How Felicity Finds Some Personal Strength

I had an interesting conversation with my sister whilst she was down last week regarding self-confidence and how we carry ourselves.  It's funny how sometimes the most outwardly confident people are in fact inwardly the most shy; take me, i come across as pretty confident, I dress how i like (quirky, eccentric are a few words I've heard), I dye my hair... bright! and I will happily stand up in front of a room of people and talk to them... about anything.  However inside I'm painfully shy.  I wonder how many of us creatives are the same?

Wallflower: a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance. 2. any person, organization, etc., that remains on or has been forced to the sidelines of any activity.

I am happiest in my craft room, in fact i'd be happy if i never had to leave it sometimes.  Social interaction is something i truly dread at times, the school run, parties, phone calls (my pet hate) they have all filled me with a deep desire to run in the other direction at some point.  Kids have been good for me as it means i have to do things, i can't just hide away.  however those times when you thought i was being rude or standoffish, I wasn't, I just wasn't confident enough (no matter how well we know each other) to come talk to you.

Personal strength is one of my biggest weaknesses, I need to take my own canvases to heart! I've mentioned before about being bullied at school and then again in the workplace.  However it was Primary School that set the precedent, created the person i am today, pulled me down, tore me apart from the outside in and then spat me out 4 years later a different girl.

I will never lay the blame on my bullies as I am a firm believer in never judging, and I know a lot of the time they are hurting just as much if not more inside and it helps them to make someone else feel their pain, unfortunately it's not the best way to help themselves in the long run.  However i lost 4 years of my life, literally, i don't remember a lot from my last 4 years of Primary School, just days here or there, but what lives on is a deep-seated insecurity.  Why sometimes i would say what people wanted to hear as it meant they would like me. Why i still now find it hard to hold a telephone conversation, because in my mind the person on the other end is laughing at me; why i hate when people laugh at something I've done, a trip, a fall, parking badly, you name it, in that moment I'm suddenly 8/9 years old and everyone is laughing at me, pointing and i know i'll be walking home from school alone again.


Schoolgirl being bullied in school corridor I don't want sympathy, I'm not writing to gain anything, I'm writing because it helps me and I really hope it helps others.  My hair, my clothes, my persona are all coping devices; it gives you all something to talk about rather than 'me'.  I promise you that I amn't ignoring you and I amn't 'up my own a**e', I'm just that scared little 9-year-old who thinks you might laugh at me, or wonders why the hell you'd want to talk to me. I wonder how many of us are like that, but are too scared to admit.

Life is hard, and I know for myself and many others that our crafting gives us a release.  I also have so many beautiful friends and family who give me more than they know.  I pray my children will never go through what i did but i guess if they do at least I'll be right there next to them knowing exactly how they are feeling, kids can be cruel eh?! I have good days (mostly) and I still have bad but what gets me through each and every one of those bad days are the people around me and my fellow crafters, who inspire me daily to push and achieve more than i ever thought i could.

Thanks guys, love you all.

Fay x

P.S Almost forgot I've booked the Baby & Toddler Show in Manchester in Oct.  I would never have done something like this alone and special thanks goes to my friend Judith who is fantastic at pushing me to step outside my comfort zone.  I'm really excited for this next step on my journey, and do you know what if i can do it, you can!

How Felicity Finds Positivity, 1 Step At A Time

How is everyone doing? For me it's been Easter school holidays, which always proves difficult in terms of time, but it does mean some time off with the kids (not as much as i'd like) and some awesome family time with my sister and nephew. The kids go back in a week but i now finally have some decent time off, so not back at the day job till next Tues now and am looking forward to just pottering about the house, getting it a little more in order, but mostly spending time with my boys and getting some painting done.


My Faceboook cover for Easter #cutebunny

It's funny, I'm not sure if it's because i've been so focused on getting my Etsy shop just right and finishing my website (nearly there) but I've been feeling really down about orders via Etsy, as they are very slow this month, and it's so hard when you see others thriving. On one hand you are so pleased for them, but on the other you can't help but question why you are not getting the same results. However when I actually began to plan out all my orders (not just via Etsy) in my diary I realised I had 5 to book in, with 2 more received this week for the canvases pictured below, before i'd even got a chance to list them on Etsy; and along with the new samples I'm working on, that's plenty to keep me busy for this month, and more!

I'm not saying i wouldn't like my Etsy orders to increase, but I think sometimes we can get so focused on one element of our business that we forget to look at the bigger picture and realise just how well we are doing.  As someone reminded me today, focus less on the negative and more on the positive.

Today for me was about remembering exactly what I've achieved since i re-opened my Etsy shop in Dec last year.  I'm busier than I've ever been before, I've built a new website from scratch, I've designed several new collections and will be expanding those into soft furnishings in the next few months.  However perhaps the most exciting was York Hospitals SCBU unit accepting my offer to make them a Welcome canvas for their reception area.  My eldest (now 10) spent the first 4 weeks of his life there and I'm so very grateful to them, this is the perfect way to give back and say thank you!

