Morning, hope everybody had a fabulous long weekend. I feel like I haven’t really yabbered to you guys in a while – it’s been heads down designing, strategising, working working working so I thought today would be as good as any before I embark on a Birmingham, Paris, London, Shanghai whirlwind trip.
A lot is going on here at AA, we’re expanding all the time. It seems unbelievable to say but we’re almost at 20 people now. Every month we’ve added new roles (and we’re hiring!), taken on new people, all terribly exciting and we haven’t really even touched the surface yet I feel. If this collection takes off – the big, huge, massive secret one Gem and I are zooming over to China for – then I have huge plans. (So huge I haven’t told the team the half of it yet!)
Now I’m a glass half empty kind of girl I’m afraid. I worry about things and don’t want to get my hopes up, so I almost always look on the bad side before I look on the good – all the time. When my NY agent first mentioned the possibility of a global deal I remember thinking yes yes all well and good but that’s never going to come off. In my defence we have constant carrots and opportunities dangled in front of us and as amazing as many of them seem for all sorts of reasons many fall by the wayside and never materialise – hence my rather pessimistic reaction. It’s a self-defence coping strategy I think!
Anyway that was then and this is now. It’s happening – it actually still hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I’ve had a bit of lifestyle change in the process, because of the enormity of it and because of what is happening to this business – I’ve been feeling super stressed. Waking in the middle of the night, not getting back to sleep – feeling anxious a lot and to be honest quite grumpy. Now maybe that’s because I haven’t had a vacation in three years or whole weekends off for like ever but it’s also I think because we have this whole other second business. The wholesale side of the business is a whole different ball game. It’s expanding faster than I ever thought possible, with Selfridge’s and Heals stocking it, and Terrain in the States, not to mention the coolest little independent shops up and down the country. It’s fantastic but the steepest possibly learning curve you can imagine. It’s continuing to create so many incredible opportunities.
I’ve started doing hot pod yoga – and I’m a little obsessed about it. Not that I can really do it (in fact I can hardly get into any of the positions) but I love how it centres me for that full hot 60 minutes. The thing I love even more is that in that time zone I am thinking of nothing more than each and every position and my breath. With all other exercises I’ve done I’m constantly thinking of work, but with yoga I’m in the moment. It’s the strangest thing nothing comes into my head other than concentrating on how to get the breathing right and the movement right. To be able to detach so completely when all I’ve done over the last 12 years is live work and breathe this business is kind of revolutionary. Not to think about it for a whole hour as crazy is that sounds is so liberating…
Also other strange things are happening like now I’m more interested in eating and taking care of my body then ever before. Hell last week I cycled to the health food shop at 7pm to go buy some kombucha tea, instead of having a glass of wine. Subtle small changes. I’ve subscribed to Chalkboard magazine, I’ve started to read business books like they’re going out of fashion (and I’m thinking of reviewing the best ones for you guys in my Biz Friday posts).
It seems that I’ve opened up my mind as well as my body and I want to learn and absorb as much as I can. I’ve even found a hotel in Indonesia where I’m wanting to whiz for a few days relaxation. I always groan I want a vacation but actually finding myself finding researching and proactively looking for one is a whole other thing– it feels strange but good to be in this place. Who knows if it will last and I probably won’t even do any yoga whilst I’m away but that’s where I’m currently at and I’m rather liking it. Apologies if this sort of rambling post isn’t your thing – but I really appreciate all the support and feedback I get from you guys, so I wanted to be honest, lift the lid a little and let you know what’s going on in the world of AA right now. Back to normal business tomorrow with more design and decorating posts!