This month, I have been celebrating My Vegan Artisans first year in business! That’s seven vegan friendly lifestyle boxes showcasing over 40 amazing small businesses and their lovely vegan friendly product. Join me as I look back on the year and all the things that have happened: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Let’s start with the good and all the reasons we are here celebrating our first year in business. Firstly it is all of you! I couldn’t have made it to my first birthday without you lovely bunch trusting in my business and buying my vegan lifestyle boxes! I have built a wonderful community, and while we may be small, we are mighty! Some of you have been with me since day one and for that I am eternally grateful! As well as my loyal subscribers, I also welcome new subscribers each month and have a growing community of followers on Instagram who show me endless support and have helped me build this beautiful, vegan friendly community. So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you!
With my vegan subscription boxes, I have been able to showcase over 40 amazing small businesses and give them a place to shine. Discovering lots of vegan friendly small businesses is one of my favourite things about the vegan lifestyle box. I have also had the opportunity to help support some incredible animal charities and do my part in planting new trees which makes me very happy and incredibly proud.
Lastly, and by far not the least, at the end of last year I was able to move My Vegan Artisan out of my dining room and into a special new build garden studio! I mean how incredible is that? An exclusive space to focus on my plans of world vegan domination (and I get my family dining table back!).
THE BAD (AND THE UGLY)
Of course in a year of business, there is always going to be something that doesn’t go to plan; I welcome problems as a way to continue to grow and learn. So to show you that I am human, and things aren’t always a perfect Social Media moment, here are the things that didn’t go quite so well.
Let’s start with launch week! As some of you may remember, my launch week was riddled with technical issues and if that wasn’t enough, I was also caring for a poorly newborn baby! What a week it was, but we made it through and it showed me that I was stronger than I thought! Now when I have technical issues (because let’s face it, they happen to the best of us), I tackle them head-on without the sheer panic I had at the start.
Balancing my time has been a challenge. As some of you may know, My Vegan Artisan is not my only job! I also work a rather demanding (nearly) full time job and so that along with juggling two young children has been a challenge. On one occasion, all that extra work perhaps got the better of me and I accidentally managed to send my TV instructions inside one of my subscription boxes! Don’t ask me how it happened but luckily the customer found the whole situation utterly hilarious and I think that was the moment I decided that something needed to give. After just six months in business I arranged to move my studio into the garden to keep work life and home life separate and luckily, I’ve kept my personal paperwork out of my boxes ever since!
And now for the ugly, and boy is it UGLY. As you probably would expect I hate waste, especially food waste! Unfortunately, when I was planning the beautiful February ‘Love Yourself’ box, I had a very unexpected surprise. The delicious chocolates by Bolicious Chocolates arrived eaten by mice!!! Luckily the seller was very understanding and sent a second batch out in time for the box to be sent and my wonderful subscribers were non the wiser. I was, however, very upset to have to bin all those delicious chocolates!
WHAT HAVE I LEARNT IN MY FIRST YEAR?
Most importantly, I have learned that this is what I want to do! I am so happy working on this community and I hope to eventually make this my full time job. It makes me much happier than my corporate job, it gives me an opportunity to work in an area I am passionate about, and it gives me space to be present for my family.
I have realised that I am much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I started My Vegan Artisan after going through a difficult personal time and creating these vegan subscription boxes gave me something positive to focus on. I have stretched myself out of my comfort zone and done things I never dreamed would be possible, a great example of that is showing my face on social media more and doing regular Instagram Live sessions. I actually find that I enjoy using social media now and I have begun to build a community who support and cheer for each other.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MY VEGAN ARTISAN BOX?
My first goal for My Vegan Artisan is to make it another year! I would love to be here this time next year planning my second birthday box. I feel so proud to have made it this far already, especially with the economy the way it is, and so to make it a second year and to continue to grow would just be amazing!
My primary focus, at the moment, is to make this more of a community. I use the word ‘community’ a lot because I see My Vegan Artisan as more than a business; it s a community of likeminded people on a journey together, sharing a passion for veganism. With that in mind, I want to keep growing my community and reach more people on different stages of their vegan journey. Whether that’s someone on the start of their journey; the ‘not quite there yet’ vegans who need a little more persuasion or the vegan pro who simply doesn’t have the time to explore the fantastic world of vegan options. I want to be the go to lifestyle vegan subscription for all these stages. Don’t forget that you can also gift a subscription for all your special occasions; they make wonderful gifts and it helps me reach more people, whilst also helping a fellow vegan start their journey.
Lastly, I want to see the My Vegan Artisan boxes doing more for the environment and helping more charities. I already use eco-friendly packaging wherever possible and I plant a tree for every box but I want to find a way to do more and to support more charities with the boxes themselves. I have some fantastic ideas and I look forward to sharing them all with you very soon!
A THOUSAND THANK YOUS (AND MORE!)
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being with me on my first year! It honestly means the absolute world to me and I couldn’t have been here, living my dream, without you, so thank you!