to purchase any of our handcrafted creations or would like to discuss your own personal requirements please email Laura Jane at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

Our range of handcrafted Christmas greeting and keepsake cards will be added to Cards And Candles For All Occasions website after our event on Saturday 7th September 2013, which is taking place at Kidsgrove Town Hall from 11am until 5pm.

We would love to hear your feedback on our latest designs, and if you like what you see then we would really appreciate if you could share our website with your friends, family or even your colleagues.

Help us to make 2013 a year to remember by supporting British Handmade and Small Businesses đŸ™‚

Sending you al lots of floaty hugs and wishes for a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend!!

xxx Laura Jane and Gordon xxx