Long time no blog!

Hey Lovelies!

Its been a ridiculously long time since I blogged about anything at all…I’d like to get it going again as quite like spending time processing what i’ve been up to and what plans I have next! Going to keep this one fairly short and ask for some feedback on what you would like to read about!

As far as Sparkles goes I’ve not done much at all on the sewing front this year really. I made a gorgeous quilt and a couple of dresses for my nieces but alongside my ‘day job’ it can get tough to find the time!

However I am back in sewing mode again at the moment and feeling a renewed passion and energy for it which is great! I work at a university during their term time which is coming to a close now so I find myself with more free time during the week to pursue my business and the passion I have for it!

Outside of sewing, the past few weeks have been a bit crazy…in a totally good way! I decided I wanted more little breaks and adventures this year and that is totally coming through for me which is amazing. I went to Edinburgh at the end of March which is my ‘happy place’ and actually my 3rd visit in the past 12 months!! Did I mention it’s my happy place?!? I have a real connection to that city and hate it when I have to leave!

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The following week I went to Ironbridge,Shropshire with my lovely mum for 3 days, she’d wanted to go for years so I booked a hotel as her Christmas present and off we went! It was beautiful, loads to see and do and beautiful weather to top it off!

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Easter weekend I went to Norfolk for a few days with my parents and my dog Lexie and we had a lovely time. Lexie loves to run around on the beach and she certainly doesn’t get that opportunity much living in Northamptonshire!

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Then last weekend I had the opportunity to head North to Yorkshire to catch up with a friend I haven’t seen for just over 2 years which was lovely!¬†I had planned to chill out this coming weekend and have now ended up planning a last minute trip to Chester!! In the hopes of finding a dress for my cousin’s upcoming wedding in Verona, Italy! Who needs a rest anyway!! Sometimes you put out there you want more trips and adventures and it just comes through for you! ūüôā

As far as sewing goes though I have recognised that its taken a bit of a backseat this year and that isn’t what I want, and the balance between the day job and running my own business just hasn’t been there. I’m hoping and working on ways of making that ‘fit’ a little better for me for the next academic year at work!

So I guess its over to you for a bit of feedback on what you would like me to blog about…I can do individual posts about places i’ve visited…pretty sure I could write a full book on Edinburgh…but travel is something I love and I have been to a fair few countries. I can keep it focused on sewing and whats going on with Sparkles, or I can do a bit of a general what I’ve done this month type blog which would include any trips and also sewing stuff!

Much Love

Jade x

Updates and general ramblings!

Hey Lovelies!

Apologies for taking so long to get back in touch with blogging, I’m making a commitment to blog more often this year and keep you all posted on developments here at Sparkles HQ!

Well since leaving my full time job and pursuing Sparkles full time last May things have gone from strength to strength and I am thoroughly enjoying spending my time being creative. I have since gone back to work a couple of days a week which is a nice balance between the two and still gives me time to sew and make pretty things!

For the past couple of years I have been producing items in a couple of different styles for boys and girls, mixed in with the odd customer request for things outside of my standard range. This year however things are going to change and I will be producing some new styles and items that I am super excited about! The first being this beautiful little girls dress, featuring a full circle skirt fit for any little princess who loves to twirl!

 

This dress can be made in various combinations, with the satin skirt as featured, or with either a matching patterned or plain cotton skirt.

Available from ages 2 Р8 (could fit older dependent on measurements) and retails at £59.

I really love making this style and to have the full circle feels very luxurious for little ones! there are a range of different back options too including a low back and a keyhole cut out option! So feel free to get in touch through my Facebook page Sparkles Designs if you require any more info!

I’ve also launched a new shop over on Etsy so feel free to check that out too!¬†Etsy Store

I’ll be making some more ‘boy stuff’ too as i’m aware my boys range is fairly limited at the mo! So keep an eye out for some rather awesome new trousers as well as a new slightly different skirt design!

This year is looking super exciting so glad to have you along for the journey!

Much Love

Jade XxX

 

Been a while!!!…

Good evening Lovelies!

Well its been far too long since I blogged so thought i’d better sort that out!

Things at Sparkles have been super busy over the past few months and i’m really happy with the way everything is going, the support from friends and family and of course my loyal customers!

