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We're not quite where we left off!

Hello Dotties!

It's rather astonishing to realise that this time 3 years ago the whole country was in the back garden, feet up, enjoying a heatwave but hoping Covid germs wouldn't be able to hop over the neighbours fence and kill us outright in 14 seconds.

It feels like 20 years ago, and 3 weeks ago, all at once.

Can you remember the sense of panic and weirdness we all felt - not really knowing what was going on and what we could do about it?

Actively switching ON to listen to Boris instead of switching off.

Wondering if we'd ever see our friends and extended family ever again?

Strange times indeed.

Strange times that have, we hope, gone forever.

But... the after effects are still lingering aren't they?

Apart from everyone still being ill (is there ANYONE who doesn't know SOMEONE who's had Covid in the last 3 weeks?) I'm still feeling rather frazzled and very tired from being 'on alert' for about 3 years.

As well as having Covid 4 times, the kids still not quite over the isolation of 'home lessons', Rodger mostly working from home which is now a permanent thing, there is the not-so-small fact that running a small business isn't for the faint-hearted at the best of times but (remember the buzz word of..) 'pivoting' a business to keep the money coming in so Dixie Dot could survive, then closing the online side when the world 'reopened' (it didn't, it took ages for everyone to come back) and then have to rebuild a customer base for half the business because the babies we'd once seen were now 2 years old... well, I'm a pro hoop-jumper, lets put it that way!

I am sure that you can look back in your life now with a bit of hindsight and begin to see lasting effects and changes that a Global Pandemic thrust upon us.

Some will be good. Maybe some won't.

For us at Dixie Dot we have been through some massive changes; apart from the studio looking very different with new fixtures, fittings and decoration we've:

  • expanded the team quite dramatically going from me being aaaaallll by myyyyseeeellf to now having 7 staff with a varying degree of newness and a wide mix of skills.

  • Grown our online presence and focus mostly on Instagram these days with Facebook a close second.

  • The all singing and dancing website built during the first lockdown has had many tweaks, and has completely transformed the way we work - putting you in control of managing your own bookings means that over 80% of our bookings are taken outside of our opening hours because you don't need to speak to us to make a reservation. Ideal for those on night shifts who decide at 3am they want to visit or a new parent scrolling during the night feed. It's enabled us to be here 24/7 without being here 24/7.

  • Bought a van which we got signwritten - give me a wave as I go by! Even better, take a pic and tag #DixieDotOnTour so we can see where you've spotted us!

  • Won best children's business 2021-22 and '22-'23. I'm proud of that especially - the awards were customer voted. Thank you. I love you too.

  • landed a number of brilliant business collaborations, working with a couple of local councils, a number of schools, lots of youth groups (Brownies et al) and other local family focused small businesses supporting each other as we go.

  • created a Baby Club, which give me delight in watching friendships forming as things grow.

  • reassessed all our in-house procedures, created the ones we need, tested and tweaked others, binning off those that didn't work. If you've been knocking around these parts for some time you'll see our use of technology in action to achieve our aim that systems become as seamless as possible and make it both easy and enjoyable for you to be part of the Dixie Dot family. We've automated so much because the last thing we want is to overload you with yet something else you have to remember. You no longer need to bring your receipts when you collect (though you can if you want), you don't need to remember to collect pottery (we will contact you when it's ready), you don't need to remember when your appointments are (you'll get auto reminders AND they are your members area on the website)...

  • Introduced a whole new wave of craft workshops for you to learn something new, also working with other local crafters who want to share their passion with you. Supporting local brings us joy. Supporting local to bring YOU joy... well that's the cherry on the icing on the cake.

  • revamped all our branding. It started with a logo and ends up with a full branding package created from scratch so that there's consistency in what we do.

  • been rewarded for all this effort by doing double the amount of business in 2022 than we have done in any previous year. We've reached more people, we've printed more baby toes, we've made more hot chocolates and we're smashing the shit out of our aim: to positively impact the life and wellbeing of as many people as we possibly can.

No matter how frazzled and tired I am from Covid hangovers, the fact we've come out the other side achieving all these changes makes my heart very happy.

Which is a coincidence, because all I've ever really wanted to do is make your heart happy too....!

Thank you for choosing Dixie Dot, your continued support means the world to the whole team.


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