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.

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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

#Hugsfornoah 2015 Gala Dinner – We Need YOUR Business’s HELP!!

Hugs For Noah Logo

* WE NEED YOUR HELP *

* CHARITY EVENT *

Good morning all and Happy Sunday, how is everyone today?

Our friend is currently organising the third annual Gala Dinner for her son’s charity which will take place on Friday 30th October 2015 in Carlisle.

Each year we approach businesses in the hope they will help by donating small gifts for the gift bags which are handed out to each guest – this not only allows us to give a ‘thank you’ gift to everyone attending for their support but also helps to promote small businesses.

In the past we have had toiletry samples, candles, keyrings, jewellery, etc and we always encourage the businesses to supply business cards, etc with their details so it’s a great advertising tool too.

This year we are looking for 135 ladies gifts and 135 gents gifts… we are hoping to find some business to help – would YOUR business be able to help with either the ladies or gents gifts?

The details of this years event are “HERE” 🙂

Each year the gift bag contains a selection of items from small businesses and I always blog after the event to thank and promote those who have been involved… again it helps with promoting their business.

Here is the link to my blog review of the first gala dinner in 2013 which will give you an idea of what was involved, etc.

https://eljay1980.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/hugsfornoah-gala-dinner-on-24th-may-2013/

It would be great if you were able to help and get involved and if you can then I will do everything I can to support and promote your business.

If you think you may be able to help then please either inbox me through my Facebook page (Link Below) or email me at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk to discuss how your business would be able to help and support this amazing event for http://www.hugsfornoah.co.uk

Love and hugs xxx

Our FACEBOOK Page

Our Website

Silent Sunday: Badger’s Woodcrafts Tealight Holder

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Badger’s Woodcrafts Website

Badger’s Woodcrafts on Facebook

Unique, Handcrafted and Made With Love – Happy Weekend Folks!

Pink Angel

A friend recently played me this video on YouTube and I think that it is a video we should all watch and it really emphasises why we do what we do, because YOU our customers MATTER!!

I love something special
Made with love
Made to treasure
A handcrafted gift
Something to make you smile
And give you a lift
Unique to your tastes
Can be most of our makes
The cost of love you cannot measure
Creating your order is nothing but pleasure
So make a cuppa and browse our Facebook page
Going by what I’ve heard
Unique and handcrafted is all the rage

>by clicking here<

We love to work with our customers to create bespoke and custom pieces whether it be greetings cards, keepsake cards, candles, gifts or home decor… our aim is to be able to create something unique to you and your loved ones, something not available on the high street or mass produced, something handcrafted with love and made for you to treasure.

If you would like to discuss an item we have shown on our page or perhaps you have something unique in mind, please either inbox us through our Facebook page or email us at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk and we will endeavour to reply within twenty four hours.

Please visit our website at www.cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

And also our woodcrafts website at www.badgerswoodcrafts.co.uk

Wordless Wednesday – Special Gifts

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@HugsForNoah Gala Dinner 2014 #HugsForNoah

Hugs For Noah Gala Dinner 2014

Today we had a fab surprise phone call from the lovely Shellybobbins today, of course with beautiful Noah chattering away in the background. We were talking about Noah’s second Gala Dinner on the 27th June 2014.

This is a black tie event which has already sold out (fantastic, isn’t it!!) however there is opportunity available to businesses looking to support #hugsfornoah while promoting their business…

We are looking for businesses to donate gifts to be placed in the luxury gift bags which are being given to each guest on the evening. We would love to hear from you if you think that this is something that you could help for this… there is no charge for this opportunity and we would love you to include your business card with your gift.

Hugs For Noah Auction

We are also looking for people/businesses to donate gifts for the annual #Hugsfornoah eBay auction where items will be listed for one month, your Twitter name will be included in the title of the item, together with the #hugsfornoah hashtag – so it’s going to be hashtag madness!!

Shelly will need a photograph with a full description of the item you are donating, including your RRP for the item, your twitter name for the title, Facebook link & website please.

www.hugsfornoah.co.uk does not have the space available to store your donated gifts, therefore whoever wins the auction bid on the 27th June 2014 will have their details passed to the person who has donated the item for you to deal direct and send out their gift.

Lastly, at Noah’s Gala Dinner there will be a raffle held and we would like to ask whether anyone would like to donate to this? As this is a black tie event with many fantastic people attending we are looking to have a bit of a “luxury raffle” as we like to make sure that everyone feels special… can you help? A gift from your business, a bottle of something special, or perhaps you are a crafter and would like to make something especially for this event.

Hugs For Noah - Noah's Footsteps

If this is something you may be interested in or would like further details, please send me an inbox on Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook page, my own Facebook page (Laura Jane Quick) or email me at admin@@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

We hope you will be able to support this fantastic Hugs For Noah event and look forward to hearing from you, it looks like it’s going to be a fabulous evening!!

Hugs For Noah - Brian James

Hugs For Noah - The Three Belles

Updating Our E-Commerce Presence

CACFAO Owl Banner

Today has been a busy “behind the scenes” day, we have been doing some background work on the website, updating our Etsy store and also setting up a stall on SuperMums Craft Fair. We have lots of new products to photograph and add to our online stores and website, however we need to do our stock take and photograph/re-photograph all of our items before uploading to our shops.

I Sell On Etsy

We have previously had our items listed on Etsy and found it to be very successful, especially our baby loss range of candles… these seem to be a very popular product which is very sad as it shows just how many people have been affected by baby loss. We have listed more of our baby loss awareness candles and baby bereavement greetings cards as this is something very close to our hearts and we feel that if we are able to provide the smallest bit of comfort to a family who is going through this distressing situation then it is all worthwhile. On our Etsy shop you will also find our decorated themed box frames… this is a small selection of the themes we are able to create and if you have something particular in mind then please email us at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccaions.co.uk

Etsy-com

A few weeks ago a friend recommended the SuperMums website to us… an online craft fair with very reasonable hosting costs and a very supportive group of people. So today we took the step and signed up. At the moment we only have our decorated themed box frames listed for the same reasons as our Etsy shop – we need to do a stock take and photograph all of our items.

Supermums Logo

We would love your support, we have items for Mothers Day, New Baby Boy, New Baby Girl, Baby Loss and Retro Lego home decor so why not pop over and visit us… please tell your friends about our new products and we would appreciate a visit from the Sales Fairy 😉

Go Shopping at Cards And Candles For All Occasions on The SuperMums Craft Fair website.

Pop over and browse some fab handmade goodies on Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Etsy’s website.

Come over and have a chat on Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook page.

Visit our website at www.cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter at Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Twitter.