Today I was sorting through a pile of folders and came across some pictures that were taken at the very first market stand I had ever done. I remember being really excited but quite apprehensive about doing it. It cost a whole £30 (which was pretty much all the money that the business had in the pot at the time!) so seemed like quite an unknown quantity in terms of spending money but not knowing if we'd get anything back. This was four and a bit years ago on a lovely sunny day in Primrose Hill. Stacey and I had beavered away designing and making everything on the stand (including some rather tasty chocolate brownies!) but we had no idea what would sell (if anything at all). It worked out to be a fun day - partly due to this being close to where I lived and therefore lots of friends popped by but also exciting because people were buying from us. I can't remember exactly what sold but I do remember making nearly £100 which felt like an awful lot of money at that time!
A very good friend of mine sat with me for part of the afternoon and I remember her giving me some advice ... we sold some beautiful elephant mobiles (which you can see hanging up on the left of the picture) but they took Stacey hours (if not days to make!). I remember, rather apologetically, justifying the price of them as they were quite expensive (despite knowing they should be that price as they took such a long time to make) and after the customer left she told me off for doing that ... not in a harsh kind of a way but in a way a friend is allowed to and in a constructive kind of a way which has stuck with me since then. Lesson learned and not forgotten!
This picture also made me see that Scamp has evolved massively since we started in 2010. We have a much more cohesive range of products which can be easily identified as something we have designed and which now feel part of the Scamp brand. We have a much better idea of how to put a collection of products together and what designs work for us. But, interestingly, we still very much use some of the concepts from those days - we make blankets and cushions, we still sell some pictures and we do have cards but they are all quite different. Screen printing has allowed us to create unique fabric designs for Scamp, laser cutting has allowed us to produce items that can be personalised yet doesn't involve the same kind of time as stitching pictures, our blankets are still as cuddly and soft as they were back in that photo but are made differently, some of our current screen print designs were created using our stitched pictures as inspiration (can you see Trumpety Trunk the elephant poking his head out in the top picture) and we do have cards but they have been created using a letter press technique. So same yet very different.
But, what these pictures also tell me is that where you start is all part of the process of taking you to where you are now ... and Ava (my daughter in the final photo) is nearly 9 - how did that happen?!