A small shop feature written by owner Lynsey Shaw
It all started with a panic attack.
It sounds really negative, but when you're body gives you this much of a shock that things aren't right it really makes you assess where you are in life and whether you are really happy. I was made redundant from that job(accounts management and book keeping) shortly afterwards and I had a month to find a new job, so I decided I had nothing to lose, and that I would relearn coding, design a portfolio website and collate all of my little design projects I'd been doing in my spare time onto there and start applying for design positions.
My confidence was so low that I really didn't believe I would hear back from anyone, but I was given two interviews and had been offered a position before the month was out. Fast forward two years and one baby later and I was experimenting with designing nursery wall art for my little one's bedroom during maternity leave. I decided not to return to my job as it was to be doing less design work than I wanted. So I took the leap and decided to spend my spare time in the evenings and on the odd nursery day focusing on creating inspiring and colourful designs for wall art and greetings cards, and Bear and Goose Designs was born in July 2018.
Rainbows and colour feature in a big way in my artwork as it never fails to raise a smile for me. I've also created a number of rainbow themed nursery wall art because of my own miscarriage and Rebecca being my rainbow baby(a baby born after loss). The coming year may see less rainbows as I work on my illustration skills and developing some new characters, but rest assured there will still be a lot of colour!
My rainbow enthusiasm led me to finding FFNCO on Instagram as I was looking for like minded colourful businesses. Little did I know this would be the catalyst for kicking off my small business as one of their lovely reps, Laura really cheerleaded my designs and helped spread the word and my confidence. I've had lots more sales via Instagram and I'm so very grateful to everyone who follows, likes and purchases designs from me.
December last year I attended the etsy craft fair as a customer, and dreamed of one day having a stall there. December 2018 that dream came true, and the pride and adrenaline I felt were really overwhelming. If there's one message I want to get across, it's that anything is achievable if you work hard and break your goal up into smaller achievable tasks, you will get there. I knew I'd have to adjust my lifestyle to afford to pursue my dream, as giving up a guaranteed income is no casual decision, but I wouldn't change anything.
I've got lots of ideas for the coming year, and being a work at home / stay at home mum I'm really going to try harder to get the work /life balance in order so that I keep my anxiety under control, which is no mean feat especially when doing stints solo parenting. But I really feel like I've made some great instafriends, it's like a community to me, so I feel like I can tackle anything that comes our way this year.
Find Bear and Goose Designs over on Instagram www.instagram.com/bearandgoosedesigns
Check out their Etsy shop