A Welcome and a change

Welcome to the new website, It’s been a whirlwind year, as I write, in the space of a year we have had a private visit from Prince Charles, a sell-out Royal Welsh Show, a new Winter collection, a sell-out Winter fair, a month long open studio for Christmas, and then, well, we won’t even mention the dreaded C word, all with three kids and a farm in tow.

It’s been a hell of a year for the Brand, and now it’s our turn to give something back, so here’s what we are going to do. There’s a charity called RABI, (click here) Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, and they are brilliant at what they do, helping farmers and those involved in agriculture who are experiencing difficulties, weather they are young or old, they are a wonderful bunch of people.

I was asked prior to C19 to take part in a fashion show and give a talk for the local Brecon and Radnor branch of RABI, as one of their fundraisers, this event, like all across the UK, was cancelled.

As most fund raising took place at these events, and a local and county shows, also cancelled, RABI has been left short of funds, so we would like to raise £5000 for them, by raffling our beautiful hide and velvet chair, worth a whopping £2000!!

You may have seen this chair on our stand at last year’s Royal welsh Winter Fair, and in our open studio at Christmas, and now it can be yours for just £5, an absolute steal.

To be in with a chance, click here to donate £5 in exchange for your ticket number, drawn on September 7th 2020.

How three words changed my life

Earlier in the year, not long after the kids had gone back to school. I found a note to me, written by my just turned 6 year old, it said she missed me. I saw her every day, did the school run every day and was with them for pick up to bedtime. But she missed me.

The penny dropped, she missed ME. I was there but I was working. ALL the time. “Just wait while I take this call”, “in a minute when I’ve sent this email”, “Mummy’s busy darling”.

It broke my heart. What was the point of all that I had built, when my children who I spent most of my time in the same place as, missed me?  I asked her why she wrote it, and she said because the two smaller ones couldn’t but, they felt the same. It changed everything.

I went from running the Hayley Hanson Group, wholesale, multiple websites, social media accounts, to paring back, running lean and outsourcing as much as I could, including almost all of the making, I took on an amazing PA, essentially I took a massive step backwards. And it was the best thing I ever did.

Then Covid 19 hit, we heard rumours in February that Italy was closing down, and made the decision to not go ahead with our Spring Summer range for 2020, which was fortunately the right decision. By the end of March my PA was laid off, the kids were home, the farm was busy and I looked around and thought, now what?

We already had Autumn Winter out with all our makers, so we rounded up all our stock left from last year, old colours and shows stock, displays and samples and had a clear out sale, and swept the floor clean, literally and metaphorically.

It felt good, I was packing orders with the kids and having fun, they were loving it, we were doing counting, letters and spelling, we got some chickens and the kids set up an end of the lane egg shop, then we started making soap, unbelievably, this got an immediate order for ten bars a fortnight at the local pub, which had opened its market garden up for sales. The kids were thrilled, £40 a month on soap and £3 a day on eggs, they had been told if they wanted a pony that had to buy it themselves, so they bought a pony, the rest of the summer was lost on pony’s, silage, calving cows, swings, trampolines and garden picnics, pottering, drawing, thinking, PJ days and making cakes. We couldn’t be happier, I was working once the kids had gone to bed. But bedtime was no longer the quick as we can affair it once was, hours are lost in Enid Blyton, Winnie the pooh and books on unicorns and CS Lewis, books from my childhood.

By doing less, things started getting done, a lot started getting done, in much less time, and better, so, so much better. A new website from scratch, new products designed, sampled and made, into production, photographers, PR and Marketing was all up to speed, even the VAT got put in the day after the end of the quarter, I’m not sure my accountant could quite believe it. I’m not quite sure I could believe it, by doing less and being happier, I was doing more, it suits me, my family and the farm.

In other words, shit got together, and it felt really good, and the kids were oblivious to it, I was working the least hours on my business, and doing the best I ever had, the kids were happy, and so was I. Better not bigger, all day, every day.  SO you might find things a little different, but I am so happy with my little family on our beautiful farm, it’s influenced everything now about the business and the decisions I make, and where I want to take things. Now, we truly are growing, where we were planted.

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