Truth and lessons...

posted on: Tuesday, 21 January 2014

OK, so if I were honest I would say that yes, things have calmed down slightly. The grip of the school term has taken hold and we are back to 6.30am starts and a day defined by drop off and pick up. If I had ever known that school terms would become so utterly pivotal in my life, I would have considered home-schooling! I jest; I absolutely can not imagine home schooling my children and have enormous respect for any mother who does. Meanwhile...

via a pair of pears
When I say things have 'calmed down' what I mean is that my brain is running at 200mph rather than 500mph! My husband commented that I was meant to be so chilled out now that I had stopped working and actually the opposite seemed true. Not so surprising; I figure this is just the way I am built.

I have been meaning to talk here about my business L'Apothecary and what has happened to it. Here is the Pinterest board where I logged my inspiration. If ever you pop across to the site where I sell what I make, you will find that it's in a holding pattern, much like an aeroplane about to land, but trying to navigate cross-winds.

I started L'Apothecary about a year and a half ago and it went through a trajectory that ranged from wanting so see my products on the shelves of luxury shops to everything and anything less than that heady pinnacle. Where it has ended up is that I have taken some time out, to decide to regroup or not. There are so many lessons to be learned from starting a small business I could write an essay on it. I ask myself sometimes if my taking time out from it represents a failure and moreover whether I should admit that here, on this blog.

You see, I write this blog without agenda. I don't crave fame or followers necessarily (although nice when they do arrive) but I did find that when I had a business associated with my blog, it injected a self-consciousness that I had never anticipated. I started to imagine every time I wrote something it had to come from the voice of a serious business woman who was 'building her brand' and was 'on message' to every reader; be they a beauty editor or a potential purchaser.

Then, in short, I decided to get over myself. The business was an extension of what I liked to do and that was making lovely, indulgent little bottles of oil that made people feel better. I still smile when people come to me and say they love the facial oils. I gave some as Christmas gifts and found that particularly in the depths of winter, the 'Original Oil' is loved! Of everything I made, it is the simplest, purest version and the one that I always use, still. So it's funny really - often the most straight-forward of products are the best. And that leads me to themes such as integrity and sticking to your guns and learning from your mistakes.

So that is where we are. Thoughts still overflow and I am still me and the days go by in a blur of mid-winter domesticity. Cooking, cleaning, dog walking, reading, writing. In no particular order! So we live and learn. If you want to try the oil, get in touch and I would be happy to do a bespoke order.


  1. Oh my goodness Lou, you can imagine how this post made me sit up and pay attention. I have this gnawing feeling inside me that now I have written (on more than one occasion) about my plans for a small business, if I fail to deliver what will people think of me?! I sometimes worry about banging on about it, hey I even bore myself. Still I am trying, if it works great, if not, I tried. Ultimately we must do what is right for us.
    On another note, I hope you haven't been affected by the floods. Xxx

  2. So funny, I was literally thinking about your facial oils last night as I was searching for something soothing & relaxing to apply before bedtime.

    Everything about L'Apothecary was so lovely - and so you - that I really want you to continue with it....have you shelved your plans completely?

    Homeschooling....eek! The very thought of it makes my blood pressure soar....whilst some days I wish that my Yr8 child wasn't exposed to so much nonsense socially at school, I can't imagine keeping her home to educate else will she learn to navigate the world?

    Love that first quote ;) Xx

  3. PS I thought about home schooling once.......for about 5 minutes:-)

  4. I entirely get what you mean about a business associated with the blog. When I launched the style advice service, I found myself going down a whole route that sounded all too official - for a while, I even became We. I soon knocked that one on the head! But you end up feeling that you need to project something more professional and in doing so, I was actually losing my voice. Which is wrong when you consider a blog IS a voice! The voice of your blog is a truly wonderful thing - it always feels like having you in the room with me. But then again I do love your oil - am still using the one you sent me, twice a week! I think you should go with whatever feels right. I found a couple of blogs today that were attached to small businesses but they still felt very personal. I reckon you can achieve this and say you just keep going as you are.
    And home schooling? Nooooo! ;) xxx

  5. Home schooling? Isn't the whole point of schooling to get them out of the house? ;-)
    I never felt that your blog sounded business like, but I understand your concerns. I loved the oil I had ordered and have used it up some time ago. A bespoke order sounds like a good idea. xx

  6. I so hear you on blogs and business. I am constantly being nagged by my biz Coach for making my blog too personal (but there is only so much you can write about jewelry without boring yourself). I prefer to keep my blog more personal even if sometimes they are just ramblings, and that's what I love about your blog too. I never feel like you are "selling".


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