Annie Dornan Smith - behind the scenes blog posts

In the Studio Blog

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4 Years of Business!

Happy April to You, and happy 4th Business Birthday for me!

Holding an illustrated balloon for my 4th business birthday

Well, for last week, anyway. 6th April marks two important moments in my year: the start of a new tax year (wild) and also my business birthday! When I was celebrating 3 years last year - I didn’t anticipate I’d be celebrating a fourth in the middle of a nationwide lockdown, so I must say I wasn’t as on-the-ball as I could have been, and didn’t get around to writing my blog post in time for my 4th birthday. But, seeing as I’m stuck at home losing virtually all concept of time, I thought it was important to mark the milestone and reflect on the past year in my business, and in my life, so here's this years business birthday round-up! Let’s hope that by the time my 5th birthday rolls around, this will all be a distant memory, and I can add “survived the COVID-19 crisis relatively unscathed” to my list of accomplishments..!

Since last year I have…

Launched a new core collection and a new Christmas Collection

Not as many as the previous years THREE collection, but I’ve taken time to slow down and perfect what I do release even more!

two christmas cards, ready to be written

Had my biggest launch to date in the form of the Botanical Blooms collection

I’ve never had so many orders for a new launch, and it really solidified that I was heading in the right direction. I’m so glad you all loved them so much. 

checking over final designs for the Botanical Blooms collection


Exhibited at Top Drawer for the first time!

It was such a wonderful experience and I am already so excited to do it all again next year.

On my stand at Top Drawer Jan 2020


Created 21 New Products

A little more “slow and steady” this year, but still pretty good going, I think!

Held my biggest Secret Sample Sale so far!

September Sample Sale Graphic

Also known as the week I ran out of pretty much all my packaging and branding materials, and spent most of my week hunched over a packing desk, or dragging mail bags to the Post Office. I look forward to doing it all again with you this month on Friday 24th April at 6pm! Click here to find out how to get your secret sample sale invite. 

Hit 10k followers on insta (and then quickly surpassed it to 13k!)

The phrase “swipe up link” is music to my ears. ;) No but seriously, the past 12 months marked a change in how I used the app. I decided to share more of myself and try to be more honest and transparent, add more meaning to my captions and thought to my posts. I am so pleased you like it, and I love coming on to chat on stories with you every day!

painting flowers on a pink background

Shared 300 snaps to Instagram

I guess I just found out where all the hours in a day go!

Painting florals in the studio

Sent 24 Newsletters to my Mailing List 

This year I introduced the Studio News email, which I send monthly as a little round-up of news, things I’m loving, your beautiful snaps, back in stocks and other shop updates you need to know. It’s the best way to make sure you don’t miss discounts, new-in, back-in-stock items and important news. Click here to subscribe. 

My studio desk space

Saw 170% increase in sales from my online shop

And I literally couldn’t have done it without you! Ok, so this figure is just from the analytics of my own online shop, and doesn't count the stats from Etsy or Not On the High Street, but that would have involved some serious maths involving percentages and this is no time for difficult sums.

That fact actually makes this achievement all the more precious to me, as my own shop is the only place where all of the sales are based on how I market my work, (rather than the big ad bugets of Etsy and NOTHS!) which tells me that my hard work has, literally, paid off. Some days I still cannot believe this is my job, and I am so grateful for your support over the last 4 years. 

cards on the packing table, ready to be shipped!

Did 123 Post Office Trips 

Good grief, that poor woman behind the counter must be sick of me.

Final post day of 2019

Took two weeks away to revisit my favourite place - Japan!

And I’m already pining to go back. I have snaps on my personal insta account if you fancy a peep! It feels like such a long time ago now.

Graphic for Japan Trip

Sold 353 British Bee Prints!

I wonder if these will ever stop being a best seller? Such a classic, and the total number always blows me away. These bees have been with me as long as my business has, so it means a lot that they still sell well years later!

Holding the British Bees Print, Framed

Shared a #OneThingIndie New Years Resolution

And I’m trying my best to stick to it!

One Thing Indie Graphic

….And fin!

Man, what a crazy year it’s been. At the moment, it’s been very easy to focus on the lack of certainty of what’s to come - I’ve found it hard not to brood on the idea of missing out on Summer fun, but looking back over the past 12 months has really helped me feel a sense of achievement, and a bit of fond nostalgia, rather than abject FOMO. I have no idea what the next 12 months will bring, but if they’re anywhere near the past 12, I’ll be happy!