So last time I posted it was about upcoming shows and more importantly the photoshoot! Well what an amazing day it was! Working with Popi Sterling, who is not only an incredible photographer but also a super lovely person was an amazing experience. What started out as a pretty grey day turned sunny just in time! All of the models arrived looking gorgeous and set Popi quite the challenge in organising 4 under 3’s, fortunately everyone was in good spirits and the two older models certainly helped too!

Check out Popi’s Facebook page here:¬†https://www.facebook.com/pages/Popi-Sterling-Photography/401768333258737?fref=ts

I’m so blown away by the incredible images, and the editing and couldn’t be any happier with the way Popi captured not only the models, but everything Sparkles stands for! There will be more images to follow at a later date.

I will be creating leaflets and posters to advertise my business much more around my local area as feel this is something that I need to develop further!

Huge thanks go out to the models (in age order) Lauren, Aleecia, L’Shyia, Anai√©,¬†Corben and Izaiah for being totally gorgeous, helpful and cooperative on the day and for not too many tears!

Take Care Lovelies!! xxx

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Shows, shoots and holidays!

Hello Lovelies!

Hope you are all well and looking forward to the weekend! I’m off to Norfolk tomorrow for a week away with my family, so sewing will not be taking place until I’m home! However I will be taking fabric and patterns so I can use spare time to cut out some shirts and dresses ready to whip up when I get back!

And what a busy time I will be coming back to!!…

I a super excited to announce that I have a photoshoot planned with amazing photographer Popi Sterling https://www.facebook.com/pages/Popi-Sterling-Photography/401768333258737?fref=ts on the 17th July featuring 5 children aged 8m-10y which I am super excited about! Cannot wait to work with Popi on this project! Professional photos featuring gorgeous models feels like the next step I need in order to promote Sparkles so its great this has come together!

I’m going to be trading at the Northants baby and Toddler show in September (https://www.facebook.com/northantsbabyandtoddlershow?fref=ts)¬†which I am very much looking forward to, I’ll also be doing a bit of a ‘pop-up’ shop in ‘Not Just Juice’ cafe in Cheltenham on the 25th July, A few of my items will be in ¬†Pop-up Horsham (https://www.facebook.com/PopUpHorshamUK?fref=ts)¬†for their opening week at the beginning of august!

All in all a busy time over at Sparkles! I have also just accepted a part time job starting in September which will fit nicely around all of my sewing and feels a great balance for me!

I’ve also passed 1600 likes over on Facebook which is AMAZING!! and I am beyond grateful for the support I am receiving and my growing customer base!

Have a wonderful weekend, how you have some lovely things planned!

It’s my birthday next week also, so I feel like I should launch a Birthday competition, so keep your eyes peeled!

Much love

Jade xxx

Feeling grateful!

Well hello lovelies!

I’ve been super busy working on cute and funky items for my wonderful customers and for upcoming fairs i’m trading at!

Deciding to work full time on Sparkles was a huge decision for me, the opportunity to make this work, the timing and various things that happened enabled me to really go for it and see what happened. If my contract hadn’t ended at my old job I don’t think I would have ever made that leap to being fully self employed. Its a scary step and a leap into the unknown. Don’t get me wrong I know people have always liked my clothing, so I had no doubt that I would sell things, but it was a huge question over whether it would pick up enough to support me and to replace that security of being an employee.

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Well I am so glad that the opportunity threw itself at me, it was the best decision I have made, I’m super happy working for myself, deciding what to do when, being able to hit bootcamp at the time of day that fits around my schedule, being able to catch up with friends and most of all not spending up to 2.5 hours a day commuting to and from work!

Over the last 7-10 days something has changed, and i’m super excited! I am beyond grateful to all of my customers, both the loyal repeat ones and the influx of new customers I’ve had recently. It really is a pleasure to work with each and every one of you to create the perfect item for you little ones!

I’ve also set up an online store today for my ready made items!¬†http://sparklesdesigns.tictail.com

Getting pictures of gorgeous little people wearing things I have made really does make my day and makes all the hard work worth while!

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I’ll be working at the My Little Vintage fair in Olney, Buckinghamshire on Saturday which should be a good day!

I’m also planning a photoshoot which I am super excited about and am busily sewing for, alongside customer orders! Watch this space for more info and pics from the shoot in the next couple of months!

So really I just wanted to share a little bit of this journey with you and to thank you all so much for your support along the way!

Much love

Jade x

Cheltenham and Custom orders!

Hey Lovelies!

Its been a little while since I posted! Things have been super busy over here Sparkles since I started working full time on my business!

