Saturday, 4 March 2017

The time has come to say.......

......farewell x

After 8 years and 10 months, I have decided to say goodbye to dots and spots. It has reached a natural conclusion and I long to do something different, be around people again, be part of a busy work environment.

What started out as a little creative ‘playing’ in my studio whilst still teaching back in 2008, became a business bigger than I ever intended. 

 (How young do they look here!)

Something to ‘fit in around the kids’, soon became something ‘the kids had to fit around’. 

I gave up teaching and after a truly successful five years of designing and trading at the big London shows, we stocked just over 400 Independent retailers in the UK, including large orders to Dobbies Garden Centre’s and Harrods to name a few. However, we started the business just as the recession began and with increasingly difficult trading times, coupled with Jeff's unexpected redundancy in 2013 and subsequent ‘full on’ new job, we made the decision to scale the business back, rather than take the risky decision to employ staff and move into bigger premises etc.

So, for the past 3/4 years the business has taken on a steady platform, selling through our own website, and selling wholesale to some loyal independent retailers. Over this time we have not been designing new products, as we didn’t want to take any financial risks on big print runs and Jeff doesn’t have the time or enthusiasm to add new things to the website etc.  The orders are easily picked and packed with plenty of spare time on my hands. 

I’ve dabbled helping out in my friends shop, which I loved but sadly it closed. It did make me realise though how much I enjoyed other people’s company, I miss being part of a ‘place’, a busy working environment. 

Since moving house last year, I have used the extra time to manage the extension build and decorate our new home but with my dots and spots unit still over in Shepton, where we used to live, 25 minutes away and with the desire not to fill this house with dots and spots ‘stuff’ and move it all over here, the time has come to say goodbye.

We have given notice on the unit for the end of April. We will be holding a *CLOSING DOWN SALE* over on our website throughout the month of March, with 75% off everything starting on Tuesday the 7th March and in April, will possibly sell off other bits, cello’s, packaging, postal tubes etc before we ‘give up’ the unit at the end of the month. 

(Poor Jeff - one of the many Ikea flat packs he's put together over the years!)

Want a bargain, want good quality items for fund raising projects or to sell on yourself, then ask? 
( )  We do still have larger quantities on some items (notebooks in particular) a few 'full' boxes of tape and are more than happy to discuss a sensible price/offer. Live locally or have a van and want IKEA Billy bookcases or the old IKEA 5x5 Expedit, now called Kallax shelving units, then ask.

New job – who knows!?! I need to do something to bring some money in and still fit in around the children but with Sophie learning to drive and hopefully soon passing her test, I won’t be restricted by the school run for a year or so. I have no idea what I want to do, I’ve done a little supply teaching recently but I’m not sure I want to go back to it. I would be frustrated as a classroom assistant but I don’t want the responsibility/workload of a full on teacher and I hate the short notice of supply. I just know that I want set hours, a regular income and to be around other people.

It won’t be long before Sophie will be off to university and I guess Sam will soon follow. Jeff’s job in term time is all so consuming, so ‘now’ is a time to find a ‘little’ something for me. I like to be busy, I like to feel I am contributing to the family pot, I like to know what I’m doing and although dots and spots gave me reasonable flexibility, it was also so very in-flexible and unpredictable, as you never knew how busy or quiet you would be. 

Family time during the Summer holidays and Christmas were often our busiest times, so I am actually looking forward to the 9-5 routine, set hours and holiday time, weekends on/off, a payslip at the end of each month, no surprises. 

No customer enquiries late on a Sunday evening, no ‘just popping to the post office’ en-route to somewhere else to drop off mail sacks, no worries about money coming in or going out, no chasing late payers or saying goodbye to £1000's because someone goes under. No dealing with customer enquiries whilst on holiday, no more waiting around for couriers, deliveries, lost parcels and hassle!

So it is with a little sadness that I say goodbye but also with a big smile on my face, for what I have achieved and for what is ahead. I’ve just got to find the right thing.

I would like to thank you all for your encouragement, support and custom over the past 8+ years. I have loved sharing the ups and downs of running a business here on the blog and have loved engaging with people over on Facebook, Instagram etc. The website and Facebook page will close shortly (end of April) as all the loose ends are tied but the blog will still continue in the vein of recent years, more as a personal diary for me to look back on.

I do have to say a few thank you's but will write another post - too many for today.

So farewell to dots and spots x 


Mrsbaldie said...

