As we near the end of 2020, I see in the distance, a promise of a New Year.
I am sitting quietly in my living room, alongside my husband, two children, three dogs and two cats. (Yes, we really do have THAT many pets LOL). We are grateful at just how lucky we are to still have each other here, safe and well.
We have all experienced the strangest year of our lives, so far, and I realise for some, it has been truly awful…
…we have to also remember (and be grateful) for the fact that we are the lucky ones. The chosen ones, maybe, that have been given an opportunity in 2020 to learn, adapt and teach our future generations on how to be better humans.
Mother Earth renews herself through the seasons every year. She heals the damage humanity has caused and yet still continues to provide us with raw materials and energy in order to live in peace and harmony. We really should stop taking her for granted!
Sorry, I digressed somewhat. 🤣🤦♀️
2020 has been a peak and trough sort of year, for me.
It started out with me having to rehome my horse, Olly, (again). I know! I should never have had him back but I certainly didn’t plan to rehome him again AND I did enjoy another 2.5yrs with him.
The decision was not purely a financial one this time, (like before). Instead it was mostly ‘a lack of time’ issue I had due to the business growing. The final nail in the coffin, as they say, was following a couple of falls I had from him. This was when I decided he was too much of a horse for me and I had become too weak a rider for him. I was no longer the right person for him and he deserved better.
I have, however, found him a fantastic custodian to look after him and they will ensure he wants for nothing until the end of his days.
In future, I may decide to dust off my riding boots and attend the local riding school but alas I will not be venturing into horse ownership again. I am just too incompetent for that sort of commitment.
In February, I was blown away at the 2020 National Saddlery Competition. Where I won my first ever class with my Level 3 Saddle, I made as part of my final Saddler exams.
In March, the Government locked the nation down and asked us all to self isolate for our own safety. COVID-19 was upon us and the Corona virus has since claimed many lives.
Whilst enduring the three month lock down during the summer months, I cannot say I was that upset to stay at home with my family. I am thankfully employed part time and therefore my wage never ceased as I was able to work via laptop from home. I was also very lucky to receive a lot of leather repair work.
So, whilst the sun shone most days I was able to continue life as normal as possible. However, I do realise others have struggled and I’m really sorry for that.
The hardest part of lock down for us though was balancing work whilst trying to home school the children. In the end we did the absolute basics of school work in the mornings and then enjoyed each others company in the afternoons.
We worked in the garden to make it tidy, we rescued an old greenhouse and planted seeds to grow our own vegetables.
These keyrings have become very popular and have evolved from just the GP Saddle to a Dressage, Racing and a Western saddle.
May, June & July
May, June and July were recorded as the best months for my business to date purely due to the amount of repair work and bespoke orders I received.
August was a quieter month for me. I officially became an SMS qualified Saddler and we managed to get away for a week in our caravan. Something we didn’t think would be possible but we managed it.
In September, the schools reopened and our youngest joined his sister at High School. A life’s event I was dreading to be honest but he took it all in his stride and seems to be finding Y7 ok, given the circumstances.
October saw us finally buy a new(er) car. The old Freelander had died a month earlier and we decided to not put anymore money into repairing it so instead we bought a younger secondhand model and I LOVE IT! I’ve even been able to put my personalised TLS (The Lady Saddler) numberplate on, which I received for my birthday LAST YEAR lol.
In November we were put into yet another national lock down (#2) and during this time I learnt I had been chosen as a 2020 QEST Scholar for my Bridle Making skills. I am so happy!
I also took this time to make a lot of my equestrian gifts in anticipation for a successful Christmas sales strategy. It worked out really well and resulted in the Stirrup Key rings selling out TWICE.
Amazingly, November and December became THE best two months of trading EVER (since starting my business 4 years ago), so I have been VERY grateful for the many online shoppers who have bought from The Lady Saddler this year.
Finally, Christmastime has been about spending time with the family and having a well earned rest.
I do not joke either! We have literally lounged about in Pj’s and watched so many films in one day its felt like I should be poorly or something, but we aren’t, we are literally having a well earned rest like no other.
The fact that it snowed yesterday too, just gave us an extra reason to stay indoors. Why bother going out when inside is so warm and cozy. Lol.
I do, however, have a few bits and pieces to catch up on in the studio before I see the end of 2020, so the rest of the week is all about getting those jobs done.
I also want to get ahead on the social media side of things as well as write this blog and a couple of others ready for January, so not a complete lazy bones lol.
So, there you go, my review of the strangest year yet, certainly in my lifetime anyway.
It’s not a proper review though without setting a couple of goals for the New Year.
Each year, around this time, I always like to get a new journal so I can set out my intentions for the forthcoming year.
Don’t get me wrong, not everything comes true, but if I don’t have some sort of idea of what I would like for the New Year, how can I work to make things happen?!
More importantly 2021 is going to be something of an iconic year for me. Especially in September when The Lady Saddler celebrates her 5th birthday.
I have quiet a few personal and business goals this year but here are just some of them, I thought I’d share with you:
1) Complete the QEST Scholarship training
2) Have the Freelander sign written
3) Launch some new products
4) Move into a new studio
5) Have a new website built
Until Next Time
So, there you have it. Some of my goals to look out for. If you have any ideas, suggestions or even a question, feel free to message me directly. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, take care.