Christmas is a funny old time of year for us, business-wise.
Last year, when Laura was doing fewer commissions, we had a bit of a run on dining tables - presumably bought by people wanting to enjoy a family Christmas dinner at a traditional farmhouse table.
At the start of this year, we were ready and bought several unpainted tables, putting them to one side, ready to get them painted up and on sale in time for the festive rush. Except things don't always work out the way you had planned. With Laura taking on a lot more commissioned work than ever before, she just didn't have time to paint the tables (and asking me to do it would be as much use as asking a child to do it) and so they still sit in various parts of RVHQ, waiting to be rehomed.
2013 was the year when the commissions took over. Commissions are good in that they are a guaranteed sale, but the pressure of making sure you do a good job is multliplied by about a thousand – these are people's possessions – you can't mess them up (and, thankfully, Laura hasn't, yet...).
All the commissioned work for 2013 is now finished, and 2014 has a few jobs already booked in, for returning clients, both businesses and individuals, and a few new customers, too. The plan, though, is to scale back on commissioned pieces to give us more time to be creative with interesting pieces of furniture and to prepare some stock for our new sales venture for 2014 (more to come on that).
We'll also be looking at diversifying into new areas, collaborating with some of our talented chums and trying to regain some kind of work/life balance!
How was your 2013?