2020 Pigeonwishes year review

 

So much has happened this year! It almost feels like five years in one! Sitting down to reflect and acknowledge the wins and the struggles is always the best way to end the year. We ultimately hope 2021 has less suprises!! but 2020 has definitely been a year that has shaped us.

Pink and Red Forever

We started the year with a hit sellout fabric ‘Galentines’ it was the first time the business experienced anything like it. I showed a sneak peek on instagram and my DM’s were inundated! Literally selling out in minutes when our retailers put in on their website! It remains the biggest highlight of the year and I am so happy that not only was it well received but it also didn’t stick around in stashes for long.

Used as a By Hand London sample for their Jessica Skirt

Featuring in Sewdoitemma top 9 of 2020, twice!!!

As a deadstock fabric we could only get our hands on an extremely limited amount and we know people missed out. We love sourcing fabric and the thrill of selecting something unique and popular is literally the dream. We’ve had more fabric successes this year but this one certainly tops the list!

We have a few more pink and red fabrics in store for next year and available for wholesale as this colour combo seems to have captured hearts. Here’s a not so sneaky peek to an event we have planned.

Candy Pink Tencel Twill available for wholesale at Pigeonwishes Shop

Floral Painting available at Sew me Sunshine

Pink Splatters on Red available at Hey Sew Sister

As you can see I’m partial to a red, pink and green combo but am excited to experiment with colours more in 2021.

Pigeon Wishes Buttons

This year we launched a product under our brand. I still feel strange referring to my business as a brand!

I’ve gone into more detail about how we first started sourcing our buttons here. Now we are more confident about sales we are working with manufacturers to have buttons especially made for us. It’s a massive accomplishment from test selling to having a wonderful customer base. I’m still pinching myself.

A button launch which has a special place in my heart was our halloween collection. In September after quarantining for so long we desperately needed a break! We took a family holiday to North Wales and it was witchcore galore! It was magical, I felt magical and I fully went into Autumn and Halloween needing to celebrate it in all its glory. Now having themed releases is something I’m excited to brainstorm and unveil.

Our buttons are still a new and slightly unplanned part of our business. We are firming up plans for next year and we are excited! The reception to our buttons has been all round amazing and we are excited to see them out in the wild, stocked in shops and on makes more and more.

Moving to Liverpool

Expanding our business and just thinking about our lives and finances we realised we just couldn’t afford to stay in London. The house prices, the rent for a decent studio, childcare. We had been living with my mum and that was the only way we could afford to save and start this business. To be independent and live the life we wanted London just wasn’t an option. My best friend lives in Liverpool and I’ve been to the city numerous times and loved the vibe, spirit and cultural history.

It was absolutely the right move and I now consider Liverpool my home. I was born and grew up in London and whilst the diversity and impossible energy is something I do miss, ultimately it’s something I can give up for a chance of owning a house and feeling more at peace. Having a proper studio aka not one of a second floor abandoned building awaiting gentrification is a revolution! I will never be grateful enough to say goodbye to hauling fabric up a narrow staircase!!!

It’s not all been fantastic. The only nursery I am happy with only opens on a part time basis so I can only work part time. Being so far away from my mum (my only family in the UK) and juggling a toddler hasn’t been ideal but I treasure having a job which can allow such flexibility.

Pigeon Wishes Prints

This has been a project that has quietly been burning away in the background. In an effort to keep ahead of trends and be inspired I followed the #textiledesign hashtag on instagram. What I found was a wealth of inspirational, wonderful, textiles designers.

Despite all my years of sewing I’ve never fully questioned who’s behind the designs of our favourite prints. Following and seeing the talent and wonderful artists made me want to be apart of bringing that to the sewing world and showcasing the artists that are such a massive part of the textile and fashion industry.

We worked with Elizabeth all the way back in June and (fingers crossed everything goes to plan) we will be releasing our fabric with her designs in a few months. Elizabeth is amazingly talented, was completely wonderful to work with and I cannot wait to finally get our fabric out into the world!

Elizabeth has an Etsy where she sells her prints and tea towels. I would also highly recommend following her on Instagram for some serious print gorgeousness.

The C word

Couldn’t not involve coronavirus! We got hit HARD by the virus. We source fabric from China and while the UK was still blissfully unaffected everything in our business came to a standstill. We couldn’t receive the stock we had already bought, search for anything new or plan for the year ahead.

Our business halted for around 6 months. Thankfully we had enough stock to still make sales but we were just surviving and just about covering the rent for our studio. Nothing more. When China had finally opened the UK was fully in the grips of the virus and shipping was a nightmare. When Olimi’s nursery shut down I struggled.

We got fully back into the swing of things in September. In that time we’ve added more wonderful shops to our list of regular customers and worked on the infrastructure of the business and worked with a business mentor (something I wish we had done much sooner!) which has all helped us grow as a business.

…… and the B word

Oh, Brexit. Who actually thought this was going to end well? While Brexit minimally affects my business for now, it’s sad to note that finding EU stockists might be harder now. I really do mourn all the opportunities lost for young people, other businesses and everyone who voted against brexit.

My makes 

During the start of the year I did a one off episode with Pattern Pals. Which forced me in the best possible way to get behind my sewing machine! I love their channel and it was an honour. After that my sewjo then returned to being dismally low and while I’ve been surrounded by fabric, time has been elusive. When Olimi is asleep I just sit on the sofa and knit…..possibly with a glass of wine or gin within reach.

Knitting has definitely been my craft of choice this year and I’ve completed 4 sweaters!! Considering one of those sweaters was my first project and it took me a grand total of 3 years to complete you can see my knitting output has increased dramatically!

My only real regret is how little I’m documenting my makes and progress. Not only for social media but having a diary of my makes and ananylsing the results is the whole reason I started a blog. This year while I can’t promise myself to make more! lol I do want to really focus on sharing and reviewing what I’m creating and the inspiration behind it.

The Community

Ultimately it has been our stockists and their customers and our Etsy shop customers who’ve allowed us to continue with our little biz.

We have big dreams, not quite world domination but inspiring makers, sourcing amazing deadstock, supporting small businesses and cultivating creativity has always been our vision. We want to extend a big thank you to everyone who’s been a part of that! THANK YOU!

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