Hi everyone, I have some rather big news…I’ve been debating with myself, wondering whether this post is career suicide or not, but anyone who knows me understands my work ethic - that I don’t let people down and will go to the ends of the earth to deliver the goods, in whatever sense that may be!
Our little business started off so tiddly, just me, my computer and an old Arab treadle press. Within 12 months of starting out, my husband Richard came on board as printer and over the years we expanded even further and at this point in time we fulfill between 15 to 20 orders per week of luxuriously lovely paper goods. Sadly in Spring 2015, Richard and I separated, we have continued to work together successfully but now we feel it is time for us to part ways in business.
So, where does that leave Artcadia? To be honest, I don’t know. My first thought was to continue our current service offer; me sticking with all design work and outsource the printing. I must admit, relinquishing control and not being able to oversee the process from start to finish is something I find quite unsettling, although I understand many designers work successfully in this way. Finding a trade partner that offers what we produce currently with a quality of finish I’d be satisfied with may be a struggle. If anyone has any contacts in this area I would be so grateful to hear from you.
Another option would be for me to cover both design and print. As a busy mum of three tiny little people, this would certainly mean scaling back. I could not turn around the volume of orders we currently handle. However, this is something I would happily explore as it would keep me fully in the driver’s seat.
Option 3, close the door for good. As a marketer and graphic designer, I have always kept my hand in what I love, branding and assisting start-up businesses. Having built up a decent portfoilio of clients, it may be best for me to fully embrace this, channeling all my energy into design consultancy.
Option 4, all of the above. There is some necessity in keeping things ticking over, it makes good sense to explore all options over the next few months and then figure things out once I’ve got a firmer idea of the best way forward. A sort of limbo - Rather than throwing myself, potentially catastrophically in at the deep end.
So, I’m not making any big announcements and absolutely do not want to concern any of our customers or industry friends. In whatever way possible, for the time being it is business as usual. With that said, this is a desperate plea for input, advice and guidance. Whether that is in the form of a trade printer recommendation, referrals for design consultancy work or just a pep talk.
I am going to be taking a break though! I have not firmed up dates yet, but I’m thinking between mid September and mid-end October I will likely be turning away new orders (still fulfilling any outstanding ones) – As I am going to need time to buckle down and focus on the future. This may potentially involve a rebrand of Artcadia, changes to the actual service offer, complete website overhaul etc etc; A proper good brainstorming and regroup session. I will keep you all posted on this and will notify anyone who I believe will be directly affected by any downtime.
Hope I haven’t bummed anyone out! This is not a farewell – I actually feel genuinely positive about this. It is my Erin Brokavich moment to shine as an independent woman (pass the sick bucket!) Onward and upward I say!
Speak soon, take care all.