A lot has been happening behind the scenes in recent weeks. I have opened my new studio space and started to fill up all of my classes for the Autumn. I have also registered as a Limited Company, put in several trademark applications and started working on my branding and packaging.
My first garment patterns are in production (yippee) and this is a stage which I worried I might never get to. It's very easy to have an idea, but to make it become reality takes a lot of work and even more bravery. I think everybody is afraid of failure, and also the unknown but I am trying to not get too distracted by fear!
I have also had my first day of filming. After graduating, I worked in TV for 13 years, in amongst having 3 children. However, I was never in front of the camera myself. My job was to do the research, organise filming and make it happen on the day.
My plan is to produce a series of free video tutorials for people who may never have sewn, or have a terrible memory from school that has put them off for life. I aim to build skills in dressmaking, quilting and more creative textile art and also capture some fabulous tips from my teacher and expert tailor Ann Ladbury.
My friend Lucy is a BBC producer and presenter and very kindly offered to help me out. We spent a few hours shooting the first edition and I will be sharing it here soon for some honest feedback. It feel a bit weird and I was terrible at remembering the notes I had made but I am just relieved to have the first day of filming out of the way.
Many of you know that I am on a programme at the moment called Entrepreneurial Spark. I am sure that all of the above actions would not have happened if I hadn't won my place back in February this year. It is incredible to work in an environment where over 50 other businesses in Leeds alone, are working to grow and scale their dreams, whether they are actual companies or concepts at this stage. Ultimately, I am a girl who loves sewing and has followed a creative path up to now, knowing nothing about business at all. However, I am now starting to believe that I can get my head around spreadsheets, financial forecasts, seed-funding, and whatever else used to sound incredibly scary and out of my league.
A huge thank you to all my friends and mentors on the E Spark programme and watch out for more updates soon.
I have also attached my new editorial feature in Beyond Magazine. I was a little excited to be interviewed for a publication also including Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge is one of my favourite films) and I hope these pages inspire some like-minded people to get in touch and come and see what the Jenni Smith Studio is all about.
Next week I am heading to my first ever Festival of Quilts for four days so I promise to share loads of stories and inspiration here.