Sunday 10 November 2013

Rough Luck

The past few weeks have been very hard for me. My mood has been low, without much hope of it picking up any time soon. There is one major reason for this sudden plunge into darkness; that little four lettered word beginning with ‘L’, shortly followed by betrayal and heartbreak.

I never intended to use this space to express my feelings – this isn't Live Journal. Instead this blog was created to express my creativity and promote my business. However, creativity is often used as an outlet for emotion, and I have to say that all of my creative work derives from good feelings rather than bad feelings. Regardless, I apologise in advance for any teenage angst this post might portray.

I have been spending a lot of my spare time watching Romance films. A lot of the time I have been looking for hope, but I have become so used to hoping for a better ending that I have used it all up. Instead what I have found is probably a lot more valuable. I've learnt to move on; or at least try to. I have a lot of things to be glad for in my life. I began listing these in my head today in an attempt to make myself feel more positive about life.

1. My family love me unconditionally. They know me better than anyone, and I don’t give them enough credit for that. They clearly miss me a lot, and I need to remember to never take them for granted... Not that I ever do. In addition to my human family, I also have the cutest, sweetest dog ever. He always knows when I'm sad and likes to lick away my tears. Or maybe he just likes the taste of salt.

2. I have an amazing job. No two days are the same and I work with some of the loveliest people. It can be full on at times but I have yet to dread a Monday, and I actually kind of miss it on weekends.

3. I live in my dream flat. It might need redecorating and the power shower isn't exactly powerful, but it’s everything I always wanted, and it’s all to myself. 

4. I have a cute little car. And a tank full of petrol to take me anywhere I want to go. I may not have anywhere to go right this minute, but with it the world – or at least the United Kingdom and extensively Europe – is my oyster.

5. I have the best friends in the world. They might not always answer the phone on the first call, and some may take a few days to text back, but they always deliver. They listen to my complaints, and put up with my general mardiness and brutal sense of humour. And they always give me good advice. I.e. “Stay away from the sociopath; we don’t want you turning up in the morgue.” They've got my back.

I might not be over this for a very long time yet, and I will definitely still have my dark days, as always, but I'm on my way to recovery. Last night was my first full night of sleep in a long time, and that has to count for something.

Sunday 8 September 2013

New Wharfrats Range

As mentioned in previously on my blog, I have been working on a new range for my fashion brand, Wharfrats. I have been crafting macramé bracelets to sell in my Etsy store. These range from charm bracelets, to beaded bracelets, to bracelets embellished with chain and even pairs of friendship bracelets. Everything is £5 with free P+P and I've also been working on some more. I'll post photos of these soon, but for now I just wanted to show you what is actually available to buy. I also have some really exciting news to share, but I want to include some photos so it will have to wait until next week!

All bracelets are available here.

All Charm Macramé bracelets available here.

 Peace out 

Wednesday 28 August 2013

The Story Behind Wharfrats

Two years ago I started working at a nightclub in Newcastle called Digital. I made friends with another Rachel who was hired at the same time as myself. We share a lot of interests, and although I hate to admit it, she's like a better version of myself. We started tie dying clothes together at her house. We were just playing with patterns and old clothes, but we had a lot of fun.

As planned, I left the UK to travel Australia for three months. This trip broadened my mind a Hell of a lot. Although travelling may seem exciting, it leaves you with a lot of spare time sat in airports and on Greyhound buses. Armed with a sketchbook and a pack of coloured pencils I started designing.

I have always been creative, and have drawn clothing for as long as I can remember, but I have never had too much confidence in my art skills to study design at uni. But I do like to draw nonetheless.

I decided to make a few of my designs come to life, and when I returned to the UK I moved back to Manchester, got a part-time job in a bar, and started saving for equipment.

After a month or so I had saved up enough money to buy dyes and invest in a supplier. Whenever I had some spare time on my hands I was using it to create my designs. Each design took roughly about a week to make, and usually a further week to find a photographer and list them online.

