On Wednesday it was the annual Make Do & Meet event hosted by Not On The High Street for their sellers. It was at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, and was a day full of workshops, inspirational talks, meetings, chatting, cake eating, and finishing with the Make Awards.
I was incredibly lucky to have been shortlisted for the storefront success award, so when I rolled out of bed at 3.50am for my 5.13am train I was completely excited and *incredibly nervous* about heading down to London.
I started the day by meeting a few other Noths sellers in a coffee shop nearby for a pre-event breakfast. It was lovely to meet so many people that I chat with online.
After coffee we headed to the Opera House for the start of Make Do & Meet. Goodie bags were handed out, and Noths staff made us all feel so welcome. There was plenty of tea (which I was very grateful for after my super early start), and plenty of time to mingle with each other. I think there were a few hundred sellers there so it was quite busy. Thankfully everyone had name badges on!
The day properly started with a talk by Holly & Sophie, the founders of Noths. It was pretty exciting and the plans for growth are huge.
I had a meeting with my account manager who was even lovelier in real life than I had imagined. She talked me through how things have gone since I joined, my sales forecasts for the year, what the team thought of my Christmas product range, and the plans for growing my business.
I was introduced to the product development team, and spoke with the Christmas planning team. It still feels a little strange to be working on Christmas in May, but would you believe I'm already thinking about my Spring 2014 range!
I went to workshops, and talks, and my phone started going crazy with messages and tweets from other sellers when my shop was used as an example of good branding in one of the most popular talks by Pretty Little Head. How awesome is that?! Noths even tweeted Tom to tell him - isn't that lovely?
I'm sad that I didn't get to see the talk, but everything has been filmed so I'll get to watch it at some point soon.
At the back of the main hall was this huge banner with all of the Make Award shortlisters on. The photos looked amazing!
The Make Awards section was fast approaching and by mid-afternoon I was a nervous wreck. I was so thrilled to have been shortlisted, especially given the amazingly high standard of the other shortlisted sellers. But the thought of winning, which would mean walking out in front of hundreds of people, got me pretty nervous.
But guess what...
I couldn't believe it when my name was called. I still can't. I am so new to the site, and am seriously just making all this running my own business stuff up as I go along. I am absolutely over the moon to have won the Storefront Success Award. More than over the moon, I'm over all of the stars and out of the universe!
And do you know what else - when my name was called out people started cheering and whooping. Cheering and whooping for me! For little old me. I have never felt so special and so proud.
It was amazing! And look at those beautiful prizes.
People were so kind and have congratulated me with such genuine joy, it's really blown me away. I still feel quite overwhelmed by people's reactions to me winning the award. On facebook, twitter, emails, in person, the response has just made me feel so special.
And I would like to thank every one of you from the bottom of my heart.
I still can't believe I won!!!!