WAHOOOOO!!! WE WON!!!
Yep, Dixie Dot Crafts has officially gained the title of 'Best Children's Business 2021' in the Gloucestershire & Worcestershire Muddy Stiletto's awards.
To say I am thrilled is an understatement. Especially when we were the ONLY Gloucester business to win an award!
After the trickiest two years I can remember, this is absolutely testament to how valued and loved the Dixie Dot brand really is.
You already know that we aren't *just* a kids business, Dixie Dot is for everyone, but do you remember the days preceding the very first lockdown? We were all a bit baffled about how it was going to work, confused about what was to come and mostly fretting about how on earth we keep the kids entertained when we are all together, all day long.
Just before Boris announced 'this is it' I made some frantic plans to take the whole business online. Not an easy thing to do considering I own a studio that people visit and physically sit in to do their crafting. But three days sat at my laptop writing and designing a website (www..dixiedotshop.com) when technology is not a great skill I possess, well, it was challenging.
But I managed it, and then spent my time in an empty studio-turned-warehouse, with tumbleweed rolling by in Kingsway, not seeing a soul, preparing all the online orders that flooded through.
Owning an online business meant I could do Covid Secure doorstep deliveries to keep the good folk of Gloucestershire happy and occupied during a collectively hard time, so off I went most days covering the length and breadth of the county.
After all the opening, not opening, opening partially, opening according to tiers, lockdowns 1, 2 and 3, it was an absolute relief to eventually welcome private baby appointments back in April 2021 followed by a slow, half capacity reopening of the studio in May.
To be able to have the customer base and customer loyalty meant I could just say to everyone 'lockdown? Oh don't worry about that, we just paint at home now' and have all my customers know I'd got it covered and was still there for them - and just move to Paint at Home kits instead, it just proved to me what I already knew; Dixie Dot is loved in the community; it's appreciated, it's trusted and it's cared for. And, as the business owner behind the name, that's the thing that's got me through all the dark times, all the stresses and worries and, ultimately, all the exhaustion.
I could NOT be prouder to have put up the fight and made it through a Global Pandemic. I could not be prouder that you, my customers, my team - supported me and Dixie Dot enough to scrape through and still be here.
To win the title of 'Best Children's Business' in the toughest and most unusual years any business has lived through really is the icing on the cake.
The winners drinks reception was at The Queens Hotel in Cheltenham where I picked up my winners certificate, had the official winners photos taken and ate some winners cake on a very warm heatwave kinda day. The curls in my hair dropped, the make up slid off my face in minutes but there was one thing that didn't fail me - the internal sense of pride and happiness that you came together and decided that we were worthy of such a title.
So, thank YOU for taking the time - to Louise who nominated us - and for the gazillions of you who voted.
You are now part of the official support team for my AWARD WINNING business!!!!!!
Looking forward to seeing you soon,
Lots of love
Dixie Dot Crafts
Best Children's Business 2021