I have a little news to share regarding Clearly Besotted and I suppose the title of this post may give you a slight indication of what I have to say ;)
The Clearly Besotted store will be closing at the end of this month and will remain closed for the rest of the year.
I know, straight to the point right? I didn't want to mince my words, that comes later! There is so much to say on the matter and I hope I don't bore you all to tears, but I do believe some explanation is due :)
To start with, I am so proud of my little brand and incredibly grateful to all the wonderful customers and enthusiastic supporters who have championed our humble stamps over the past four fabulous years. I will never be able to thank you all enough. I have also been extremely fortunate to have had a lot of help along the way, in the form of many talented Guest Designers and of course, my dear friends (aka the Design Team) who are truly remarkable.
So why are we closing? The simple answer is...I'm tired. This year has been amazing in terms of growth but I am unable to sustain the number of working hours it is taking to keep the company running efficiently. In July of this year, our sales trebled, and although within the industry as a whole, we are minuscule, it has reached a point where for me, it is unmanageable.
My ever loyal and supportive (and long suffering!) husband, Dean, has always maintained that family comes first, above all else, and whilst he sticks to this rule, I, on the other hand have continuously flouted it. It is the only rule he tries to impose upon me and yet on too many occasions, I have broken it by prioritising my small business. There, I admitted it. It has put considerable strain on our marriage.
I share the following information with you, not to sing the praises of my husband, but to ensure he is not (unjustly) vilified for being a key factor in my decision. Dean has his own business to run, which is at present growing rapidly, placing more and more demands upon him. There have been occasions where he has requested my company at business functions and on overseas trips and not once have I accompanied him. In complete contrast, Dean could not do more more for his family. He frequently does the school runs when I'm too busy and he never misses a single school event. In the evenings and at weekends, he solely takes care of the children. And...this one is a biggie...he even does his own ironing ;) Where Clearly Besotted is concerned, the list of his contributions is long, but most notably, he subsidises the business financially. He has accompanied me when we exhibited at craft shows (doing most of the work) and on one occasion, he and the children flew all the way to Cincinnati with me so I could attend a fabulous craft retreat and meet my crafting idols. So, when he desperately asked me (again) to take a break from Clearly Besotted for the good of the family, I decided to do as I was told, just this once ;)
Moving forward, giving up Clearly Besotted completely is simply not an option for me. It has truly been a labour of love and I am not yet ready to close the book on this relationship! The plan is to transfer it into the safe, and capable, hands of my sister Jenny. However, Jenny still has a lot to learn which will take time, hence the closure.
All being well, the Clearly Besotted store will reopen in January / February with smaller bi-monthly releases and a much smaller inventory. Unfortunately, Jenny will not be subsidised by Dean (not being married to her, he is less inclined to keep her happy lol), so the price of the stamps will increase (yuck!) in order for the business to be financially viable.
As for me, I'll hopefully have more time to do what I enjoy the most...make cards! :D
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them in this post. I am very sorry to have rambled on for so long, it's been quite cathartic getting it all off my chest!
Thank you for listening xx