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.

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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

Exciting #HugsForNoah News!!!

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Anyone who follows our blog will know that we are huge supporters of #HugsForNoah… our friends little boy who was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

Noah with Miss Daisy

The family had their home renovated by DIYSOS a couple of years ago and the episode was first shown on BBC1 in August 2014:

#HugsForNoah BBC DIYSOS 28082014

I have just read the most amazing news on Noah’s mummy’s Facebook page this morning:

Shellybobbins:
“BBC1 31st March at 9pm Noah’s ‪#‎DIYSOS‬ Big Build WILL be on YAY

Amazing to be on BBC1 again they rang hubby a few weeks ago to ask and we said yes !!!!!!!! For us it’s about awareness

If your thinking of having a baby then please take folic acid B9 & B12 3 months before conception

If you already have neural tube defects in your family then you need a higher dosage and you can only get this from your doctor here’s some folic ‪#‎Facts‬

http://www.gofolic.org.uk/facts please copy & paste this info & share this help us raise awareness ‪#‎HugsForNoah‬ ‪#‎TheBoyWhoGrewABrain‬”

hugsfornoah on bbc1

How amazing is this that BBC1 have decided to re-broadcast the episode of DIYSOS featuring Noah Wall and his family – as Shelly has said, it is so important to raise awareness about the conditions which Noah has and also the importance of taking Folic Acid along with Vitamins B9 and B12 pre-conception and during pregnancy. This is something which needs as much awareness raised as possible and through Social Media and public speaking, this family are doing an amazing job of doing so 🙂

We are incredibly proud of Rob, Shelly, Noah and their family and all that they continue to achieve throughout their campaigning and their own health difficulties. They truly are an amazing family and an honour to call our friends.

Noah stood 13022015

Please share this post far and wide, tell your friends and loved ones, watch Noah’s DIYSOS episode on 31st March 2016 and help share the word on the importance of folic acid and vitamin B9 and B12!!!

Together we can support this amazing family in all that they do ❤

It’s 2016 and we’re open for business!!!

💻 🎨 🎈 ✂ 🎉 We are back!! 🎉 ✂ 🎈 🎨 ☎

We are now OPEN for business, back to normal after our Christmas break.

Thanks to the flare up of my Fibromyalgia and damaging the ligaments in my knee while visiting family in Scotland over the festive period, I thought it was best to extend my break by an extra week to recharge my batteries and hopefully get the pain, etc to a manageable state.

I am determined to control my Fibro, it won’t control me… I have a business to run!!

So here I am… as I sit here looking at 2016, thinking about the year ahead,  I have lots of new ideas to work on, I have some new stock which needs to be photographed and uploaded and a few pieces of new stock just to be framed which will then be ready to go 🎨

Is there anything in particular you would like to see from Cards And Candles For All Occasions throughout the coming months?

We are looking into a few different sales avenues to run alongside our website and this page and will update you on those as soon as any plans are finalised.

It’s great to be back, but please bare with me as I get back into the swing of things and get all of our new year admin sorted out 📖 📝 📖 📝 📖

Let’s hope it’s a great year for us all!!!

Looking back over the past twelve months, I would like to share some of my favourite makes of 2015:

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Valentine gift box

@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

Critterish Allsorts Desperately Need YOU!!! #LetsFindSkittles #Missing #Search #Staffordshire

URGENT SEARCH AND RESCUE REQUEST FOR HELP IN STAFFORDSHIRE!!!

Do you have a sniffer/scent-tracking/tracking dog? Do you know someone in the Staffordshire area who does?

Critterish Allsorts baby skunk (Skittles) escaped from home on the evening of Friday 13th September 2013 around 11:25pm and hasn’t been seen since.

Sad sad day at Critterish Manor Last night Skittles managed to open the back door (some how – still haven’t worked it out) and get into the garden. Trouble is, like all skunks, she didnt stop there and, unsupervised, she kept walking We last saw her as she ran out of the lounge at 11pm, and 25 minutes later she was gone. I have been out searching ever since, with torch and friends, and not even a clue or a sign. Please please (especially if you are in Armitage / Rugeley / Lichfield or Staffs in general) SHARE this post. We are all deeply upset and mortified to have lost our family pet, and she is only 18 weeks old so still a baby, and does not need to be out in current weather conditions. We fear for her safety and for her well being – please let us know of any sightings or other news, so that we can follow it up – they can walk a very long distance in one night foraging, so it is not beyond reason for her to be miles away by now. But we are hoping that because of her attachment to Stoosh she has stayed close. Police, RSPCA and all local vets have been notified. Please help us – I am beside myself with worry and guilt, because I have let my beautiful Skittles down,let my wife and children down, and let you guys down. I am so sorry to bring such awful news to the page 😦

Skittles is just an eighteen week old baby so everyone is very worried about her welfare, not to mention Stoosh (her Critterish Allsorts sister skunk) who is missing her baby sister!!

We need to help find baby Skittles and get her home before her venture has any negative effect on either Skittles or Stoosh!!

Look out in your garden’s too for Skittles poop – I know it sounds very disgusting, but skunk poo is quite distinctive. It has a fruity tangy smell, which you will generally smell before you see it, its quite moist when fresh and will have seed and bits of indigestible plant in there too – it will stick out as unusual. Their wee has a similar smell to marijuana, and again is something that you smell first and foremost – so much so that Skittles has sparked security alerts when visiting people for therapy sessions !!!

Can you or someone you know help in the search to find Skittles??? Get in touch asap or pop over to Critterish Allsorts page for more details!!!

Please if you have already checked your garden, out buildings etc, for Skittles Critterish Allsorts Skunk please check again, and then again as you go to bed, and then again when you wake up in the middle of the night. Skunks are naturally nocturnal and hole up during the day. Thankyou all so much for your overwhelming support. True friendship can blossom from those you have never met, as well as those you have. Critterati, I love you all – thankyou

This really is an urgent request… PLEASE SHARE!!!

With the power of SOCIAL MEDIA we can get the word of missing baby skunk Skittles far and wide, we can and will get as many search parties together as we can and we WILL do our best to get Skittles home where she belongs!!

If you can help please get in touch with Dale at Critterish Allsorts as soon as possible!! Gordon and I will be going out to join in the search tomorrow (Monday 16th September 2013) so if you would like to join us or someone you know can join us to help, please get in touch asap at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk or if you have our phone number drop us a text/call as soon as you can.

Critterish Allsorts On Facebook

Critterish Allsorts Website

Email Critterish Allsorts at allsorts@critterishallsorts.co.uk

Critterish Allsorts On Twitter

Please share this post with as many people as you can, this is an urgent and heartfelt plea to you all!!

You can see the official Critterish Allsorts “Help Find Missing Skittles” poster HERE

PLEASE HELP FIND SKITTLES AND GET HER BACK HOME WHERE SHE BELONGS!!!

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SILENT SUNDAY: Critterish Allsorts Baby Skunk Is Missing #LetsFindSkittles

Poster - Skittles is Missing