Happy Kingsway Anniversary Dotties!
Yes it was one year ago today that we opened Dixie Dot Crafts in Kingsway and what a year it’s been! It’s flown by really but that’s because we have been so busy.
For those who are new to Dixie Dot - HELLO! - you won’t have been here to know that we only had three weeks to get into the new studio and finish a complete shop fit, we didn't even have an electricity meter, just a room of bare brickwork! I was also really poorly, having begged to doctor not to send me to hospital. He relented on the condition I didn’t leave my bed for a week so I had to do lots or organising and sorting away from the site which wasn’t easy.
With the help of some amazing friends we just about pulled it out the bag.
800 people turned up to the opening day and enjoyed both pottery painting and slime making and saw some of the craft workshop offerings we do.
Since we opened the doors we have:
- Had two floods (thus meeting some lovely firemen... every cloud!)
- Revamped all the pricing structure and processes in the business - still ongoing
- Run 138 birthday parties
- Recruited new staff/tutors
- Won two business awards - Magellan Award and Getting Sh*t Done award (yes that’s its official title! We hide that one in the kitchen so little eyes can’t see it!)
- Run umpteen new workshops from foam clay to sewing to quilling.
- Taught over 4500 children to make slime
- Enjoyed all the free parking outside - what a bonus!
- Spent a fortune on electricity
- Glazed and fired thousands upon thousands of pottery items
- Run the school tile competition
- Donated to 14 different charities/causes and adopted the neonatal charity Scoo-b-doo for the next years fundraising events.
- Increased the footfall into a very grateful Sue Ryder next door
- Eaten far too much Pizza Hut pizza from the other next door
- Realised how very much I love this business because of the therapeutic properties of having some quiet time to yourself to do some crafting.
On a personal level while I was sad to give up home education, Barnaby is loving his days at Gloucester International School, and we are both very happy to have expanded the family. First with our new kitten, Cooper (also nicknamed ‘Pooper’ - I shan’t go into details!), and then with the entirely fortunate meeting of my wonderful boyfriend Rodger who does a spectacular job of being amazing. Not only is he building me a super new website for Dixie Dot which is going to make the customer experience so much better, but he’s properly ace at picking me up and dusting me off when the trials of running an expanding business like mine feel a little too much to cope with. It can be tricky being a business owner sometimes, the work life balance is never an easy one and I’ve made mistakes aplenty but it feels wonderful to have some support and remind me that everyone is capable of cocking up without it meaning they are a bad person! (And I can be a bit of a fretter and worrier and hate to think I’ve let anyone down ever so I’m quite adept at beating myself up when things go wrong). So with Rodger and his daughter, Team Harman have gone from 2 to 4 and family life is busier and noisier and I couldn’t be happier!
The next 365 days round the sun is going to be so much fun at Dixie Dot! I have Rachel on board running workshops and we are looking at expanding her role and increasing her hours so I can concentrate on the business functions. We have a lovely new part timer called Emily who is just about to join us too. She came to me for a three week work placement through her college but we both agreed within about three days of her arrival that she needed to come and be part of the Dixie Dot Team. I’d love for you all to meet them both so please do pop in and say hello soon!
Lots lined up with workshops - Harry Potter week, Easter Bunny trail around Quedgeley and Kingsway, Dads Club, Craft with Company sessions about to be announced shortly... and many more plans I am excited about revealing.
In the meantime the last thing to say, as ever, is a massive thank you for all your love and support of me, and Dixie Dot. Small businesses like mine are only ever built for and because of people just like you.
So THANK YOU, and I look forward to seeing you all again very soon!