September 2020

Summer has flown by quickly, and the children are even going back to school. I really hope they will be gone for longer than a couple of hours a day, and not just for a few weeks. It is a whole separate topic for the blog, as sometimes I am full of new ideas and want to achieve a lot, but feel permanently torn between my work and having to deal with kids and family. It is a quite challenging and time-consuming process when you are not a celebrity with numerous nannies).

So, this month we managed to travel to Greek island Kefalonia. We swam in the warm sea, walked along deserted beaches, and have consumed approximately annual recommended quantity of feta and olives. What is very important, this trip has provided me with a brief respite from endless thoughts on how to develop small business without the slightest idea what awaits us this autumn and beyond.

Nevertheless, before holidays, I managed to develop a series of my classes and tested it on a few lucky ones. In line with social distancing guidelines, the classes are one-to-one or one-to-two from one household. It is an exciting experience for me. The test runs have immediately demonstrated some deficiencies in allocated timing and complexity planning. For example, we discovered there is an objective limit of what an average person not aiming at setting Guinness records for speed sewing can comfortably achieve during 3-hour class. This month I am refining programs of my classes (ranging from simplest couple hour classes to full two-day sessions). If there are enthusiasts among you, my readers, who are interested in having a go at creating leather accessories and bags making, please contact nkerimova@tencloudy.co.uk. You will have a chance to get more skills for the same money before I manage to figure out how to simplify and somewhat «downgrade» the contents of the planned classes )).

The second and parallel task will be to keep creating online content to replace offline sales and physical promotion. Offline trade has undoubtedly worked better for my business than online. Still, until COVID factor is behind us, it is very problematic to restart trading offline for real, so have to keep focusing on Internet-based tools.

I intend to make many videos about various leatherwork processes, run some live sessions on Instagram, study how to work with Pinterest and start a blog about sustainability. These marketing directions are strategically important but quite labour-intensive. Frankly, I would rather focus on making a new model of a large unisex messenger bag the design of which I drew a long time ago. The materials have been purchased, and a roll of a magnificent brown and dark green veg-tanned leather lies in my studio and every day looks at me, awaiting its time.

Have a nice week! Natasha