Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Just Keep Swimming

Yesterday marked my first blog post in two months. I have generally been very absent from social media, and I know a few people have commented on this. Most of you will already know that my year did not start off well - if you're not sure what I'm talking about then you can read my blog post about it right here. Although time has helped improve things, my confidence and my work have taken huge blows as a result. Each day has been a new struggle, to find motivation to perform even the most basic of tasks. Since starting Ladybird Likes three years ago I've always found it easy to push myself and motivate myself - I love coming up with new ideas and working on growing my business, but the last seven months have been really tough. I have battled with depression and anxiety for many years, but had been coping with it much better in recent years, however I feel as though I have slipped backwards lately. My business has suffered massively as a result. I feel under constant pressure to create a business and products and lifestyle that fits a certain aesthetic, and that will ultimately make me money, and lately the pressure has stopped motivating me and driving me to work harder, and has instead started to make me feel as though I can't cope.

There were several points where I felt that perhaps I should close Ladybird Likes and look for other employment. While I don't want to bore you with the details, trying to find somewhere to rent in London on my own, with space to work, is proving to be almost impossible. Most landlords want me to be earning an insane amount of money to rent a one bedroom flat (£42k salary to rent a £1200 a month flat!) And the fact that I lost close to £3500 in my studio ordeal at the end of last year, none of which I have been able to reclaim so far, has meant that I've been very cautious with spending money on the business this year.

I know what I want to be doing, I feel as though I can make it happen, but I'm just not sure how to get there right now. This post is in no way a 'hey I'm all better now, everything is fixed' kind of statement. I do finally feel as though I've finally got a few bits of my life back under control - I'm really excited to be blogging again, and creating content specifically for my blog, including lots of DIY and craft projects. But I've had to look really hard at my business and my life in general, and work out what I need to be doing. I have made the very tough decision to not launch any new product ranges this year - it is something I absolutely LOVE doing, but right now I know the pressure will overwhelm me. Instead I will be working away behind the scenes experimenting with new techniques and materials, designing new products, and planning lots of awesome things ready for 2016.

That's not to say that I will be disappearing completely this year. Not at all! I will be really busy on my social media accounts, and am hoping to also have a few sales of some very limited runs of handmade items. I've also been toying with the idea of doing some sort of fundraising to try and recoup some of the money I lost during my studio ordeal. Maybe a kickstarter campaign, or something similar. But I will post more information about that as and when I figure out the details.

Thank you to everyone that has stuck by me and my business during this tough time. All your comments and messages and purchases make me smile and keep me going.


  1. Hey girl, very brave post of you to write. This year really sounds like it has been tough for you, but just do what you can to keep going because it will get better. You're so talented and hard working and kind to everyone you know, good things will come back to you I just know it. Oh, and if you ever fancy coffee or a hug or a place to work to get out of the house then please don't hesitate to give me a bell. Sending you millions of good vibes and fist bumps of solidarity! xx

  2. I'm very sorry that you're still going through a rough patch, but eventually I hope it will just be another piece in a lovely patchwork blanket. (Or something. I'm bad with metaphors.) That you are making plans and doing everything at your own pace is very good to hear and I'm happy that things are taking a turn for the better.

    Also, business-wise: have you thought about rebranding? Your business is yours. You can shape and reshape it to suit your life and needs. It isn't easy but if it's right for you then it's the best choice. After so many troubles I could totally understand if your heart is not "in it" as it used to be and rather than trying to go back to where it was, a beautiful new thing can be made. Sorry if I sound presumptuous, I just wanted to mention this option.

    And if you do make a kickstarter I will boost the heck out of that, hun! xxx

    I wish you ALL the best from the bottom of my heart.

  3. I want to thank you for this post because I'm kind of going through the same thing as well with my anxiety and depression and have also had a bit of a set back and am finding the pressure of being creative and running a business a little demotivating at times. So whilst I wouldn't wish this upon anyone I also find it a comfort that I'm not the only one.

    But I think you're right to take a step back and not let things over whelm you because the last thing you want is to stop loving what you do, especially when you are so good at what you do.

    I think Carly @riotcakes is right, it's your business and you can reshape it any time you want to suit you, our lives, our style and our influences change, so can your business. I'm glad things are getting better and your experimenting and designing again, can't wait to see what new things you're designing.

  4. What a brave post, if we don't reach out and tell our story then it can become almost suffocating.

    I co-own a small business and in the 6 years we have been going there have been 3 separate big events that absolutely brought us to our knees. Each one at the time felt like the biggest kick in the guts, but boy have we learnt some lessons! It is such a trotted out cliche but these things do indeed make you stronger in the end. It's like a concentrated dose of life lessons!

    The last crisis we hit mid 2014 pushed me down so far that I couldn't focus on the business and felt like jacking it all in. Everything seemed so overwhelming so I started to change some things I felt I had more control over, so started morning yoga and meditation and watching an inspirational youtube video (Brene Brown, Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo) before starting the day. Getting up an hour earlier every day to fit this in changed everything for me, I now feel so much more positive in myself and am able to look forward. Our business is in a much stronger position as a result.

    I hope this doesn't come across as a 'do this, do that' post as that is probably the last thing you need, another to do list! Just a virtual hand across the tinterwebs to say that there are others there with you to cheer successes but also lift you up when you get knocked down.

  5. So sorry to hear about your struggles Zoe. It can sometimes feel as if you're drowning in a deep pool of depression which is hard to get out of. I really hope you'll be able to focus on the positives (such as how amazing you and your work are!)


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