So you see after writing this I can see I have so much to be proud of, and I would imagine there are quite a few of you fellow crafters out there who might have been feeling the same as I was at the beginning of this, so let's just remember to take a step back and look at just what we have achieved!

I'll finish with one of my favourite quotes, it's shared a lot, but forgotten too often!

Don't compare your beginning, to someone else's middle.      Jon Acuff

So how has your week been?

Fay x


How Felicity Finds Her Voice!

Since i started blogging i've always been a little hit and miss with my content, do i blog about what i do and how i do it, or do i blog about running a small business and being a mummy.  There are so many blogs out there, so what makes me different, why would you want to read my blog over someone else's.  Truth is i have no idea...

So I have to just go with my gut and hope to god you find some value/interest/amusement in my blogs.  I'm gonna concentrate on my journey over the next year as i build my business back up,  I'm sure there are a lot of things some of you can relate to:

  • running a business from home
  • being a parentpreneur/mumpreneur/dadpreneur
  • juggling a day job with a small business and childcare

and some things maybe not so, but those i'll go into as i blog.  Don't want to scare you just yet, might scare you off ;-)


This is something i've secretly always known but haven't had the confidence to go for 100%.  I've always felt that i'm expected to have a 'real' job or that what i do isn't much more than a hobby.  I'm not quite sure what happened at 40, but i suddenly thought, f**k it, i'm worth it, what i do is good enough and why shouldn't i aim to do what i love for a living!

I had to give it a little time till my youngest was old enough not to be 'on top of me' while i crafted (although if you see my latest Instagram, you'll see occasionally 'stuff' still happens LOL).  But since the end of last year i've started to view my business as just that, a business! Not a hobby, not something i like playing at, but a real bonafide business!  It's not easy, especially as a lot of people around don't quite understand/and or expect you to be an overnight success; but i do have some amazing support especially from my family, my friends and my boys.  Without whom really there would be no point.

I've worked really hard on my brand identity, developed my photography to fit my brand identity, built a whole new website and generally put myself out there, and this is where my issues start...



Does anyone else struggle to stand up and be counted?!

I was bullied badly at primary school and then again in the workplace so i've spent a lot of time saying what i think people want to hear, not what my gut is telling me.  I've wanted to blend in (despite my outgoing persona), so I think this quote says it all, it really does take courage and that's what i was lacking massively.

But do you know what, i'm a grown women, i'm the mother to 3 boys, i work 4 days a week, keep a home and run a growing business from home; if i haven't got the courage to stand up and speak for myself now then i never will!

So it is my goal for the here and now to really just speak from my gut, say how i feel, use my positivity and really help myself and others around me.  It's even as simple as leaving a comment of a FB post with my honest opinion, rather than reading all the previous comments and making sure my views match with majority! Seriously i did that!!!! A lot!!!!!

I recognise the strength in everyone and i'm so determined about making sure i never make anyone feel the way i was made to, that they realise their worth; just a shame it's not as easy to do with myself.  But i'm one thing, i'm bloody determined!!! So if i'm there for you when you need me, might you be there for me? #letsdoit #together

Fay x


Working with Wordpress!

Okay so who's bright idea was it?!

Who decided to move over to wordpress, it'll be easy?!

Who decided it would be a good idea to start their website from scratch again?!

I need to have a serious word with myself LOL.  It wasn't easy (domain name issues, re-pointing servers, email issues, working out how to use wordpress itself) but do you know what... it's gonna be worth it!

I picked my theme and started building, i've spent a lot of time watching You Tube videos and starting discussions in groups, but I'm really beginning to understand exactly how to use my new site to it's best.

Now just to populate it...


in the words of Richard Branson 'Say yes - then learn how to do it later', that's definitely what i'm doing! This week is finishing my home page and adding my products. Wish me luck and would love to know what you think so far.

So who else here uses Wordpress, how have you found using it? What theme did you go with and what would be your 1 piece of advice for anyone starting out on a new site...


How Felicity Finds Managing Time...

I think this will sound familiar to a lot of working mothers / mumpreneurs (and dadpreneurs too!) but I've really begun struggling with time and my best use of it! A nice problem to have, when your business starts to take off but you still have other commitments (kids, day job, life LOL), but still a problem none the less.


After a long break while my youngest grew up, I felt 2016 was time to recommit to my business.  A decision made in 2015 on the advice of a good friend to find an alternative to my day job unfortunately just proved to be even more hard work than the day job.  Whilst if that was all I was looking for I would have pursued harder, it wasn't, it was meant as a different day job to give me time to focus on Henry, Fred and Felicity (HFF).  I was taking valuable time that should have been spent crafting and building my business and spending it on building another.  What I have learnt in the last year though has been invaluable in terms of confidence and networking skills, and I know that was required for me to be able to take HFF to the level of business rather than hobby.

