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This is my 25th year, will it be my last?!

WoodWorks is now my main business, what started as a hobby has now grown into a full time job.
Things started with a lot a difficulty, and this is a short list of the good and bad things that happened,
I can safely say that business is not as easy as I was anticipating, but with hard work it will take off eventually.

YEAR History Information (in reverse order)
2021 After such a crap year in 2020 due to the Covid virus, what will happen this year, IT CAN ONLY GET BETTER !, well first show of the year was Wednesday 14th April, it went OK, steady flow of people in, with lots of customers glad we were back, lets hope this carries on!
2020 After last years best year what will happen this year ? my outstanding list of work is huge, so have to plan what to remake this year, coasters was the most important last year and will start doing those and bookmarks first this year! after a busy January and February, March started to buckle, with the outbreak of corona virus and by mid march had fallen apart with all shows cancelled until the end of May/June, by June other shows till the end of the year were cancelled, including some of our best fairs. It was mid June when shops were allowed to reopen we had our goods displayed in Sapphire Gifts. July and August was quiet, September started getting better, near with last years sale for the month. October started to slow down as people were again worried about the virus and Brexit (ending with no deal), November we saw our second lockdown, shows again cancelled, we did just open again for December but was it worth it NO, this year was a real failure and without the governments self employed allowance the business would have ended as I would have looked for other work, still the allotment looked good this year! THANKS FOR ALL MY CUSTOMERS THIS YEAR
2019 Another difficult year, especially with Brexit yes or no at the start of the year, rose was made redundant so CUTHBERT was sold, early in the year, for less than we hoped for, we booked extra shows to earn a little more income, that caused a few problems as it gave me less time to remake some stock but had very few shows that we were spit at, we had a few shows cancelled this year due to flooding, we started the year well then had a couple of really poor months, Mum became ill and then passed away, so that also changed a few things in the middle of the year, September was my last month in the Upton shop, and was one of my worst sales months since I started, but November was my best ever, again causing problems in remaking the stock, but finished with my highest year of sales.
2018 This year we think will be a difficult year, more shows booked this year, we were hoping to use this year to find some new venues , but have stuck with the things we know, Moreton and Stow are our main bread winners we think the folk festival will not be going ahead as a craft fair? Some early shows booked in January and February this year as well to have a better start hopefully, overall the year wasn't to bad, but some of our regular shows were very poor, (some because of the heat), we need to find some new venues for 2019, a couple of possibilities, so we will see how next year goes
2017 This was another tough year, no shows in January, February had just one show, and the rest not to bad, most shows this year were in the Cotswold's, that was where a lot of them were last year and was usually a good venue, all venues this year had good and bad shows, best shows again were Welland, Upton Folk and music festivals, Pershore Plum, the last Worcester, this years best selling item was coasters, with 1000 sold this year, more than a whole table has coasters on!
Again most weekend in the Cotswold and Welland were spent in the new camper van, this one called CUTHBERT (based on Cash Used Totally Had Better Earn Reasonable Takings)
2016 What a tough start to the year, no shows in January or February lots of shows cancelled, second part of the year was good so overall not to bad. Coasters and bookmarks were again our best sellers, pencil holders were well down, but then again we didn't have stock all year for them. Had two weeks off as well this year, but that was also including 2 weddings, one in North Wales and the other in Scotland, so made that our holiday time, and also walked up Snowdon and Ben Nevis, Snowdon was a success, Ben Nevis we did about 3/4 as the weather was absolutely terrible, we purchased a reasonably price campervan, which we call MARSHA, (based on Mike And Rose Spent House Allowance). Overall a reasonably good year !!
2015 What a tough year this was, some of our main shows were washed out, some of our good venues, were very poor this year, we had some very good months and some absolutely rubbish ones, including December which was the worst for 9 years. we managed to do about the same sales as the previous year, but it cost a lot more to get there with all the extra shows booked, Rose tells me we did 133 shows all year, that one EVERY 3 DAYS.
2014 I think this is one of the toughest years that I have had recently, Sales at the end of the year was slightly better than last year, but it cost more to get there with a lot of extra shows, I saw a lot of new crafter's start this year and some didnt carry on for very long. Also I saw a lot of crafters that have been doing it for a long time finally give up! Finished the year in 4 craft groups, and lots of possible regular shows for 2015 have occured due to this years busy shows.
2013 Well this was a very tough year, started very well, but fell off very dramatically at the end of the year, just managed to beat last years sales but that doesn't really do it justice, as at least 12 more shows done on a Wednesday, and although both outdoor events went ahead, sales were approx 50% of normal, still having our regular customers, luckily. We did well when you compare that to some other crafter's, who struggled all year!
