• penrhiwpottery

Me, tea, coffee, books and biscuits...

Who's idea was it again to create 3 months of content, to post almost every day on both Instagram and Facebook..???

To launch the new schedule, kind of mark the occasion, I decided to write a blog. If you know me you may chuckle at my feeble attempts to try things I don't fully understand yet, you might smile at my determination to do something new, out of my comfort zone utterly yet so completely in the zone at other times! If you don't know me (other than hi and welcome) you may think "oh dear and good luck with that one"!

In truth all the above are true. I decided to do this mostly because I needed to be more organised, more ordered in how I market and promote the business. We are still juggling work and life and the busier we get the harder that becomes, so I thought this might help. I also get a lot of ideas, a lot of the time, be it design, styling, photography...and trying to catch all of that and then make working sense of it can be quite a challenge. Also, Winter has an absolute addiction to all things technical at the moment so phones and ipads are out of sight and he has my full attention (rightly so).

I've been really lucky to have been on a number of digital marketing courses through Business Wales (would highly recommend if you are starting up a business) and independently (if you want any details of the ones I have done, please ask, don't fall for the courses that are hundreds and hundreds of pounds...this information can be accessed for much, much less than that!)

Anyway, I digress (as usual)...and there my friend has been part of the problem! Every idea leads to another idea, every photo leads to the next, every edit, every template, every piece of writing...and as your skill set grows (don't get my wrong all very exciting) my brain explodes with new ideas...

So here's the main thing about marketing (and maybe even life generally), and its what helps calm the torrent of ideas...is "WHY?" Why am I writing this post, why am I posting this picture, why to Facebook and not Instagram?

So, if you can get your head around the "why", then you can loose yourself learning all about when you should post, learn the art of hashtags, look at apps to help you display and organise your ideas and become masters of the sales funnel...always referring to why. For me a lot of this learning is trial and error...a lot of apps have free bits and then a cost to utilising them fully...some are worth it and some are not....be wary.

If your "why" is honest and reflects you and your business, you can start building your schedules, and start understanding where your strengths lie and where you need help, what takes the time and what's quick. When you first learn these things it does take time, all of it, but its worth it in the end when you find your stride...I have been determined to finish this 3 month schedule for both Facebook and Instagram before I launched it, a decision made before understanding the work involved...but I'm so glad I did, I have learnt so much, evolved even...

So, my big "why" is I want to grow our business, to produce and supply beautiful hand made pottery made by Dave and I (and maybe the boys one day), to make a living and be 'warm and comfortable'. Every post has a reason...I wanted to show you my friend (new and old), weather you buy something now or in the future, our world. So I invite you in, warts and all, not just product end results, but the making, the fun, the mistakes, the silly side of us, the serious, the love and respect Dave and I have for each other and the work we make..the boys, the cats, the landscape and environment which influences us as people and our work...

It has been so important to us that this is authentic, a real reflection of us, honest and emotive...I can't guarantee how you will perceive this all...I can just show you, involve you and hope you like it! In other words I want you to smile, stop for a moment and join us, watch, maybe learn...I know you are busy (differently than you might have been a month ago) so we value any time you give us. This valuable thing called 'time', and the bits you give us, help us to grow our business and be better, see what people like, meet new people through shares etc....all this helps validate ideas and shows us if we are on the right path or not.

Friendships have been pivotal to me doing this...I am very lucky that my two best friends are amazing photographers, so with their help and skills I have managed to make my ideas a reality. They made thoughts tangible and they have been invaluable. I will never be a photographer but I have now bought myself a second hand camera to learn to do some of these things myself (I'm quite a proud person and I'm not at my best relying on other people, even if they offer, it slightly does my head in if I think I'm taking too much time from people)....so off I go on another learning adventure with my camera, and my best friends on the phone to help! Basically this might mean that the next three month photos are not as good! So, to Naoimi and Chris, your help and skills make more emotional and so grateful...I love you, thank you! That all said I am a huge fan of collaboration and sharing skill sets, they are vital to any business moving forward and as Dave has tattooed on his arm...

"Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit" which means "no one man is at all times wise"...true no?

So, to my last point ..(phew! I know I go on and on and on....I can hear Dave in my head saying "get to the point!")

Me...I'm the last point! (Wouldn't a psychiatrist have a field day with me leaving myself to last...this will explain why a bit..)

Dave has always been the face of the business. In recent years it has been the obvious thing to do, he is so used to being watched (at Jersey Pottery he was like a goldfish in a bowl being watched whilst he worked sometimes by hundreds of people), so comfortable in front of the camera.

His skill is undeniable and he is rather gorgeous so no brainer right?

Well, yes of course, none of that will change, in fact you will be seeing more of him...but you may also see me now and again. I have been very happy behind the scenes, its been a very long time since I was centre stage, but I'm happy that in my life I have been centre stage. However, age and children, and a few (packets of) biscuits I'm maybe not as confident as I used to be in front of the camera. Don't get me wrong I'm not a quivering wreck I am comfortable in my own skin, I know who I am, where and who I belong with.

On this learning journey I have had to face my insecurities head on and fear less (not be fearless, fear is a vital part of our survival but just to really think..."what's the worst that could happen...?). I've asked people about me being on camera and have had to accept the lovely things people have said to and about me...its been a hard and wonderful path, which I am just at the beginning of. So, in short (yea right), I will be doing some stuff on camera....if we are truly showing you our world, of pottery and all aspects of it, I am a big part of it.

I am a mother, partner, friend, designer, painter, entertainer, leader, councillor...I am silly, frantic, loving, an over thinker, a "worry wart" at times. I am an ok cook and yes, I do eat too many biscuits! I am not always amazing at all of these things but I try to be the best I can be with the love, respect and support of Dave, my family and my friends that's all I can do, all I could ask of anyone...so if I would never ask more of someone else how can I ask

more of myself...?

So, fair warning you may see this mug (face and drinking vessel), a few times...

Just another quick thank you to Chris and Naoimi, these black and white pics of me (as you will see I love black and white photography), taken by Chris with Naoimi making me laugh...I absolutely could not of done this shoot with anyone other than you two....you're the best!

So, welcome to the next three month of Penrhiw Pottery an insight into our world of tea, coffee, books and biscuits!!

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