Over the past two months I've spent a lot of time building my business, developing my brand identity and networking to increase my visibility, it's worked and this is where in lies the problem (I don't deny it's a good problem!)...


I've so much to do now that I simply can't seem to fit it in; between rebuilding a new website (Move over to wordpress they said, it'll be easy they said...), rebuilding my Etsy Shop (tags, titles and images, need i say more), customer orders (the best bit), social media (is it possible to do without becoming totally distracted?!) and developing new lines; i'm really struggling to give any decent time to anything.  I find myself distracted by Facebook, or to busy finishing an order and then nothing seems to get done. So I've decided I need to get strict!

My time is valuable and i need to ensure i use it wisely, and I know that you guys want to too! So what do we do, well here are the Top 3 Tips from Nicola Laurie a.k.a MsTidy Owl:

  1. Always plan your work ahead on a Sunday, and always WRITE IT DOWN! Do not do it in your head.  You will feel more in control if you plan and it will add time to your day.
  2. Make daily tasks part of your routine.  For example, log your expenses and/or mileage just before you check your social media or emails. Make it a habit and soon it will become an automatic action you don;t even think about.
  3. Don't waste time by doing things that aren't a priority.  If you have limited time make sure you block time out in your day and focus on the tasks that will add value and results to your business.

and believe me she knows exactly what she is talking about.  Nicola trains people on how to structure, measure and utilise their business information for profit and growth. Want helpful advice and tips on time management, then following her is a must!

As multi-taskers we need to be clever with our time and if any of you are like me then we need to swallow our pride and realise we can't do it all and that accepting help isn't a sign of weakness but actually downright common sense and strength.  So I for one have spent the last half hour (okay 2 hours including children) planning out my weeks going forward.  This will keep me on track and ensure that everything important gets done timely, rather than achieving nothing quickly.


I hope this makes you realise you are not alone, we all have struggles and there are people out there who want to help and not always at a cost.  So come on, in the words of a famous brand #letsdothis

Do you have any particular struggles or stresses, let me know and let's see if between us all we can't find a solution...

Fay x


How Felicity Finds it as Easy As 1 2 3?

So my first blog post on my new site! Lots has gone on since I opened back up my Etsy Shop and started producing my canvases full time again.  It's been too long, but my littlest was too little for me to be able to give it my full attention and I didn't want to miss out.

I haven't been completely without painting, but until the end of last year I made sure it was for my family and friends.  My boys finally got their canvases they'd been promised.  I finally got to do the London Tube Map wall in their playroom and it was enjoyable taking my time!

At the end of last year i knew the time was right, that it was now or never and I needed to stop 'playing' and give my business the time and passion it deserved.  It's been a roller-coaster, re-branding, building a new website (which as you can see is still in progress) and re-awakening my Etsy Store from it's slumber.

new-logo-all colours-72dpi-C

Luckily my social media was kept alive by my continued personal projects and my incessant ramblings, so along with a very valued band of followers and also a good few groups on my side (Etsy ResolutionCraft Sellers Cafe, Business Visibility and Smart, Savvy and Switched On) giving invaluable advice and support, I've made good progress!

But is it as 'easy as 1, 2, 3...' Well not quite but it does help to break things down into manageable sections, especially when you have other distractions such as the 'day job' and/or little people!

So I initially broke down what my priorities were:

  1. My brand
  2. My Etsy Shop
  3. My website

I always felt I had a pretty good brand identity, but I wanted to freshen it up a little and actually wanted to really target my branding.  I'd always been a little wishy washy on who my target customer was, as didn't have the confidence I suppose to be specific.  However with the help of others I really looked at this and narrowed down, allowing me to really identify with my target customer, even to the point of being able to choose a brand colour palette to work within.  Much as i thought it would be scary and limiting, I actually found it to be a very valuable and freeing exercise and has made an immeasurable difference in how i go about my social media posting and advertising; which having doubled my followers on Facebook in just over 3 months and gaining well on all other social media sites means I really am heading in the right direction.

Next was my Etsy Shop up until then it was just a little outlet to share my canvases.  I hadn't filled out any policies, I knew not what Treasuries were, so there was a lot of work to do.  I updated everything, got all my policies in place, I worked on my tags, titles and descriptions with a little help from the Crafty Mentor, uploaded all my new branding; but all that showed was just how outdated my images were...

12495158_10153774802478563_9047770225504352510_n              12742138_10154049848483149_2066990952266201947_n

My first ever image  - 5 years ago            My latest image - this afternoon

I'm not saying i'm there but i'm certainly on the right track!  And all created from my boys bedroom...


And this created...                                 this funky web banner!   IMG_8063-small                    Homepage-banner-new

Yep I'm getting there with my images, so now i can move on to the website and get it back up and running again too, all with my new and improved brand identity.  I just wanna say thanks to you all for helping me on my journey, it's an exciting time!

Now it's time to set my next 1, 2, 3...

Fay x