I’m super excited about things that are coming up for me over the next few months and the opportunities that are presenting themselves at the mo! I’ll keep you posted once things are confirmed!

I worked at Lou Lou’s Cheltenham vintage fair last weekend which was a great day in a beautiful setting! I met loads of really lovely people¬†and fellow traders!

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In the past few days i’ve been busy catching up on customer orders!

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Well i’ll keep you updated as an when things happen! The next fair i’m at is My Little Vintage Olney fair on the 20th!

Much Love

xxx

1000 likes and new dresses!

Well hello lovelies!!!

WOW is about all I can say! In the past week I have not only reached but passed the 1000 likes milestone on Facebook.

I am truly beyond grateful for each and everyone of you who supports me and my venture! Working for myself has been really lovely the past couple of weeks, I’m so excited to be able to spend my time being creative every day and doing the thing I have passion for!

I’ve been making a couple of new styles of dresses this week and am loving how they look! I posted one the other day, but have now made the sleeveless version!

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I’ve also made a couple of other custom orders this week too!

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I’ll be working Lou Lou’s Chelthenham vintage fair on the 30th May, and the My little vintage fair in Olney (bucks) on the 20th June! super excited to be getting out and about!

If you know of any other potential locations that you think may be good outlets for me please let me know! Also if you know of any independent children’s wear stores!

Much love

Jade xx

Competition time!

Good Evening Lovelies,

I’ve had a very busy day today finishing off a beautiful new dress and making a customer order and decided I needed to launch a new competition!

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This is to celebrate me working full time on Sparkles! So head over to my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sparkles-Designs/184295564931233?ref=hl, like the page, like the post, share it and most importantly comment with your name to enter!

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Also I’m offering free delivery till the end of the month on all new orders!!

Good Luck

Jade xx

Back to business!

Hey Lovelies!

Its been longer since my last post than I had planned but i didn’t really get a chance whilst in Florida to write a blog so thought i’d save it all up for when I got back! I arrived back in the UK yesterday afternoon and currently am not really sure what day it is and am wide awake at 11.15pm so thought I would use the jet lag wisely and fill you in on recent adventures!

Florida, what can I say?…I had an absolutely amazing time with my mum, exploring, visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Fabric shopping (obviously), taking a trip to the beach and generally chilling out in the rather hot sun!

For those of you less familiar (or geeky) with Harry Potter this section may not interest you, however I’m going to talk about it anyway as it was the most amazing experience, I’ve wanted to visit since the Hogsmeade part opened in Universal Studio’s Island of Adventure back in 2012, but my god am i glad i waited (or didn’t have the opportunity back then) because now the Diagon Alley part has opened in Universal Studios so I got double the awestruckness (i’m making that a word!) and how do you get between the two different parks?…well on the Hogwart’s Express…OBVIOUSLY!! (Word of warning though, you need to get a park to park ticket to enable you to ride the train, the base ticket doesn’t allow it).

Stepping into Diagon Alley for the first time was totally amazing and I cannot describe what it felt like to step into that world, it was pretty early and the park had just opened so there were not many people around, it took me a few moments to catch my breath and realise just how lucky i was. Not i’ve been to the Harry Potter tour at Studios just outside London, so i’ve seen Diagon Alley before….but NOT like this! It was so perfect, everything was spot on, and i couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! Entering Gringotts Bank to go on the ‘escape from Gringotts’ rollercoaster was again amazing, the inside of the buildings was just as accurate as outside and the ride was amazing too! Stepping onto the Hogwarts Express was also totally accurate and amazing, the little cabins which seat 8, and screens outside the windows make it look like you are actually travelling to Hogsmeade! once at Hogsmeade I was met with the sight that is Hogwarts and once again it took my breath away! the whole place is stunning and absolutely incredibly recreated! I knew it was going to be good but it far exceeded my expectations!

Well I could talk about Harry Potter for pages and pages but i’ll stop! Let me know if you want to hear more!!

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Shopping! Fabric shopping in the USA has become part of the reason we travel there each year now, the choice is so much better than we get in the UK and as always Florida did not disappoint! There were not as many fabric stores as i’m used to in Maine and Cape Cod which is where i’ve been the past couple of years but I was not stuck for choice. JoAnn Fabrics was my first port of call, this is a big chain fabric store and they are all over the USA, they often have great sales on and coupons with great discounts and lots of choice which is great! I bought a fair bit on my first trip but wanted to hold back a little as knew there were others to explore!

