Reflecting on 2016

Small Business

I really love this 'in-between' period, straight after the Christmas chaos and just before the exciting new year begins. I think it's important to reflect on the past year as well as planning for the new one. I know I personally don't give myself enough credit for the little achievements I make throughout the year and it isn't until I look back on the past twelve months that I'm able to realise what I've accomplished.
2016 has been the first year of running Eliza May Prints. I launched an Etsy shop back in August 2015, but I didn't get things officially running until January this year. It's flown by and I'm completely overwhelmed to think just how much Eliza May Prints has grown in such a short space of time. There have been highs and lows, I can't pretend that running your own business is easy but I wouldn't change a thing and I can safely say that the 2am bed times have been completely worth it. 
I set myself goals all the time and I'm constantly thinking about my next 'milestone' so I thought I'd recap on some of the highlights from the past year.. some of them may seem small but to me they're special and something I can always look back on and be proud of.
Getting my first wedding stationery order from somebody who wasn't a relative, friend or friend of a friend.
Reaching 100 sales in my Etsy Shop.
Getting my first review for an order. This would have always been a special moment but the way Sophie so beautifully wrote her review was so touching and every time I read it, I can't help but smile. There may be stressful times, but hearing feedback like this makes it all so worth it. 
"Working with Eliza has been an absolute dream - after scouring the internet for hours looking for the invitation design which was 'the one', I finally found the 'Berry Blush' and knew it was perfect! They are even more stunning in real life and the quality is impeccable, I have received numerous comments on how beautiful they are. Eliza was so patient throughout the whole process, ensuring the final proof was perfect - on arrival of them I was taken aback at the thoughtful final touches Eliza had put into our package which just made them even more special. Thank you again Eliza for adding such beautiful creativity to our wedding day, I couldn't recommend you highly enough!"
Designing my sister's wedding stationery and seeing it all set out against the Ibizan sunset at the stunning venue Cas Mila.
Setting up my own website all by myself. Yep.. designer, coder, trouble shooter.. you name it, I did it. I'm so pleased with the finished result (and quite shocked if I'm honest!). All I can say is thank goodness for google and my wonderful boyfriend who knows his stuff when it comes to digital marketing.
Becoming a Not on the High Street Partner. This was a big big highlight for me.
Getting my first magazine feature in Wedding Ideas Magazine.
Being awarded Highly Commended for Wedding Stationery Of The Year and Winning the Best Newcomer Of The Year for the East of England at the Wedding Industry Awards 2017. I don't know if I'll ever get over that one!
This year has been a crazy little whirlwind of excitement and I hope it continues for 2017. I have a big list of things I'd like to achieve but I'll take each day as it comes, try and be a little less hard on myself and be grateful for every single opportunity that comes my way.
A big thank you to all of the wonderful couples I've had the privilege of working with this year, it really is the most amazing thing to think that I have in some way added to your special day with something that you'll be able to cherish forever. My business wouldn't be where it is without you and I am so grateful.
So here's to 2017.. I wish you all an amazingly happy New Year!

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