This weekend I took part in the Bedford High Street Showcase Market. What a fab day it was! Bustling and buzzing with a variety of local businesses.
I had a new print and new products launching at the event. I’d had all my popular Bedford prints put onto magnets and tea towels and my gosh did they go down well! I sold out of magnets and nearly all the tea towels went! I’ll definitely be getting more made for the Castle Quay Weekender and River Festival.
The newest print I was launching was my Bedfordshire Sights Map which is a bit of a new look for me and an updated version of my typography Bedfordshire County Map. But this map does come with a bit of a challenge! Can you work out the landmarks represented on the map?
Harrold Country Park
The small towns and villages that make up some of Bedfordshire’s most picturesque areas.
Hot Air Balloon rides
Bedford Park Pavilion
Leighton Buzzard Light Railway
Chalk Horse of Dunstable Downs
The Charles Wells Well Tower
Woburn Safari Park
Bedford Suspension Bridge
Some of the icons on the map relate to maybe multiple attractions, but I do hope I’ve captured the diversity of this great county.
I’ll be back in Bedford on 18th-19th July at the Castle Quay Weekender with more magnets and tea towels in stock and I’m aiming to have another new print ready for then too! Watch this space! TM x
Gosh it’s been a very busy couple of weeks! The Country Living Show is now over and what a fantastic experience it was! I met some really lovely stall holders including Lucky Lobster Art and Kate Moby. The show was jam packed with lovely jewellery, clothing, art and of course food! NOM! I didn’t get much time to shop but I did manage a quick wander around during a quiet 5 minutes.
At the show I launched 4 BRAND NEW prints! Which are now available online. The Flying Scotsman is a hot topic at the moment and I just couldn’t resist capturing it in a print. I’m super pleased with the result and so it seemed where the customers of the Country Living show as it was one of my best sellers.
My second best seller was my NEW ‘Let’s go to the Seaside’ print which is a new edition to my typography range. So many people loving this print for their bathrooms or beach huts.
You may remember the London prints I added to this collection not that long ago, they were also super popular.
I’ve always been inspired by the propaganda posters from both the World Wars but i’ve not yet done a print that really reflects this inspiration. Well, now I have! ‘Carry a message.’ I really enjoyed doing this print, its a little different to my usual work and I love it! I hope you do to!
Last, but not least I have done a special limited edition of my forever popular Shipping Forecast Regions print. Only 10 exist and they’re all numbered a signed.
A huge thank you to everyone that visited me at the Country Living show and a big HELLO to all the lovely new owners of #mytabithamary prints and followers.
There’s even more new stuff coming shortly… stay tuned… TM x
Gosh! What a year 2015 has been! My first full year of trading as a self employed designer and it has just been incredible. Mainly thanks to all the fantastic support I’ve received from everyone I’ve met. Predominately in the Bedfordshire community, what a great place to be self employed.
I end the year pretty exhausted but exhilarated to announce that I am a finalist for the ‘Best New Business Award’ presented by Bedfordshire Business Women. The winners are announced on 21st January, I couldn’t think of a better and more exciting way to start 2016! Good luck to all the fabulous finalists.
I’m signing off now for some well deserved offline time. Orders can still be placed on my website but won’t be despatched until 4th January.
There’s so many super exciting plans for the New Year, a new website, new prints, new collaborations, wholesale licensing and a wedding! EEK!
Watch this space for all the updates as they happen!
Thank you once again for all your support and making 2015 better then I could have ever dreamt of. Have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll see you in 2016! TM x
Bedford Park Proms are back and all systems are go in organising their 20th event in the Park which will be held on 6th August 2016.
It’s going to be a night to remember with a spectacular classical concert with the London Gala Orchestra, Bedford Choral Society, Brit award winners Blake, Rebecca Newman and all finished off with a fireworks and laser finale! And guess who’s designed the flyer?! Only little old me! I was so excited when Mark & Louise approached me about doing the flyer. We’ve also created a fab print as a great keepsake of what’s set to be a night to remember.
Tickets and Prints are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased from Bedford Park Concerts an exclusive early bird rate is now on pricing Adult tickets at £24.50 which rise to £31 from 1st May, Children £5. They can also be bought in person at the Pavilion, Bedford Park.
The prints can be bought from myself here and are at a reduced price until 1st August 2016 when they’ll go up to full price. I will be at the Proms on the night selling them in person too.
Gosh, I just cannot believe that this week marks the one year anniversary of me leaving full time employment and taking my little business out into the big bad world all on my own! To mark my 1st year I’m taking a few minutes to reflect on the year gone by and my plans for the next year.
I’d been running Tabitha Mary has a hobby alongside my full time job as a Graphic Designer for 3 years. I was selling prints online and attending the odd craft market when I found time. Sales had slowly increased along the way and I was finding I was working harder and later into my evenings and weekends to keep up with demand. In the spring of 2014 I met my Fiancée Paul. We knew instantly that we’d found love (awww… cue for the sick bucket!) but more importantly he was 100% behind my business and believed in me and my product. When we met we lived on opposite sides of Hertfordshire, me in Bishops Stortford, he in Tring. If we wanted to live together, someone was going to have to move. It was the opportunity I never thought I’d get! We both agreed that it was now or never. So we jumped in, feet first! I quit my full time job designing licensed stationery and moved west into our new house in Leighton Buzzard where Tabitha Mary HQ was created in our spare bedroom.
I started my new life in the self employed world by flying to Nepal and trekking the foot hills of Annapurna – as you do! I’d already booked the trip before all these decisions were made. But what fabulous timing. It gave me the break I needed to reset, recharge and refocus my mind onto being my own boss.
