I am so excited about my new product. The idea that kids and grown ups will use these cushions to create their own stories and adventures and have fun doing it , fills me with joy.
Genuinely, I know that may sound a little over the top but my mission is to help me people connect with each other through accessible creative means and when I can make this happen it makes me so happy. So it felt apt that a product that is about connection was also created in the same way.
So I thought I would tell you a story about how my cushion came to be. A story of 5 small businesses.
Once upon a time
...about 2 years ago I moved to Gloucestershire.
Around the same time I went on a course in Wolverhampton called "Supporting the Unsung Hero- Business start up course" where I met the brilliant Angharad owner of Vanilla Monkey Creations
and founder of Bright Rebel Coaching.
Then a few weeks later at an Unsung Hero Business Showcase day I met Jessica owner of Design Jessica.
Now whilst I was developing my business I needed a part time job. By coincidence I came across one in the lovely village where I live. I applied and was successful. This was at the lovely 7a Coffee Shop in Fairford, a gorgeous local business run by the lovely Mr & Mrs Morris. A lovely warm place where I was able to learn new things ,feel connected to my new community, laugh and meet people.
Yes ,yes I can hear you sighing , so what.
Well actually for this particular story nothing really happened for a while.
Life went on and wheels turned until one day I had an idea about a pillowcase with bedtime story prompts for parents and kids. I wondered if not everyone found it easy to make up stories or imagine silly things in the way that I did. I wrote it down in my sketchbook.
Nothing happened, wheels turned, I left the coffee shop, life got busy, seasons changed.
Then one day I got contacted by one of the lovely founders of fab new company Sqwishme ( Who I had met through working at the fabulous 7a). She asked if I would be interested in designing a cushion to go with their range of children furniture.
I did (of course)
I had lots of ideas and then remembered my storytelling pillowcase idea, I went back to the sketchbook, it would definitely work for a cushion.
I designed the cushion buzzing with enthusiasm.Yes!!!!
But then realised I would need to get it made from scratch."Oh no "says the voice of doom, the bad fairy of doubt.
Enter (stage left) Angharad , a whizz on the sewing machine, making the cushion from my flat printed fabric to real life object. Wow. From my brain into a thing you can hold.
Then of course as anyone knows we need some kind of finishing touch like Cinderellas ball gown or the final diamond on the dress.
Enter (stage right) Jessica , a wave of her magic graphic designer wand and lo and behold a beautifully designed flyer.
And there we have it, a beautiful new product all ready to go and make people smile.
Now there is no doubt that the cushions will go on and live happily ever after.
But I guess the whole point of this story is that connection is how things happen and that whilst moving more than most folk can be a little difficult it can present you with a lot of fresh new doors to open and explore. Who knows the people you will meet and the adventures you will have. .
It really is in my mind quite magical but also an example of why shopping small and choosing where your money goes when you are able, really does touch real people's lives, keep the magic happening and the wheel turning around.
You can keep the magic happening. How awesome is that.
(Picture shows: The "Tell Me A Cotswold Story Colouring Cushion" on a Sqwish me "Tilly"Chair.