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How many hats??!

Lauren Aston
20 December 2017

Well, this is it…

I’m not sure how I feel about saying this! – but the last orders for Christmas are being sent out tomorrow. I feel so happy and sad about it at the same time, (as well are pretty bloody exhausted) but more than anything I just feel so overwhelmed by all your support this Christmas, and the whole year in general.

It hasn’t been altogether easy, in fact it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster over the last couple of months (as you may know if you’ve seen anything on IG as I haven’t stopped moaning for a decade) Having my images stolen, particularly those of my face, has been pretty tough… but these things are sent to test us and as ever, when some people are shitty, more people are amazing and that is incredible to witness. Your support has been completely invaluable and I’ve felt so humbled by everyone’s comments, likes and virtual hugs.

 My message to everyone who thought it was okay to steal my face and my image and use it to promote their knock off products!

My message to everyone who thought it was okay to steal my face and my image and use it to promote their knock off products!

But enough of the grumps, with the bad does come the good, and the good has been pretty epic!!! I have had so many incredible opportunities this year, I can’t quite believe it! I now have my OWN BOOK out! As well as having collaborated with brands such as Joules and Elizabeth Arden – seriously, I  have to pinch myself when I think about all the goings on this year.

But the icing on the cake has to be THE VB order. Victoria Beckham, an actual spice girl – that band in the 90’s that I had  posters up on my wall of, Victoria Beckham who I WAS when we played ‘Spice Girls’ at my nan’s house (last month obvs)… ordering 6 of my stockings for her country Christmas (1 for each Beckham!…that includes David) . The excitement was almost too much for me! We had to keep it quiet at first as obviously it’s her privacy but then she shared a video of them on her IG story and I think I nearly died. It was honestly almost too much for me. At this stage in the game when I’m a wreck, VB liking my stockings was the thing that broke me. I cried for 4 hours then had a nap to recover. Too, bloody, amazing!

Christmas Craziness

Anyway, back to the bigger pictures – I thought last years Christmas madness was crazy enough but I am so proud (and a little shell shocked) to say that we have exceeded expectations for this year and totally smashed the targets I gave myself. I received some amazing and kind publicity and promotion from a number of places which has definitely helped to spread the chunky knit word but also you guys, you’re my best brand ambassadors and I’m so grateful. Not to mention that fact that you then choose to invest your hard earned cash to buy my products. It’s completely humbling and I just can’t thank you enough. catalogue 2017 catalogue 2017

Last year I did a round up of ‘the numbers’ – I know it’s not all about ‘the numbers’ as there’s SO much more to it than that however, when our hands are literally bleeding from packing Santa hats and cutting pompoms it is nice to have a look at what we’ve achieved and give ourselves a pat on the back (you know I’m a fan of back pats)

So without further ado, I thought I’d give you my round up of festive figures: (Here goes!)

31 Countries shipped to (10 more than 2016)

2,867 orders out the door (1,639 in Nov & Dec alone, compared to 832 during 2016)

2,207 individual products made (1,295 of those in Nov & Dec alone)

1,281 Santa Hats knitted (Tree Toppers and people sized combined)

(796 of those in November and December alone – compared to 383 during the whole of 2016)

78 copyright infringement claims made (including 1 blurred face image! Did they think I wouldn’t recognise myself?!)

208 wreath adorned doors (including a giant NOTHS one)

1 Spice Girl customer

6 Knitters (Me, Helen, Deb, Lesley, Linda & Wendy)

5 Studio Helpers (Sally, Helen, Alex, Harry dog & my lovely mum who drove 2 hours to help pack off-cuts and tidy up my mess of a house!)

1 Sally (Sally who is irreplaceable and I pray will never leave me, the one who does all the work really, who has made almost every single one of those 1200+ pompoms, packs practically all the orders, supports, laughs and lifts me without complaint, on a daily basis. I <3 you sally and can never thank you enough!)

Over a tonne of wool used in November & December alone… to be exact it was 1,125kg – and just to compare, the whole of 2016 I used 1017kg of wool

2 meals made by me (1 was a ready meal and the other a takeaway. I’m not even joking!)

Zero Christmas Cards Written (….Sorry again to all my friends and family – no doubt you’re bored of my slackness by now! xx)

And for the next chapter, I would really appreciate 1 tub of Pringles 2 extra large gins, 3 hours to buy Christmas presents and 4 days of sleep 😉 And for that, you can keep your partridge in a pear tree.

So that’s all folks!

I’m not going to get gushy (I’ll try anyway) but I really really do want to say an enormous Thank You, to each and every one of you. Whether you’ve ordered from me (and had to wait an age for your Santa Hat!) whether you’ve clicked that little heart on one of my IG posts, or whether you’ve sent me a reassuring message when I was blubbing online – you’ve all made this little knitter so very happy. I know I say it all the time, but your support really is the main thing that keeps me going (in the rough times and the good) and I truly couldn’t do it without you.

So it’s time for me to sign off – I want to wish you all a very very Happy Christmas and can’t wait to see you all again soon…

All the Love as always,

L xx

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