On my return I got busy selling at Christmas events, designing new prints and freelanced for 2 months at the Tigerprint Studio in London. I’d never been busier!
Come the New Year and I just couldn’t quite believe that I already had months of work booked in, a mix of freelance, commissions, events and new print launches planned. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought this plan was going to work out!
And it’s continued in this way. I have been completely mesmerised, overwhelmed and humbled by the kindness of everyone I’ve met, exhibited / sold with and the opportunities that have come my way and the support shown by those who I’ve worked with. I’ve made some mistakes, but i’ve learnt from them and carried on!
My work ethic across the year has been to say yes to everything and my goodness what fun and craziness it’s lead to! From small school fairs to the conservative conference!
A rather MASSIVE thank you goes to all those in Bedford who have shown such consistent support. From the Pavilion cafe commissioning THAT print, to Creative Bedfordshire and Velocity for their small business support. And of course a huge thank you to my wonderful Fiancée who proposed in the Summer and has been my rock, business confident, advisor, sales man and right hand man all the way through. I wouldn’t be here without him.
Who’d have thought all of this would’ve stemmed from the shipping forecast print I did for my parents 4 years ago!
So… what are the plans for the next year?
Well my biggest plan is to expand my range, buy a super duper whizzy new printer and be able to offer LARGE scale printing done in house and to get myself out into the world of wholesale more. I tapped into it a bit this year, but would love to grow that side of things. And we of course cannot forget the wedding planning and becoming Mrs Paul in May!
There’s plans set for me to talk to college students about being a self employed designer and to hold a Q&A evening with Creative Bedfordshire to talk all things small business. Set to be a fun evening where you can pick my brains on what i’ve learnt and where hopefully I can pick yours too! As i’m ALWAYS learning!
Not to mention the HUMONGOUS list of prints I want to do!
It’s set to be busy!
Hope you all follow me along for the ride.
Thank you for all your support. To celebrate there’s 20% off everything online until Sunday when you use code IAMONE
At last weekends Handcrafted in Bedfordshire Market I met a lovely lady who asked me to design a print of Naples for her husband for their 15th Wedding Anniversary this weekend.
I of course jumped on the chance to create such a lovely gift for her to give him, how romantic! After a couple of sketched ideas we decided upon a fictional scene incorporating the gorgeous cliffs that Sorrento is so well known for with the iconic silhouette of Mount Vesuvius in the background.
I’m so pleased with this print and hope her husband loves it!
Happy Anniversary you two love birds!
My Fact of the day: Did you know that Mount Vesuvius is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes today due to the 3 million people living in its shadow and the fact its last eruption was in the last 100 years! SCARY!
In October 2014 I went to Nepal taking in the sites of Kathmandu, Patan, Bhuktapur, The Annapurna Massif and Chitwan National Park.
I begun the trip exploring Patan and Bhuktapur. Ancient areas of Nepal where the most traditional buildings, values and ways of life can be found. I was mesmerised by this beautiful country from the second I got there. The people are enchanting and friendly and the architecture is just absolutely stunning.
I couldn’t believe it when exploring the jungle of alleys in-between the houses in Patan (truth be known, I was very lost and getting a little bit worried I wouldn’t find my way out!) I stumbled across a printers, screen printing the most wonderful papers. I just couldn’t believe my luck, how this lost print designer found a fellow printer in Nepal! Just one of those memorable moments.
Other than exploring the major towns of Nepal my trip really evolved around the 4 day trek into the Annapurna foot hills, staying at the basic and wonderfully traditional tea houses along the route. From the moment our Gadventures group walked into the park the views were spectacular but the further we went in they just kept getting better! The route was undulating and at times really tough going; compared to my Kilimanjaro trek it was a walk in the park! But I hadn’t gone for a physical challenge but to simply explore.
The morning views had been fantastic throughout the trek, but on our final morning of the trek we woke up to the most spectacular view:
What a way to end our time in the mountains! The trip didn’t end there though as we set off for Chitwan National Park for a short safari tour.
I could write forever on my time in Nepal, the smells, sounds, views, culture, just everything about it is enchanting. My trip also signified a massive change in my life, it saw me quitting my full-time job as a Graphic Designer and stepping into the unknown world of self employment with my business ‘Tabitha Mary.’ A horrifically scary decision and step to make, but one I will never regret. I’ve had just the most fantastic year being self-employed and felt it was finally time to capture the place that focused my mind onto my new and exciting challenge ahead. The people I met there and sites I saw will never know how much they touched my life. I hope everyday that they are safe and well after the horrific natural disaster that struck in April 2015. The print captures that stunning view we woke up to on our last morning in the Annapurna National Park.
If you have trekked in Nepal then like my Kilimanjaro print I can personalise this print for you, just drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
I was recently contacted by a customer who was enquiring about a print enlargement. Unfortunately I couldn’t fulfil his request, but what caught him about the print was the kite in the sky. His family had recently been through some awfully tragic circumstances and his granddaughter loved kites and wanted to have a new print to offer some future hope to her and the family.
Their home town of Eastbourne is also where I studied Art Foundation and local to where I grew up in East Sussex. I so badly wanted to provide this family with a print they’d love, I set about designing an Eastbourne print, with a kite, just for them. I couldn’t help but feel that this gesture was rather insignificant in the grand scheme of their pain; but I just felt like I wanted to do something to help them.
Their reaction has truly humbled me and it is a lovely reminder of the power a kind gesture can have on a stranger. I think we should all help a stranger more often.