Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Highlights

Highlights of 2013 are popping up all over my news feeds so I've decided it's my turn to reflect upon what has been a magical year for Melissa Morgan Designs.  It's therapeutic, I feel, to look back and remember the great times of the year gone by and also to evaluate and learn from those things that haven't worked out so well.  Yep, not everything works out, and it's only by trial error that we can learn.   Bet let us not dwell on those, fortunately, we've had some truly amazing moments..

Here are our highlights...


We took it upon ourselves to organise a little shoot at the beginning of the year.  The gorgeous Zoe kindly modelled for us and the super talented Amy from Amy Lewin Photography worked her magic behind the camera.  This is one of my faves:

After this we were very proud to have been asked to supply pieces for numerous shoots throughout the year. We worked with some of the best local industry talent and got to visit some memorable locations along the way.  Seeing the headdresses and jewellery modelled on real, beautiful ladies always brings a smile to my face. 

Godwick Hall Shoot, Amy Lewin Photography, with Flower 30.

Sedgeford Hall Shoot, Rebel Heart Photography, with Norfolk Brides.

Hair and Make-Up Inspiration Shoot, Rekha Garton Photography, with Love Moi Make-Up and Hair by Tracey Ward

Happy Valley Wedding Venue Shoot, Rebel Heart Photography, with Vintage Deli, Norfolk Wedding Festivals and Faerie Wishes.

Bespoke Pieces

My favourite part of the business is without doubt making bespoke pieces for brides and their attendants.  This year we had some challenges but so much fun making unique creations for our beautiful brides.  Some of our favourites:

 Maddy's floral crown

Elizabeth's 'Mrs' comb and co-ordinating jewellery

Jennifer's brow band

Gemma's flower girl jewellery

Sioned's vintage 'something blue' combs

Karla's acorn accessories

Everyday Jewellery

In 2012 we were invited to sell with Not on the High Street.  This led to a huge increase in bridal accessory sales, so early in 2013 we took the plunge and asked if we could sell our everyday items alongside the bridal lines.  Within a month we had sold all of our vintage stock from the increased traffic to our page and our jewellery lines were a success too.  We built on this and have re-launched the range as 'Melissa Makes'.  Our Christmas range had many sell out lines and we are so happy to report our busiest month ever.  Adding a wider variety of products to the site was the best decision we made in 2013 and we're already well on our way to planning the 2014 collections - keep watching!

The Studio

The first two years of MMD were run from our small (and crowded) spare room and/or the living room floor.  As we've grown this became a difficult set-up.  I was always having to tidy away the pearls and wire, never had enough room to store my bits and pieces and photographing products was a tiresome task.  Added to this were many requests from brides to come and visit, browse the collections and discuss their orders.  Whilst we had many a bride welcomed into our home and non seemed to mind being in our living room/dining room/kitchen (open plan), it didn't feel quite right.  This year we were very, very fortunate in that our dream to own our own house came true.  We've had a lot of work to do but along the way found time to transform one of the rooms into a cute little studio, solely for the work of MMD.  It's a joy to be in, a beautiful, creative space and I absolutely adore it.  We've already had our first consultation and the feedback has been great.  I plan to post more about the studio in future weeks, so for now here's a little peek of the art work that sits by my desk:

A Wonderful Wedding Fair

We took a brave decision in 2013, and only attended one wedding fair.  After being at so many disappointing events, we felt the work and expense was sometimes not equal to the business gained.  There was of course, a risk, that we might see a dip in business over the following months, but luckily this hasn't happened - probably because the fair we did chose was an absolute cracker!  Organised by Norfolk Wedding Festivals , the first King's Lynn Wedding Festival was held at the Town Hall in King's Lynn and it turned out to be a truly memorable occasion.  We found the halls full of friendly faces, some familiar, some new, and the atmosphere was electric.  The place was packed and the brides were queueing at the door.  Massive congratulations go to the organisers - we are looking forward to returning in March 2014!


And so to my favourite part of the whole year.  If MMD fell apart tomorrow, of course, I'd be heartbroken but I know I'd be left with some pretty wonderful new friends that I wouldn't have had if I hadn't embarked upon this business journey.  2013 has strengthened old friendships and brought some wonderful new people into my life.  I won't mention names, through fear of leaving anyone out, but I sincerely hope you know who you are.  Thank you to you for your continued support and inspiration throughout the last twelve months.  It can be lonely doing this on your own, and the connections we make along the way most definitely make the ride a little easier.  

Image, Norfolk Wedding Festivals

So there they are, the highlights of 2013.  There have been a few more gems, that I plan to share in more detail in 2014, but those above really help to build a picture of what it's been like over the past 365.  If you haven't already, please do take the time to reflect on the successes of your year - I promise you there are some and once you realise how many, it makes you feel tremendous!
Wishing you all a very, very prosperous and happy new year!


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