The next stop was The Sewing Studio in Maitland, this place was INCREDIBLE! SOOO much choice, fabrics I’d not seen in other stores, the most recent releases by some of my favourite designers and super helpful and friendly staff! I was like a kid in a candy store walking in to this place and after picking up some really unusual fabrics my mum had to drag me out before I parted with anymore money! Its stores like this that I prefer buying from and giving my money too, the independent ones. As a small business myself i appreciate it when people realise how hard it can be sometimes and realise the time and effort that goes into it.

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I then discovered there was another JoAnn’s close to the resort we stayed at so visited there a few times throughout the 11 days to pick up some more fabrics.

We then decided a trip to the beach was needed, and having visited Clearwater over 10 years ago, mum suggested there. I agreed on the condition I could look for more fabric stores nearby! Well I found 2, but chose to go to Rainbow’s End Quilt Shoppe in Dunedin, having looked on there website there wasn’t actually a great variety, but after I read the reviews on google I knew i had to visit! This store was AMAZING! We were greeted by lovely staff on arrival who were most helpful, and didn’t actually know where to start there was so much to look at! I was later informed they have over 33000 bolts of fabric! yes 33,000!!! I managed to chose several which i loved and thought my customers would also love, but if i had endless money (and baggage allowance) could have bought far more! The lovely lady who cut our fabrics was super friendly and chatted with us while she worked through the mountain of fabrics i’d chosen. I wish there was a store like this near me…my mum said she’s glad there isn’t as i’d never have any money!

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I was so inspired by all of the beautiful fabrics and the chance to relax and take things slowly that I have come home really determined and focussed on Sparkles! Prior to the holiday I was working 4 days a week, commuting over an hour each way to work and doing a job that I’d decided was no longer for me, making the leap into being self employed was scary and daunting, what if i don’t make enough money etc. but i’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and despite applying for other jobs and getting interviews for all but one of the jobs I applied for I was unsuccessful every time, I came to the belief that this was because I wasn’t supposed to be doing another job i didn’t really want to be doing, but instead pushing my business and the thing i’m really good at and passionate about! This was tested hugely whilst I was on holiday as I had an email from one of the employers I interviewed for advising me that they were in a position to employ an extra person and they would like to offer me the post! This was a really lovely thing to be offered, a stable, full time job, for a good company, well paid, interesting etc. however it was a 40 mile trip to work, and working full time would mean no time for the things that are important to me. I wondered if this was testing my commitment to really ‘going for it’ with Sparkles and I made the decision to turn the job down!

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I really am very excited to be able to devote more time to Sparkles! I have so many ideas of things I want to make whirling around my head that i just ant to make them all at once! Today has been all about pre-washing fabrics which means A LOT of ironing (104 yards of it infact!!) and I have a dress in a new design on the way which i hope to be able to post pics of tomorrow over on my Facebook page!

So this is what my haul looked like when I unpacked last night!

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I am hugely grateful to everyone who supports me and hope to have contact with more of you in the future! if anyone knows of any outlets, vintage fairs, anything like that where you think Sparkles might go down well please leave a comment to let me know! I’m in Northamptonshire but happy to travel!

Much love!

Jade XxX

USA Bound!

Good evening Lovelies,

I am very excited to be heading to Florida on Friday for 11 days!

I purchase most of my fabrics in the USA, either whilst visiting or over the internet, and I’m like a kid in a candy store when I get to the USA with all of the stunning, unusual and amazing fabrics there are on offer! The struggle is keeping within the weight limit for my suitcase on the way home!

My contract at my current job ends on Thursday and I haven’t found or been successful at getting a new ‘proper job’ so following on from this holiday and all the wonderful opportunities for fabric buying i’ll have whilst I’m there, I will officially be self-employed and giving Sparkles a real push in order to see what happens and what can be achieved!

I’ve booked in for Lou Lou’s Vintage fair Cheltenham on the 30th May, so will have 2.5 weeks to get lots of new stock made with all of my lovely new fabrics and plan on making adult items my priority! This will include having time to make myself some new clothes too, which almost never happens!

I’ve been making a couple of orders over the past week and have a list of fabrics to hunt for whilst I’m on holiday for custom orders!

This holiday is certainly not going to be all work though! Being a total Harry Potter geek I am very very excited to be going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!! I’ve wanted to go since it opened and cannot believe i’m actually going! think i’ll be the biggest kid there!

Much love

Jade x

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