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

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In Memory Of A Wonderful Mum – She Is Gone

I recently contacted Dandelion Wishes and Good Night Kisses through their Facebook page, after admiring their work for a very long time.

As most of you will know, we lost my Mum on 23rd February 2007, and as it is now coming up to Mum’s 60th birthday I had decided that I want to get something special done with a poem we were sent to be read at her funeral.

We have family who live in New Zealand (my Dad’s youngest sister, her husband and two children) who were sadly unable to make it over to the UK for Mum’s funeral so they decided on a poem and sent it over to us via email… we had this poem read during Mum’s service.

I spoke to Sarah about incorporating this poem into a special remembrance piece… after some discussion we decided that Sarah would add this poem to one of her large handcrafted blocks with a matching tealight holder.

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Mum 2

I am absolutely overwhelmed with the attention to detail and how pretty Dandelion Wishes and Good Night Kisses work is. Sarah’s customer service is fantastic and she kept me informed every step of the way, sending me photographs of her progress and giving many options for each piece.

I would highly recommend Dandelion Wishes and Good Night Kisses to anyone looking for a special and unique gift or memorial piece.

Here is my new memorial plaque and candle holder in their new home, on the shelf above my desk. Sat next to them is my Hugs For Noah Award which we received in 2014.

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In special memory of my beautiful Mum, Christine Thomson
xxx 15.05.1956 – 23.02.2007 xxx

Wordless Wednesday: I love you more than all the words in all the books

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Cards And Candles For All Occasions website

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Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Etsy

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on eBay

Silent Sunday: Badger’s Woodcrafts Tealight Holder

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Badger’s Woodcrafts Website

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Cards And Candles For All Occasions – Work In Progress

We have lots of new items which we are currently working on which would make perfect gifts for your loved ones, here are a few ‘work in progress’ items which Cards And Candles For All Occasionshave to share which will be completed very soon.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these items, either in the colours shown or customised to your requirements, or if you have any other greeting card, keepsake card, candle of gift ideas which you would like to discuss please email us at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

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Wordless Wednesday – Home Decor and Gifts

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Badger’s Woodcrafts – Acoustic Guitar

Badger’s Woodcrafts were recently approached by a customer looking for a bespoke mdf acoustic guitar to be made as she was hoping to recreate her partners own guitar as a surprise birthday gift. The lady’s partner is the guitarist in a band so we knew that this would be a very personal project.

Gordon handcut this guitar from 18mm mdf and the customer was delighted with the result…

Before

The guitar which was to be replicated shows signs of great use, enjoyment and personal touches – here is the “real” one:

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We love how this personal gift has turned out and I am sure the recipient does too… the detail which has been applied to this is fantastic and I can see it being a well appreciated keepsake 🙂

After

If you would like to browse other products which have been handcrafted by Badger’s Woodcrafts or perhaps you have something in mind you would like Gordon to design, please pop over to our website or Facebook page and get in touch – we love to look at your ideas and create something special for you and your loved ones.

Badger’s Woodcrafts Website

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