Today’s post is a little bit different from my usual ones, as I’m discussing being on the other side of blogging events, with a personal account. Yep that’s right, I spend most of my time being the blogger at a range of different fashion, beauty, fitness and lifestyle brand events, but 2015 has also brought me the incredible opportunity to be a brand at a number of events this year. The best bit is that the brand is ‘me’ – little old What Emma Did – representing my website as a fashion brand, and sometimes I still have to pinch myself that this dream has come true.
Lets go back to the beginning: I always dreamed of having my own clothing label. I have a 14 year history working within the fashion industry, so it’s safe to say I know my bacon a little bit when it comes to buying, designing, marketing, PR and social media in this industry. However, I have juggled running this blog for 6 years whilst holding down a hard working and decent full time job, so launching my own clothing range was what I thought was impossible.
But then I realised that you know what? Nothing is impossible. Not if you really want it. If it’s something you have a passion for, then you have the fuel to begin with to make your idea work. I don’t believe in luck – I have never landed on my feet or been given an amazing opportunity from thin air. I don’t think many people do, except some of the nonsense celebrities out there but I’m sure they work really hard to push themselves after the ‘luck’. When I realised I was serious about launching a boutique dress collection, I stayed up until 1 am most week nights and got up at 6 am to squeeze in preparation before going to work. I used my weekends to source designs, plan my marketing, and build the e-commerce section of my website. I have zero to none technical skills, so it’s safe to say this almost killed me off. Sometimes I dream about HTML and wordpress plugins and wake up in cold sweats (after 4 hours sleep…)
But here I am today, drawing close to the 6 year mark of whatemmadid.com, and 6 months running of the What Emma Did Boutique. I still have a full time job, I still don’t sleep much at night, and I probably sound like a broken record to all my friends and family who put up with my constant stressing and panicking about orders, photoshoots, promotions, buying stock, blog posts, editing and ahhhhh… on it goes. But I love it. I have slogged my guts off single handed and have everything to show for it, including my huge feeling of pride. I’m slightly worried I might drop dead before I see in the new year from exhaustion, but hey, I hope not, because I really feel 2016 will be an absolute winner of a year for the boutique! It would be a shame to not be here and miss that. Must keep myself alive. Plenty of coffee and carbohydrates…
I want to thank the lovely people at The Press Tent and The City Girls for giving me the opportunities to showcase my boutique to the North West bloggers – The Press Tent on two occasions now. Both The City Girls and The Press Tent have let me network with bloggers and show everyone my collections, and talk about my journey at their incredible events. The below image gallery shows a little peak at my adventures so far with these two events, filling up my rails and dressing up my mannequin to present to bloggers….
I remember back when I was 22 and was writing for a Manchester magazine for free to build up my journalism skills and media contacts, I attended a fashion show on their behalf. I met with an artist who was in collaboration with Harvey Nichols. When I asked her if she had any words of wisdom or inspiration, or anything that stuck in her head, she said “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. Sometimes when I feel like everything is going wrong, or I haven’t seen my Mum or Dad for a while, my blog looks like a piece of ‘crap’, my photography is horrendous, orders are slow and my social media channels seem to be having a nap (we all know that shouldn’t happen!) I have the odd moment where I want to throw the towel in because I get scared that everything is just too much. Then I remember the saying: Feel the fear, and do it anyway. What is the worst case scenario? That everything does go a little shit – pardon my French – but so what? When things go wrong, the only way is up, and building a business and a successful blog is never going to be an easy road.
If you are still awake, then I hope this personal account can inspire you in the same way I have been inspired. Thank you for reading!