I am slowly beginning to accept the fact that the end of 2015 is drawing to an end very quickly! I have been trying to deny that it is November already and only 51 sleeps until the big man in the woolly red suit comes to visit especially seeing as I have yet to purchase a single Christmas present for our small ones but I can’t deny it any longer – its nearly Christmas!!!

With the festive season only around the corner, this means so much for small business owners such as myself.  Yes, hopefully it means lots of Christmas orders from the masses who are looking to purchase a gorgeous, handmade product for their loved ones or even themselves (self gifting is such a wonderful idea) but to me it also means the start of the next stage in my business adventures.

As many of you know, 2015 has been a huge year for Loulou & Mo, from the brand new website design, to the attending of the huge comic conferences to re-branding – basically we have done it all and what a year it has been! Now as the year is nearing its end, instead of quietening down I seem to be doing the complete opposite!  I have decided that from this stage forward, I will be creating season ranges using just one fabric and colour palette  and have (maybe crazily) decided to launch my Summer 2016 Range at the beginning of Summer which basically means in the busiest time of the year I will be designing new bag ranges, having  Christmas sales of current stock ( and launching the new bags!  Possibly a bit ambitious but I am always up for a new challenge.

The idea of new challenges really got me thinking about all those that I have faced and conquered this year. I think many people (myself included) have no idea how many new skills you will need to learn when deciding to set up an online business and I am still shocked by how many different hats I must wear during my day.  Yes, it is wonderful to sit in my  garden studio in Perth creating bags from gorgeous fabrics and this is absolutely where my passion lies but that really is just the tip of the iceberg.  I am now not just a crafter/artisan, I am quite shocked to say I am now also proficient at accounting,  blogging (okay maybe not so proficient at this), photography, market design, IT  and marketing.  Whilst I have spent many nights sat in front of the computer, feeling tired and frustrated by trying to make sense of some completely new concept or instructions, the satisfaction of being able to finally work out something new is just fantastic.  Take last night for example,  after hours and hours of fiddling round on the website, I am now feeling so smug and accomplished that the website has all the correct postage costs and the ability to accept Credit Card payments plus I have worked out how to create sales on here and on my Etsy store using a new program.  Small things maybe, but for this almost computer illiterate crafter I think I will now be adding a webmaster hat to my collection.

So for all of you small online business owners who are just starting out, I just wanted to say good luck  and wow you are in for an exciting new adventure.  Hopefully after a year you will be thinking that like me, its amazing what you can achieve and learn in just a year.