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Bye 2020, Hello 2021

Just like everyone else on the internet has already said, 2020 has been an awful year for the whole world. However, I thought I would wrap up the year by talking through the best things that have happened, to do with S&F Designs (mixed in with some of the down moments).

Let's start at the beginning of the year, before Covid, when I reopened the shop, and started to sell internationally. It was such a big decision to make, but I am happy I did it. However, I am closing international delivery for a short while this year, now that the posting outside of the UK has changed (thanks Brexit). Hopefully I will reopen the international delivery, once I have worked out how different it's going to be, and how much more I will have to charge (sorry!).

I guess the next best thing to talk about was writing this blog more. I feel like I have really enjoyed writing blog posts during 2020, and I can't wait to continue during 2021. Comment below what blog posts you would like to see, in this coming year.

New collections-wise, I designed a whole SS20 collection this year, that I loved. In the end, I had to postpone to collection, because of Covid. But that does mean you will finally get to see it this coming SS21! It's all about faux fur & pastel colours, and I just hope you all love it, as much as I do!

Even though I didn't get to release the SS20 collection, I did managed to drop collections later in the year. The first drop, when I got to reopen after the Summer, was my Art Prints! This was something so different for me & the shop, and I didn't know if they would be received well. But luckily, they were! They are still available on the shop, until they run out. I have ideas to do new designs this year, so keep an eye out for new prints during 2021.

Towards the end of the year, I finally got to release new faux fur items! I did a mini pre-AW20 drop of THE BEVERLEY bucket hat, and THE FRANKIE mittens. THE BEVERLEY bucket hat is probably one of my most popular products from 2020. Then, I released the WILD RIDE AW20 collection! I love animal print, so this collection is my favourite so far! The best thing is that I managed to organise a covid-safe photoshoot for this collection, which is something I honestly didn't think I would've been able to do.

During the Summer, when the shop was closed, I did continue to sew. Whilst the main shop was closed, I started selling face masks, made from fabric scraps. The money made from them was donated to Black Minds Matter (BLM), and Women's Aid. Both were important charities to help during the horrid year that was 2020. When I decided to stop selling the first drop of face masks, I had a few left, which I donated to Home-Start Horizons. They are a charity in Leicester who help families with young children, who can't afford to live. I knew that not everyone would be able to afford to buy reusable face masks, so I donated to spare ones to people who needed them most. According to the lovely staff at Home-Start Horizons, they went very quickly!

I also made some cotton medical hats for Leicester hospitals, to help our amazing NHS staff, when PPE was hard to come by. After I finished selling/donating the first drop of face masks, I was commissioned by a local LGBT pub to make some Pride Rainbow masks for their staff. I made them and then used the left over fabric to make masks to sell for the Leicester LGBT Centre. It felt fitting to donate the money to a local cause. I did a lot of sewing for charities during 2020, and I am so happy that I did. If Covid has taught us nothing else, it's to help other people who need it.

Another highlight for S&F Designs, is that I celebrated running the business for a whole year! I am so happy that I am able to keep running this business, and I have loved watching it grow. Even though I had to close for quite a large chunk of the year. I am seeing a steady growth for my small business, and I can't wait to see it grow more during 2021! I even hit my small goal of 400 followers on Instagram, by the end of 2020! Shall we say 500/600 by the end of 2021?

I guess the final couple of positive things to mention are that I took part in my first small business (virtual) market this year, took part in a small business charity raffle with lots of other lovely small brands, and ended the year with a festive giveaway of my own. Hopefully, I can do more stuff like this during the new year!

Overall, the best thing about this year was being able to sell more wonderful products to you all, even though I had to close shop for a few months, during the Summer/pandemic. I just love seeing people wearing/using my products, and I get a huge buzz from it. So thank you to everyone who has purchased from me.

And also thank you to everyone who has just supported me, without purchasing. Just having the support is so incredible, and it keeps me going when I think I should give it all up. All the support from family & friends, along with the support from my Insta followers & fellow small business owners, has been amazing. Here's to supporting each other more during 2021!

So, that's my 2020 wrapped up.

Here's to a better 2021 for the whole world, and hopefully a great year of growth for my small brand!

Shannon Furniss

@sf_fashiondesign on Instagram

@SFfashiondesign on Twitter

@SandFFashionDesigns on Facebook

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