Updated: Jun 29, 2018
Tues 26th June....... left Hereford at 5.30 am by train, to attend the Country Living Magazine ..... Build a Business with Country Living workshop in Bath. Unfortunately, with the train delays due to building work, it was like trains, planes and automobiles! Car to station, train to Newport, bus from Newport to Bristol and train from Bristol to Bath, followed by a 2 mile walk to the hotel (and up hill!! gulp!) .... phew, and the day hadn't started yet!
So glad I attended........ Being a Country Living magazine fan, their hotel (Lansdown Grove Hotel) drips with quality furnishes and style.... ok, I'm jealous, I so want to be allowed to view every room of the hotel.
The course was so well organised and ran like clockwork.... a huge thanks to the organisers.
Presentations were in abundance:-
Anna Jury (C.L. Features Editor) gave an insight on how to get your product into Country Living. Followed by 1 minute pitches. I learnt that behind each business is a person who starts a venture for reasons be it money, fame, health, worth ect. The reason/s makes the person 'real' and its product unique. Their 'story' is their product. I was fortunate to talk to Anna and 'the penny dropped'..... I hadn't thought before my reasons to start my venture and then I realised, my drive was to overcome my health issue of chronic pain and the need for worth and to give joy to people (the enjoyment of unwrapping an original piece of art and owning it).
Emma Birkin (The Great Barn) listened intently to our subgroup explaining what venture we were considering/doing............. it is amazing to listen to others and how/why they have changed direction in life. Ideas, just within our small group were diverse and creative. Emma was very supportive and provided excellent suggestions, such as stop pondering over small issues and just get on with it and try (otherwise you will never do anything).
Carole Ann Rice (Life Coach) was outstanding. It is amazing how many gremlins sit on our shoulders and try and stop us progressing (plus others around us trying to dissuade our dreams). Learning to be proud of yourself and to stand tall was a lesson to take away. I am so grateful to Carole, as she made me realise that you can do anything and that it is only yourself that can step in your way and you have to believe in yourself to move forward.
Lunch was amazing and so tasty (and gratefully received)
Giving time for networking amongst the attendees
Finally, the day concluded by a question and answer session with two business's that had succeeded. Louise Wesley & Julie Buchannan (Mon Amie) & Emma Birkin (The Great Barn) talked about their experiences. Would they have changed anything? .... no. They were all enjoying the experience and challenge and were proud of their achievements.
I left that day, so inspired and excited to start my new venture. The next day was our wedding anniversary (20 years!) and after opening up a bottle of Cava, pressed the button on the Etsy Shop live and my venture began.
I'm already feeling proud.... proud because of all the obstacles life has thrown at me, including the chronic daily pain in both hands and feet & depression. Trying out one direction (pet portraits) to decide it wasn't me (after two years of teaching myself fur texture!) and having the courage to 'put my hands up' and realise it was the wrong decision and to gather enough energy to 'pick myself up' and go on another 'path' to follow my true love of freehand drawing. I'm also proud for working out the logistics of sending out artwork/making sure you can purchase online frames to fit/business cards ect and learning how to photograph ........ such an enjoyable learning curve.
I wish all the other attendees, on the workshop, luck in their new venture xx