First of September is here and that means my little business, the Lady Saddler turns three years old. [fist punch]

I had always hoped that this little business of mine would make it. That it would be the reason to leave full time employment and be the means to my main income.

It only feels like yesterday when the business turned two. I wrote a blog about it back then too. Take a read.

“It’s not been a bed of roses though, I can tell you.”

At one point, I really thought I had made a HUGE mistake and thought I wasn’t good enough.

Somehow I persevered and survived the roller coaster of emotions and actions that were sometimes not of my doing.

Last Year’s Goals

In September of last year, I decided upon three clear goals to achieve within the following 12 months.

Although I don’t feel I have achieved them completely (yet), I do believe that I have grown and developed as a business owner.

1) Increase Social Media Presence

I love social media!

It is a great way to keep in touch with friends, loved ones, meet new people, follow your favourite brands, film stars or artists.

For me it has been a massive stepping stone to increasing my business awareness and sell my products and services.

One of my goals last year was to concentrate purely on Facebook. This was because I was getting ever so slightly (ok, a lot!) overwhelmed with trying to be visible on every social platform, every day.

It’s really hard work trying to be visible, consistent and produce content that is of good value to my followers.

I’m terrible when it comes to other people’s posts though.

I’m not always interested in what you had for tea; where you went on holiday or what your latest gadget is, but I do like funny or informative posts.

I guess that is what I hope to bring to you with my posts. Needless to say, I always welcome constructive criticism, so, if you have any, then I’m willing to listen. 🙂

Occasionally I post on Instagram, but, what a biggest time-wasting activity that is … EVER!!! Before you know it you have lost an hour of your day and you’ll never get that back.

Please tell me I’m not the only one with this issue. lol 🙂

2) Launch a Bespoke Bridle Service

I’ve always wanted to launch a personal bespoke bridle service since training to be a Saddler, but it is still very much a task in progress as this type of service is not for everyone

If you do struggle to get a well-fitting bridle of excellent quality leather, then it is definitely worth thinking about.

This year alone I have been blessed with requests to make lots of different bridles, from in-hand, standard riding bridles to a western-style bridle.

3) Launch a bag collections

I was being very optimistic to think that I could do all of the above as well as launch a bag collection.

It is still very much my plan, but I didn’t want to rush it and then end up launching something that was mediocre.

I also have some very important training coming up over the next 12 months that will help propel me into a better position to achieve this goal.

In the meantime, I will continue to sketch my ideas out on paper and file them away ready for when I can make them.

Conclusion

In conclusion of this past year, it has been a tough, really tough, but I have got through it.

I went back to an employed job, only part-time, but it guarantees a regular income to help pay for the family’s bills.

I’ve had some personal set-backs though, mainly with my confidence in both work and personal situations.

My most major issue I’ve had has been to do with my horse, Olly, who has proven to be more of a horse than I can cope with these days, or maybe I’ve just become a more nervous rider the older I have got.

Then just to top it all off, in August, we welcomed a new canine companion into our home, Lincoln, a 10 month old Weimaraner.

We have rescued him with the help of the Blue Weimaraner Rescue but then just a week later we tragically lost our old girl, Paris, a Lhasa Apso who died of old-age related issue.

She had been a member of our family for 12 years and had literally grown up with our daughter who was just 9 months old when we brought her.

It’s never easy losing a pet and no matter how much you prepare yourselves for the day you finally have to let them go, it is somehow made more difficult when, as a mum, you have to try and console your children through their first pet bereavement, whilst mourning the death yourself.

Thankfully, over the years I have been able to accept death much easier since losing my dad and my grandmother.

I hope somewhere [up there] they are sat with my dogs and cats, that we have lost over the years, having a tipple between them.

New Goals

Finally, another year older means another set of goals to achieve.

I admit, the same goals as last year still kind of relate to the forthcoming year, so I’m thinking I will ‘continue’ progressing with the existing goals and just add a couple of new ones to work on:

  1. Continue to increase visibility on social media platforms, particularly Facebook and Instagram by being consist with posts that add value to those who like or follow The Lady Saddler accounts.
  2. Continue to offer the bespoke bridle service, by offering yard visits or a virtual consultation, promoting excellent quality British leather bridles and head collars that are traditionally made but suit the modern horse.
  3. Launch a bag collection that is aimed at the sophisticated equestrienne who wants an equestrian themed product that is quality handmade from the finest of British materials.
  4. Complete specialist leather work courses during 2020 that will improve and enhance my design and making skills for the fashion industry.
  5. Write a book (not sure yet what sort of book, but I aspire to write many books in the future and maybe, just maybe I could self publish a book of some genre in the next 12 months).

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