Our 1st Year @ Billy's Beach Hut

It’s been just under a year since Billy’s Beach Hut began and over a year since I made my first ever candles and what a crazy year it has been!!!

In my first blog post (sorry I did intend to update regularly) I said that I would be honest and I intend to stay true to my word. When I started on this journey my aspiration’s were to fund a hobby and give me something to do in the evenings whilst Mr BBH worked shifts. I honestly didn’t realise that along the way I would make so many new interesting people that I like to say are more than just my customers but also feel I have built some lovely friendships too. The support from friends, family and the local community has been overwhelming and I am so grateful of that.

I would be fibbing if I said that I hadn’t felt the pressure this year, I’m a natural pleaser and the thought of letting anyone down doesn’t come easily to me. This included my family and home life so juggling my new job and home has probably been my biggest challenge of the year. For me my time is more valuable than any material objects hence I have tried to stretch it as much as I can between the two. This has meant many an evening working into the morning whilst everybody else is tucked up in their beds. Sleeping is so overrated anyway!!!

Those early mornings were rewarded tenfold though in May when we learnt that with the VW factory shutting down in Brazil in 2013 there were only 5 brand new VW T2’s left that could be customised in the country. We took the plunge and purchased our very own Billy’s Beach Bus….. This was definitely a bucket list moment… Colours were chosen, interior designed, Billy was going to be our very own mobile shop. Not to mention lots of family memories for us too the downside we had to wait 4 long months to arrive but he was definitely worth the wait!!

During our summer holiday with time on my hands, a notebook and plenty of inspiration I took to designing my brand new luxury collection of candles. The South West coast of France is a place full of happy memories for me. I know how incredible the power of fragrance is and with that in mind I set to work on a mission to capture these memories within my candles. I also put pen to paper whilst visiting the places that the candles are inspired by and jotted down the key words which I later put into individual quotes to bring that memory alive. My camera was also on hand snapping all the fine details I didn’t want to forget anything. On returning I googled graphic designers in the area and found a company called Black Ginger Designs. I contacted Sophie and she was friendly and more than happy to help. For me, customer service and a friendly voice is key, my instincts were right and I was overjoyed with the designs.

In December I did my first Christmas Market in Billy’s Beach Bus ‘Seaford Christmas Magic’. It was to be an experience that’s for sure!!! I arrived at 8.30am for opening at 10am. I parked up the van and opened the boot to set up, it was blowing a hooly!!! The boot lid closed in the wind as my Christmas hat blew off down Broad Street, I tried to remain upbeat but a few ‘sugar’s’ and ‘oh damn’s’ may have escaped my mouth!! however once I made a pretty display in the boot and managed to shut the van door popped my vintage Christmas tunes on the record player. It was then that me and Billy’s Beach Bus shared a special victory moment!! As I said before I feel like I have made so many new friends but not only that I have also learnt what a kind community I live in and it was at Seaford Christmas Magic a lovely lady approached me and recommended I give the Liberty of London Open Call a shot.

For those of you that don’t know what the Liberty of London Open Call is you are not alone I didn’t have a clue either!! I knew of the famous Iconic store Liberty in London but I also thought I knew that they wouldn’t be interested in someone like me. Anyhow when I got home I looked it up and would you believe it is open to anybody with a new design to apply (even me). They are looking for the best of British design, you send a photo of your products and a brief description and if they are interested they will contact you and invite you back to pitch in front of their panel of buyers. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t think for one second they would be interested but what did I have to lose? I needed to get some professional photos done for my website anyway so I contacted an awesome photographer Samantha Pells Photography and asked her if she wouldn’t mind putting the best bits of the new luxury collection into a collage. I posted the email ‘it did state that due to a high demand of applicants if you aren’t successful don’t expect an email back’. To my surprise Christmas Day of all Days I received an email to congratulate me and inviting me back on the 16th January this year. Having looked at other posts a lot of designers get through to this stage with only a handful getting through for a second meeting. However I cannot wait to enjoy every moment of the experience and I feel totally privelleged to have even received an email back.

Well 2015 you have been amazing, you’ve certainly taught me that we really do not know what’s around the corner. That I live in a community full of kind lovely people. Also how precious time with loved ones really is, cherish the moments, life is for living!

Well I will love you and leave you this evening with a promise of my next post being the Liberty of London open call, I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a funny one, I’m the worst public speaker ever…..

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