To begin with, a lot of interest was shown in my designs, and I was making a nice profit. However, I didn't start designing to make money, I do it because it's something I enjoy doing.

One of my lecturers at uni ran a small market fair in the canteen one Wednesday, and invited the students and staff of the faculty to run stalls of their own. I took part in this, and began creating new stock. As it was close to Halloween, I even rolled out some special stock. This was a great experience, and preparing to run a market stall was hectic. I made bunting, flyers, stickers, a look book, custom forms,  labels, and other decorations. I got my photographer to help me, and take photos on the day. It was a long day, and a long week leading up to it, but it was really fantastic in the end.

This helped me learn more about my brand too. I could see, first hand, what people thought of Wharfrats, and the specific market it was attracting. Operating a store online is cheap and easy, but you will rarely ever get to meet your customers, and this can be a huge disadvantage. From experience, I know how difficult it can be to receive feedback on your products when selling online. Although I have never had any bad feedback from any of my products, I almost feel insulted that someone wouldn't want to leave me any kind of feedback. But I do live by the motto "no news is good news".

I have decided to create a new range for my brand, and as I am in the process of creating this new range, I thought I would share some of my favourite items I currently have in stock.

All stock is available in my Etsy store here.

Monday 26 August 2013

A Working Weekend

Saying as it is a bank holiday today, my family and I decided to get away for a long weekend. We ended up camping in Beadnell on the North coast. Being a bank holiday in England, it was inevitably going to rain. After walking the dog on the rainy beach, giving up on the barbecue and settling for tomato soup, there wasn't much else to do. So I decided to get creative! I ended up making a lot of bracelets for my online store. Some of them aren't complete yet, but by the end of the week they should all be available to buy!

Here's a sneak peak:

I also collected a 'few' pebbles and shells from the beaches we visited over the weekend. I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I have a couple of ideas to keep me busy.

All-in-all we really enjoyed our little weekend away, despite the weather and a trip to A&E (my mother slipped on the beach and broke her wrist). Now it's back to working hard to get this stock out!

Sunday 11 August 2013

It's been too long

It would appear that I have been neglecting my duties of a blogger. I have my reasons, but none of them are good enough! Well they kind of are...

So I began my final year of university around the time I last updated. It was one hell of a year! I don't think I've worked so hard in my academic life! There were a lot of assignments to get done, exams to revise for, and a personal research project to conduct, and I had to put my time and effort in if I wanted to do well. But I tried my hardest and received a 2:1 honors in International Fashion Marketing.
My good friend Hope and I keeping to traditions and throwing our caps in the air.

During my final year of uni I also had a part-time bar job, where I worked about 16 hours a week to pay for treats like clothes, make up, hair dyes, books, etcetera. I quit this just before my final deadlines and exams to focus on my studies, but now I'm feeling rather poor for doing so. Nevertheless it meant I could enjoy my summer to the max before I throw myself into employability.

Of course, as I mentioned in a previous post, I started my own clothing business, Wharfrats. This was a big venture for me, and although I have made a lot of sales, it's not quite paying the bills just yet and is still a work in progress.

So they are my excuses. Good enough? I didn't think so. I'll be trying to update a lot more now that I have a lot of spare time on my hands. Hope you're all looking forward to it!

Peace out 

Friday 28 September 2012

Business Cards

I have decided to make some business cards on 50 cards for Wharfrats and 50 for personal use. Here's an idea of the mock ups:

It's costing me a lot of money, but I don't really mind because I really like them.

Thursday 27 September 2012

9 Months

It's been a very long time since I last updated. It seems my last blog was the last day of 2011. Wow, so much has changed. I moved to Australia and travelled around after living in Manly, Sydney for a while. It was the most amazing trip of my life! Travelling definitely changes you as a person.

Since then I moved back to Manchester and started up my own little clothing company! It's called Wharfrats and I specialise in making tie dye and grunge products. Here's the link to my Etsy shop:

I have one mega weekend to look forward to of university, working, tie dying and parents, so I will update more thoroughly next week!

Thanks for reading :)