Well what a year 2023 was! Running a small business is a challenge at the best of times but this year has really taken me to the limits.

The last few years I've been trying to get on-top of my finances post-covid, after 5 long years of not being able & not having the money or health to travel, 2023 was the year I found myself scrambling for more work and more money to fund a trip back to the UK.

Kitten Vintage is just one of my side-hustles - alongside parenting / working as a marketing assistant and some teaching at Sydney Creative. Adding more events into already packed life is something of a challenge but 2023 saw me adding Grassroots, Fashion Thrift Society and Second Life to my social calendar alongside Round She Goes and Garage Trail Sale and my handmade pop up at Outfield Cafe.

Kitten Vintage Grassroots Angie Kitten Vintage Garage Trail Sale
Round She Goes Kitten Vintage Fashion Thrift Kitten Vintage

What I loved so much about casting my net wider into other events is the enthusiasm for different audiences, friendships with other stallholders and a love of meeting so many people. The whole market scene now feels more relaxed - those Covid restrictions just took so long to dissipate!

Markets and events are such hard work physically, I'm never going to be able to do weekly markets but 2023 saw me going from 4/5 to 10. If I can manage 10 again in 2024 I'll be really happy.

Of course it's really hard to concentrate on all areas of my business and I've found the online sales really dwindling this year. Raising costs meaning my online store is losing money and my ebay store has really flatlined. I seem to spend a lot of time photographing & listing for very little return so top of my list for 2024 is to reconcile all online platforms and work out what is working & what needs to be moved on. 

Towards the end of 2023, I paused working with Sydney Creative - I love teaching so much but the timing was proving tricky for family life and for my health - I joke "I've had almost every part of my body scanned, x-rayed and probed this year". With a number on-going minor health complaints, just getting everything checked and treated has felt like a job in itself. But it's a great feeling to get a better understanding of my ailments and I'm happily moving forwards feeling more in control of my physical health and still working towards a pain free life.

With a few family and financial setbacks, I finally got to England in December and enjoyed Christmas with family, caught up with friends and even managed to pop to my old shop building in Manchester a great little trip down memory lane.

Manchester AfflecksAfflecks, Manchester, the home of my old label Me&Yu for 10 years!

My aim for 2024 is to reduce stress, sell more and improve profits - watch this space!