01 09 10

Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking back and planning ahead

Happy New Year everyone!
We have finally recovered from another crazy good Christmas season. We hope everyone enjoyed giving and getting their new Swirly Designs this year.
The week between Christmas and New Years is our down time where we try to do very little (which seems never to be the case). We spent it cleaning and organizing the studio, some bookkeeping and making goals for 2012, personal and business related.

While making the goals for the 2012 we found us looking back at what Swirly has accomplished in 2011 and we thought we would share a few highlights. And also share our hopes for the New Year.

Our Studio...
was profiled in Studios magazine, which was a big thrill for us. Lianne especially enjoyed this because it was the perfect excuse she needed to tackle the studio closet and make it over. (you can sneak a peek at the closet at the bottom of this post. (Maybe later this year we will do a whole post on the studio closet). In 2012 we are actually gathering more shots of the studio for another profile that will be coming out this Spring.

Our Collections...
Starting last year off with a clean and organized studio, we were able to free our minds and create A LOT! This lead to a record 6 holiday collection for us. New additions were our Patriotic Collection as well as a mini Thanksgiving treat. In 2012 we hope to continue creating new and fun designs for 2012. You can be sure that we will be adding our mini's into each launch. Everyone really seemed to enjoy the mini winter wonderland collection we had online as well as at the two craft shows we did.

was big for us in 2011 not just for our studio but for us as well. Swirly was profiled in Christmas Ideas magazine, Celebrate 365 magazine, Simply the Sweet life eZine, plus an artist Sketchbook Stories interview. In 2012 we are hoping to continue this run. We are always very excited to be chosen to have our work profiled and it really helps us get our ornaments and name to a larger audience. But we must admit, out of everything we do for the business, this is by far the hardest and most time consuming task. With the press we got this year there were months of planning, researching companies submission deadlines, coming up with new project ideas to meet their deadlines, emails and waiting. Then racing to photograph and writing copy. So when it does work out you feel all that crazy work you did all year was not for nothing and the other half dozen or so non responses don't seem to matter that much any more (at least that what's we keep saying to ourselves... who are we kidding it matters!)

Social Media...
Facebook was a nice surprise for us this year. Not only for promoting Swirly Designs but also in connecting with our customers. We loved sharing our thoughts and work in progress to our wall. We have a nice following of over 700+ likes in 2011 (our goal this year to reach 7,000 likes ha ha:) We also forged a nice working collaboration with Polyform Products, the company that makes all the clay we use for our ornaments. Together, we created three seasonal how-to projects for their website: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2012 we agreed to create 5 more projects through out the year. The first one being a Valentine’s project. Keep an eye out for that!

As we are writing this and reflecting on all that happened in 2011 for Swirly Designs it was a pretty good year after all and it's going to be a challenge to top it in 2012...but we are really going to try and hopefully you all will come along for the ride.

We always remind ourselves, as we are designing new collections, how lucky we are to have such wonderful support from all of you!

Happy New Year!
~Lianne & Paul
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