What a year 2017 has been!!!
New Year’s Eve 2016 marks the year anniversary of making the decision to stop talking about setting up our own business and to actually do it! There had been a lot of conversations before this one but over drinks in a London Bridge pub myself and my BFF decided to stop the talking and to start the doing! The time felt right. I had been made redundant from my buying role 6 months previous to this, slap bang in the middle of my maternity leave (less than ideal). Maternity leave had been both challenging and rewarding but often lonely and VERY repetitive. I was ready to get back to work and craved a creative outlet. Best Day Ever Party Shop was born!
I found the first few months of 2017 incredibly frustrating. I’m a very impatient person and want things to happen instantly but trying to find my feet working around a baby with a constantly changing routine definitely slowed me down. I was still trying to get to the baby classes and I’d start working through the ‘to do’ list after bedtime cuddles. It was not and is still not easy (now I’m working around the ‘terrible two’s’ tantrums), but I found a way and although later than I wanted, the website went live on March 22nd 2017!
Setting up on your own is a complete rollercoaster and a lot of hard work. I always tell people who are thinking of going it alone to just do it. You need to be hard working and have a real passion for whatever business you go into but if you cant stop thinking about it, then go for it! Start before you’re ready is the best piece of advise I was ever given, otherwise you’ll never start!
A definite highlight of 2017 was hitting the ‘Go Live’ button and publishing the website! Another absolute high point was getting the first order! I still remember that feeling and to be honest, each order since then feels as good! The saying that ‘ when you buy from a small business an actual person does a happy dance’ could not be truer. That first order was for eleven of our Rose Gold 16″ Letter Balloons and they have continued to prove to be very popular alongside our Love Script Balloon Banner. Another top highlight from the year was launching our own Best Day Ever products like the Love is in the Air Confetti Pack and the Rainbow Garland and lots more. I am so proud of the range so far and there are lots more bespoke products planned in the New Year.
I absolutely love seeing your orders coming through and which products everyone is selecting! My favourite seems to constantly be changing. At the minute I love anything Rainbow like our garland and Rainbow Bunch and actual Rainbow Balloon. I also have a soft spot for all our novelty balloons, the Unicorn and The Bumble Bee are too cute!
Despite having a decade (wow) of experience in the buying industry I feel I’ve learnt so much this past year (and there’s plenty more I still need to get my head around). I’ve used social media for years with my personal accounts but I had no idea the kind of community and support system that these platforms can give a small business. Instagram is my favourite and I’ve already met so many amazing women at both business and Mum meet ups. It really has been invaluable not only for promoting our business but to be able to meet like minded people who can offer support and advice as well as much needed light relief. It really means so much.
One of my favourite Instagram accounts has to be @susiejverrill. She makes me laugh out loud providing some much needed relief and a candid insight into motherhood. Her two boys, Milo and Rex are also super cute. Susie has been really supportive of Best Day Ever and she bought some of our balloons for Milo’s birthday (A Dinosaur T Rex and a Stegosaurus which are awesome even if I do say so myself). She supports small businesses and I am so grateful not just for her order but also her shout out on Instagram. It looked like a great party!
There are too many social media accounts that I love to mention them all. I have to talk about Sarah @surrey_mama who runs the ‘mama you can’ series sharing advise from mamas who have set up their own businesses. I was asked to feature and I jumped at the chance. Check out Sarah’s blog! Another great blog I’ve loved featuring on is @mothership_club where mums share their experiences and offer advise on finding that holy grail of the perfect work life balance. Well worth a read!
I’m so incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved this year but this is only the beginning and I feel there is so much more to come. I hope 2018 will see Best Day Ever Party Shop go from strength to strength and with new products and some collaborations in the pipeline I cant wait to get started!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has given us help and support throughout the year. Whether its been words of encouragement, feedback, orders or simply likes and comments on social media, it really makes the difference. Thank you!
Wishing Everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here’s to 2018, I’ve got a good feeling about this one!