Reflections on 2022, and an Update for 2023

It feels like I've been saying this for the past 5 years, but what a year that was! 2022 felt like a huge rollercoaster, both personally and for Nurture and Cheer.

Selling online last year was incredibly tough. Supply chain issues, raising prices, a cost of living crisis, and then a whole load of postal strikes during what is traditionally my busiest period. There were some good points, I launched new items and returned to my first in-person markets in over 2 and a half years, but overall I ended the year feeling pretty flat.

I launched my first solo products back in September 2017. I was 36 weeks pregnant and launched five designs. In the years that have followed, I have started selling more and more products; mugs, pencils, pouches, cards, washi tape, and stationery. Profit from each sale has been invested into developing new things and helping me build up a solid inventory of products. As supply chain issues worsened due to the pandemic, and prices started to creep up, I bought more, trying to future-proof my business by not having to raise prices for customers. At the time, I believed it was the right thing to do, minimizing the risk to my business. But now two years on, I'm massively regretting that decision. 

In mid-2021, things started looking a bit quieter. I knew I wasn't the only one feeling it, so tried to keep my head up. Then in 2022, it continued, and then got progressively worse. I spent the last 5 months of the year constantly debating the future of Nurture and Cheer. Should I just close? Did I want to close? Did I want to do something completely different? Was it even sensible to keep going?

Thankfully, something has helped bring some clarity to the whole situation. I'm going to be a Mum again, and that brings some practical challenges which force certain changes. I'll be saying goodbye to my dedicated home office / studio and relocating to a corner of the house. That means that I will shortly need to find a home for all of that stock I've been investing in, as well as all of my equipment. I also won't have time to dedicate to the business in the way I do now. 

Therefore, I've made a tough call, and decided that Nurture and Cheer will be closing in April 2023, at least for the foreseeable future. At this point, I don't think (hope) it's forever, and that I will open up again before Christmas, but it's not guaranteed.

Therefore, everything on my website is now reduced to clear. All stock levels are final, and I won't be restocking anything ahead of my closure. 

There are some core products (namely the Mama, You Got This range) which I hope to offer in the future, but only once I've had the chance to give them a refresh. So, if there's something that you've had your eye on for a while, or you know would make the perfect gift, please stock up now as I can't guarantee it will be available again.

This closure feels bittersweet, I am so incredibly excited for the next chapter for our family, but I had hoped that I could have perhaps ended on more of a high. However, as I look back on the last five and a half years as a whole, I'm incredibly proud of what I created, and all the amazing people I've met on this journey.

Thank you for all of your support for me and my little business, it means the world. 


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