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Sunday, 13 January 2019 21:19

So here it is – my very first blog!

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So here it is – my very first blog! I thought it’d make sense to start at the beginning…

I’m Louise and I run 3 Blue Stars, but I’ve not always been in the art arena… I started my career in foodservice distribution sales at the age of 21, and pretty much stayed in that industry for some 20 years. In 2014, I decided to make the huge leap into running my own business, and I did this primarily on the strength of the wonderfully talented Lucy Collins. Whilst I didn’t know a huge amount about art, I did have complete faith in Lucy’s talent, and knew that I could help her sell more paintings, and really get her name “out there” and being seen by more people.

I really struggled to come up with a name for my business. I didn’t want a name that contained the word “art” or “gallery”, as I felt for the types of items I wanted to sell, I didn’t want my business name to sound too formal. The name 3 Blue Stars came to me in a flash, simply as I have a tattoo of 3 blue stars on my wrist, but strangely (I think!), I rarely get asked why I called my business 3 Blue Stars! I got the tattoo for my 40th birthday, something my mother still isn’t happy about to this day!

Prior to launching in July of 2014, I contacted the lovely Claire Brierley, and very bluntly asked if she’d work with me, and was honoured when she said she would, so I started with a team of just two artists – Lucy & Claire. I’ve since grown the number of artists that I work with, and have attended some fabulous shopping events over the last few years, as opposed to having premises. My dream is to one day open a shop, and have lots of designer makers on board, I’m a passionate supporter of handmade items and independent artists, and I do try where possible, to buy from the makers I meet, when gift shopping throughout the year. I’ve also become a maker, and am now responsible for the Tilly’s Cottages range, little wooden cottages and scenes, never in a million years would I have thought I would become a creative type!

So it’s the start of 2019 – a new year brings new thoughts, ideas and vision. 2018 was a tough year, a really tough year and I’ve come to realise that in order for 3 Blue Stars to continue, I have to do things a little differently going forward, and this blog is just the start. One thing I never thought I’d have running and art / gift business, is so many lovely, loyal, returning customers. This is so good for the soul, it’s great to see a friendly face, and put faces to the lovely comments I receive on social media.

Onwards and upwards, there’s so much in my head trying to get out – this is a year of change & positivity, and I’m excited to have the start of a new plan for to strengthen 3 Blue Stars for the future…

Louise x

Wednesday, 04 December 2019 11:41

I'm not very good at this blog malarkey - am I?!

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So all my good intentions of getting into this blog stuff, rather went out the proverbial window, as work & family stuff typically got in the way!

As 2019 starts to wend its way towards a close, I'm able to reflect upon the last 12 months, and what a weird old year it's been. Does any year fly by normally? Probably not...

It's been an uncertain trading year, that's for sure. People blame Brexit, the forthcoming Election, I also believe climate change leading to more conscious purchases has made a difference to peoples spending patterns, it's been a tough year in truth, but I know from other independent business's that I'm not alone in seeing a shift in how people buy...

From the green perspective, a huge amount of the artwork and gifts at 3 Blue Stars is made using old, vintage or found objects that may otherwise have ended up in landfill or rattling around in the sea. So this is good, breathing life into old objects & giving them a new found purpose. I (like so many others) have made some changes to my business to make it more environmentally friendly, I've cut down on the amount of bubble wrap I use when sending out orders, and am currently looking at compostable ways of changing from the dreaded bubble wrap to a more envrionmentally friendly product. If ordering online, you'll now find all sorts of recycled paper or wrap protecting your lovely purchases - all internal packaging is now re-used. I've made a big shift from plastic to paper bags - it's cost me 50p per bag more to do this, but it's of course the right thing to do, even if it does impact dramatically on profit margins. Nothing is more important than our planet right now...

But do you know what? I LOVE what I do... I love working with the amazing team of artists that make up 3 Blue Stars. I love meeting so many super lovely people when I take a stand at various events, and I now have a lot of friendly faced customers who give my little business so much support and to you all, I sincerely thank you. 

My own work with Tilly's Cottages has evolved, and this year has seen so many new designs, and I'm so happy with where my work is at the moment, I just wish I could put a dozen radiators in my garage in the winter, to save me from being so cold when chopping wood! But I guess that's what hats and scarves are for!

But thank you to you. Thanks for taking the time to read all this old waffle, for any like or comment you've ever made on my social media pages, for coming to say hello at the events that I do, and especially for all your lovely purchases. 2020 is a new dawn, it's going to be challenging but positive and I wish you all a happy and peaceful festive season and a brilliant new decade...

Louise. x