Today (25 Feb) I celebrate my birthday with you (Free Shipping)
It's the one 'holiday' that I get to celebrate without the massive pressures that come with every other major holiday throughout the year. When I first started in chocolate in 2003, I had no idea just how life transforming it is to be apart of a business that is so reliant upon holiday sales. I still remember launching my first chocolate business in September of 2003, 'just in time for the holidays' or so I thought. I had recipes, 32 truffle recipes to be exact and I built a website. My friends became friendlier, got a few new ones too. But, the expensive fancy packaging that I had custom designed and manufactured arrived on 20 DECEMBER....
Fortunately, that didn't really matter to the close friends and family that were my first customers. Nor did it really matter when I went out to sell at the numerous holiday events I was invited to attend. I had sales, I was making chocolates that someone deemed worthy of purchasing and not just for themselves, but for significant others too. Oh, man I was on my way....could almost taste it.
Then January happened. I remember that first January like it was yesterday. From the sky high buzz of December to the LOW, low, low, lows of January. The phone didn't ring...at all. I thought it would never ring again. What happened? Were the chocolates so bad that the word had already traveled to the far reaches? What an absolute downer...
A decade later and I've kind of got the hang of this. The holidays are absolute madness. The planning, the upfront investment, the subsequent cashflow crunch, the long days and long nights, the around the clock production, the smiling through the tiredness, the stress, the last minute 'needed it yesterday' rush of orders, the parties, the freezing cold, wet and windy festivals and markets...all of that and more. So, while everyone else is celebrating with good cheer, I'm chewing my nails. And Christmas is that x 1000. It's...pure...extreme... insanity. I'm convinced that people are just nuts in December. Wacked out, full on nutso.
Then the calendar changes, January comes round and poof, just like that, no one remembers my name. Everyone is busted and on a 'diet'...ha. Me, I start the clumsy climb down. The weeks of adrenaline, stress and sleeplessness start to lose their grip over me. I get a haircut, shave and start to look like a normal-ish human being. It takes a while to complete the reclamation project. But its just a quiet time of year....right up to St. Valentines.
I'm convinced that Valentines is on life support. No one wants to talk about it. Seems like most are not into it and young people are really NOT into it. I never know what or how much to make for Valentines. Since moving to London, I've come to realize that Mothers Day (Mothering Sunday) and Easter are much, much more relevant than St. Valentines. And that is ok by me. Just gives me a little more time and space for the personal reclamation project. But Valentines does bring a spark, a few more phone calls and a renewed sense of relevance.
We sell most of our chocolates direct at the Stoke-Newington (Sat) and Alexander Palace Farmers' (Sun) Markets So spring means I can put away the long underwear, gloves and multiple layers under my coat. It also means that people take their time in the markets. Families come, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Its a good time to be in market and our sales reflect that. Its just around the corner, spring and with it our spring collection of new and old fresh, organic chocolates. Can't wait...
So, back to my birthday...let's celebrate. Shipping is free this week (within the UK) and the January diet is over so why not give us a try?
Blog you soon..