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

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Handcrafted Gifts And Home Decor

Are you looking for a special gift for a loved one? Or perhaps something to decorate your home? Did you know that here at Cards And Candles For All Occasions we can create unique, personalised gifts to suit your requirements and work together to design something within your price range.

Here is an example of our work, however if there is something in particular you are looking for or would like to discuss, please email us at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

CACFAO - Watermarked Product Collage (4)

CACFAO - Watermarked Product Collage (5)

CACFAO - Watermarked Product Collage (8)

Why not join us over on Facebook to stay up to date with all of our news:

www.facebook.com/cardsandcandlesforalloccasions

Handcrafted Freestanding Angel with Gemstones

Pink Angel

Our newest item to be completed is this freestanding angel. She is approximately 15cm tall and has been painted in a lovely shade of pink with pearlised lilac wings, being finished with a gemstone butterfly swirl.

This item is available for immediate dispatch and is priced at £11.50 including recorded delivery postage.

This item can also be made in your own choice of colours however the gemstone detailing of each piece is unique.

If you would like to purchase this item or if you would like to see some of our other work, please visit our stall on the Super Mum’s Craft Fair:

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on The SuperMums Craft Fair

Please email is at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk to discuss custom orders.

Marvellous Monday Wedding Anniversary Keepsake

We were recently approached by a friend who was looking for something a little different for her Mum and Dad’s Silver Wedding Anniversary, she was looking for a special keepsake but doesn’t like cards with pictures, etc so after some research and thought, we decided on an Exploding Box keepsake which would also include the lyrics to Jennifer Rush’s Power Of Love.

As this is for a Silver Wedding Anniversary, the obvious choice was to have the card structure of the box in silver pearlised cardstock, we decorated the inside with love themed embellishments and the box was topper with a wedding anniversary verse.

Silver Wedding Anniversary Exploding Box (1)

Silver Wedding Anniversary Exploding Box (2)

Silver Wedding Anniversary Exploding Box (3)

Silver Wedding Anniversary Exploding Box (4)

Silver Wedding Anniversary Exploding Box (5)

Our exploding keepsake boxes can be made in any colour or theme and for any occasion so if you have something in mind which you would like to discuss we would love to hear from you, just pop us an email over to admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

Today we’re heading to Kidsgrove with the Staffordshire SANDS information and merchandise stand and we’ll be sharing as much information and raising as much as we can for this wonderful cause. Although we have glorious weather today but think I’d better stay in the shade… got blistered puffy sunburn (after wearing factor 30!!) so I think I’d better be careful!!

Whatever you’re doing today make sure you slap on the sunscreen, stay hydrated and have a Marvelous Monday!!!

Cards And Candles For All Occasions website

Cards And Candles For All Occasions blog

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