I have wondered over the last few months if you were scaling back. I too had my own little business that grew beyond expectation amd too reached the point of expansion. I can safely say stopping gave us a family life back and so true aoth all the emails, and calls. Take a little time and enjoy the break before finding a new purpose, working for yourself is lonely and I can understand the need for company.

Miffy257 said...

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, I'm sure it will be a success. I agree with you about teaching and especially supply. I retired 3 years ago and although I miss the children I don't miss the paperwork and planning.

Christina said...

I'm sad to read this Becky! I will definitely be stocking up on the 7th. Every party we attend, we take one of your 'age' cards! Good luck with whatever you decide to do next. Exciting times ahead for you.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is sad but I totally understand your reasons. I have loved all my purchases so will certainly take a look at your sale!
I wish you lots of luck with whatever you do next. Exciting!
Mandy x

Mrs LH said...

Good luck! I work from home and feel a bit isolated at times after previously being in a very busy NHS environment and I do miss people contact.

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Sue Bailey said...

Good luck in whatever direction you choose to go. I've bought some lovely things from Dots and Spots, my particular favourites being my Beach Hut & Home mugs!
All the very best for the future & I'll be eager to hear what your next step will be on Instagram

Gill said...

Hi Becky, so sorry to hear this but completely understand your reasoning. Since my shop burned down Paperlane Gift Wraps, I went on-line and had a re-brand to Presented with Style. After doing this for 6 months I took a job at my local Sainsbury's for 12 hours a week over the weekend just to have some human contact again, it has kept me sane whilst still being able to run the business. It can be a lonely job working from home. I have loved stocking and working with your products. I wish you much happiness and health for the future in whatever venture you take on - go and WOW them with your amazing new look!

Presented with Style x

Debdor said...

Its probably too late now, but had you thought of opening your own shop of loveliness? Although there is definitely something nice about doing a job, and being able to walk away at the end of your shift. Something will turn up, that will fill your needs, it usually does if you put feelers out. Good luck, and I will be logging on very early tomorrow!

Pene said...

Oh Becky I will be sad to see no more dots and spots, I have followed since the beginning. I remember when you launched your double sided gift wrap and held a giveaway on here and I WON 🤗🤗🤗 I was so excited and have to admit to still having most of it as it's just too lovely to use 😍😂😂. I will stock up on other bits when you start your sale but wish you all the luck in the world with whatever the future brings you. Love and Hugs from Pene xx

Anonymous said...

Wishing you luck in whatever you decide to do Becky xx

Anonymous said...

Yeah, good luck! you've achieved such a lot, good luck with your next venture. Laura x

Lisa said...

Good luck with whatever you decide to do next. I'm sure with your energy and rive you'll find something that fits you perfectly.
Lisa x

GiddyGirl said...

Mum told me about your post Becky (not sure how I missed it) Sad to say farewell to D&S but totally understand where you're coming from (could have written most of that post myself!) You have achieved so much and will be fabulous in whatever you do next. Feel like we've been on the journey together for a lot of those years. Good luck in your new adventures! Heidi xxxx (Giddy Kipper)

Amanda said...

You would make a fabulous Slimming World consultant! I've been doing it for 18 years now, best thing I ever did. All the best what ever you decide.

Angel Jem said...

Sometimes it really is knowing when to stop, isn't it? Good luck in the future.... I went from school to office and I love it so much. I hope you find a job that suits your needs... I think Slimming World consultant might be worth considering!

Jo Rudland said...

Hi, I'm sad to hear that you will be closing your business, but it sounds like it's for the right reasons and you deserve to be proud of what you achieved with Dots & Spots.
I appreciate that I don't know you personally, but can I just say that I wouldn't rule out being a TA entirely. I was a full-time KS2 teacher before I had my daughter, but when she was 1, I started looking for work again. It was just into the recession, and available jobs were limited, especially part time. I ended up as a TA in KS1 at a school I'd worked in a few years before. It ended up being my longest stint in any one school, led to additional supply teaching (not so bad if you know the school cos you're there most days) and I'm still on their supply list as a teacher & TA! I only left my contract hours role to commit more time to my own fledgling business.
Whatever you decide, I wish you well. Jo x

Unknown said...

Sounds like a really well thought out decision and as a small business owner myself I really understand and empathise with everything you have written. I'm really glad you are keeping your blog though as I love checking in and catching up with you and your lovely family (and I just love your interior design style :) xxx Carly - Wedding Invitation Boutique

milly and pip said...

Good luck Becky in whatever you do next xx