2012 Well what another year, sales down on last year, but that was due entirely to the outdoor events, and the weather, one steam show cancelled, one postponed to a later date, and the horse show a bit of a white wash, still without that the year was pretty good, a few new venues tried and some possible regulars for next year
2011 That was another good year, considering there was no money around, we did very well, but other crafters found it very difficult, we were less than 100 short of last years best ever year, some of our shows this year were outstanding, meaning some time we were continously chasing, or out of stock of popular items for a couple of weeks, we need to rethink again for 2012!
2010 Well what a year that was! again it was our best ever year and what a busy year it was at times. 8 months of the year were our best ever months, and some times we were constantly chasing our stock and orders. Working with just recycled wood seems to work very well!
We need to reconsider for 2011 what we make, display, and how many shows we book. There are certain venues that we will not split up next year and also some venues we will drop!!
2009 This year was much better than we anticipated, in fact it was my best ever year! We booked extra shows at new venues, to cover the credit crunch, some of those were poor others were very good, and we hope that we get invited again to some of them! PLEASE. Our best venue in 2008 we did not get invited this year, so are not planning it for 2010. Another very good year end so that means the start of next year will be catching up with all the items sold in November and December, so perhaps its good that we have no shows in January
2008 Concentrated on Just WoodWorks this year, in fact it took me 2 months to catch up all the end of year sales, Another poor start to the year. Rain and flooding also caused problems again this year 1 outdoor show was cancelled, and 2 were very poor, having said that 1 outdoor show was so hot that also created problems. Sales from April onwards was good, leading to the best ever year, some of that was due to the bookmarks that we started selling from June. If fact considering there was supposed to be no money around we did very well!
2007 Poor start to the year. Decided to cancel all adverts and rely on show business only. In fact the first 6 months were poor, than because of the floods in July, lots of shows cancelled. meaning a very poor July and August. However the last 4 months were extremely good, leading me to finish my part time work, and concentrate on getting things ready for the shows, in fact the last 4 months trippled the first 8 months Sales!!
2006 After a poor start to the year, December was my best ever month in 10 years and made the year reasonable, the shows are now planned and booked for 2007, should I carry on with my part time work or concentrate on the business? What will pay the Mortgage? In August I had a show cancelled so me and Rose got married, Rose was one of my regular customers, who invited me out so who says craft shows don't work! In May I had my first advert in the local newspaper, no orders what a waste
2005 Sales slightly lower than last year but still OK, this year also displayed at the local craft and Farmers market each week/month. January Arranged for an advert in the yellow Pages I only had 8 spare Saturdays and most of them were in January and February
2004 This year say the same sales as last year except for 35, not bad for another year, July saw the first month where I made 1000 in craft sales alone why can't they all be like this? Only one outlet now (my third) on a percentage basis.
2003 The best Sales in any of the 7 years, my name is know, shows are now running well and things are ticking over nicely. I now have my good at 2 outlets, 1 just taking a percentage and the other with a fixed payment and my appearance twice each month. March I became a committee member of my craft guild
2002 Sales are still going up in fact double last year, shows are going well, especially with my craft guild, and other regular shows, local part time work is still paying the bills, and is consistant.
2001 Sales this year are over 200% higher than last year. December saw the next decision in my plan, when I finished my part time work with the cookery company, after 3 months away from home, 200 working days and 60 show days, something had to give. August did my first show with Craft in Action at Upton Memorial Hall and 6 further shows this year!
2000 Sales are still well below par, part time business is OK. Will try one more year and then pack it in. Main business was again at the scout hut, but some charity shows, started to get more frequent. February Saw the bank manager to discuss buying and setting up a shop in Tewkesbury and living in the flat above, ruled out as to expensive!
1999 Sales is very poor ie: lower than last year but part time work is paying the bills! Main business is got from displaying my goods at a table sale in the local scout hut on Wednesdays and Saturdays, sales are poor but need to get my name and goods known. Web page registered and set up a basic webpage. March. A Big mistake was made when a local business wanted to act as an agent for my goods, supplied a small selection, only two orders got, and goods were not returned until 2002!
1998 First full year now over (Sales were poor) and without the part time work I would have given up, but have set my self one more year. Business is not as easy as I thought and all my savings have now been used!. Took some part time work throughout the year with Six different companies! such as delivering Yellow Pages to computer typing, telesales and cleaning work.
1997 Sales for the first 6 months were poor and mainly to friends August to December. After having a week away walking and thinking about what I am going to do. Started to get some woodwork stock ready, for some craft shows but had difficulty in getting invited to or finding out where craft shows were, and what was involved. July 23rd saw my last day of full time employment. June I have had enough with my job and handed my notice in

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