The 1st of January saw the announcement of the grand total raised by the Flower Power Fund. I posted on Instagram about it on New Year’s Eve, with a bit of back story as to how I became involved in this brilliant community fundraiser…
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Feeling philosophical and thinking about the amazing @flowerpowerfund😀 Last New Year’s Eve, my partner Josh & I wore these amazing 🦊 masks to a party. It was super last minute (we don’t get out a lot these parenting days) and my mum whipped up these masks on her sewing machine. I had to dash into town to get some more threads and a thing happened… ⭐️ I walked into the haberdashery department and had this really strong feeling of returning home. 🏡 The yarn and threads, the fabric and buttons, the patterns and all those ideas in waiting… my creativity has always been about more than drawing. My dad can make pretty much anything from a bit of wood, my mum, from fabric. I’ve almost trained as a sculptor and a costume designer. And I didn’t really know what it meant that day in the store but it was a lovely feeling. It reminded me I was more than just an illustrator… ⭐️ I’d also done a little bit of work with @begentlekel on my business plan and had this big ‘I’m a social enterprise!’ revelation. Kelly is fab 😘 Again, I didn’t know what that meant yet, just that I wanted to do good. 🌈 @sherlock_knits emailed me about @flowerpowerfund on the 20th of December last year. By the 15th of Jan, we had the logo all sorted and approved by Marie Curie. I’d casually suggested I could also draw each flower from the year of flower-inspired yarn and give a donation from the prints…I didn’t expect anyone to buy them! But they did. And I had to get my packaging act together. Then we decided I should try and design a pin, and the last 2 sold just before Christmas. 💐 This year, I’ve made the loveliest new friends, I’m learning to knit, and have a yarn stash to be proud of. I was a proud part of #titsoutcollective and my designs have raised money for Marie Curie, the Badger Trust, Together Rising and Care4Calais. 🙌 2018, you’ve been magic (as well as hard work, scary and a bit of everything else). I’ve got some exciting ideas percolating for the New Year, but I also just want to sit with this lovely feeling for a bit… Happy New Year old friends and new. Loads of love 🥳 #happynewyear #goodbye2018 #flowerpowerfund
Honestly, when Sarah first got in touch with an idea to raised funds by asking independent dyers to create flower-inspired yarns, she thought she might raise £1,000. She also involved other crafters, ran a MARATHON and had regular raffles (all while working as a Doctor for Marie Curie).
Sarah had an existing network of lovely creatives, which just blossomed and really got behind her (self titled) slightly bonkers idea with such enthusiasm.
£22,628.91 raised for Marie Curie!!!!
A new yarn was released every month (sometimes more than one) with the dyers donating a percentage of the proceeds. A lot of the yarn sold out almost instantly, and dyers were frantically trying to keep up with orders.
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Thank you doesn’t seem quite enough but it’s the best I have! This time last year I was hoping that we might sell about 10 skeins a month and perhaps raise £1000 if we really tried. When @edencottageyarns said she’d dye 50 skeins for me I panicked and worried that I might be sending her hurtling towards certain bankruptcy!! But month on month you have ordered yarn in your hundreds, and the £1000 grew quickly to £10,000 and then nail-bitingly I began to hope for £20,000. To smash that target utterly and reach over £22,000 is beyond my wildest dreams, and all to help @mariecurieuk support more people living with terminal illness and their families. So thank you to all the dyers, bagmakers and other fabulous crafters who made products to sell each month, or who donated raffle prizes. Thank you to everyone who sponsored me or donated to the fund, or who bought raffle tickets month on month. Thank you to all the people who listened to my #slightlybonkersidea in the first place and told me I wasn’t being ridiculous. Thank you to all the people who knitted socks for my patients this year and smashed that target too. And thank you to @samdrawsthings who listened to my idea and utterly embraced it becoming my partner in crime over the past year. What shall we do next?!? 😉 #flowerpowerfund #slightlybonkersidea
I did the branding for the project, and then drew each month’s flower and sold the prints. I also designed my first pin. A percentage of all my sales was part of the grand total. My initial thought was that I might raise £50…
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Thank you so much for helping me smash my personal @flowerpowerfund target and raise over £1,000 for @mariecurieuk! Did you see the grand total over on the @flowerpowerfund account. It’s ASTONISHING. Sarah thought she might raise £1,000 in total if she was lucky. I thought I might raise £50! 😀 The community around this creative and imaginative fundraiser has just blown me away. You’re all amazing and I’m so proud to know you. @sherlock_knits, I know you won’t, but I hope you get a wee bit of time to put your feet up and knit now! 😘 #fundraiser #flowerpowerfund #happynewyear #mariecurie #socialenterprise
But I raised £1082.12! I really hadn’t sold that much via my online and Etsy shop this time last year. I’d had a couple of really depressing attempts at craft shows and felt quite dispirited. So it was amazing when people started to buy the flower prints, and the 200 pins sold out!
I am still feeling a bit reflective and looking back at last year, thinking about what worked and what didn’t, what rocked and what flopped, so that I can put some really solid plans in for the coming year. My little social business is still in the early stages in a lot of ways and I am excited about helping it to flourish in 2019. There are a few things in the pipeline, and if you have a project or idea you think I could help with, do get in touch 🙂