If you follow me on social media then you may have seen my latest update regarding The Paper Haven – my craft studio in Farsley and info on a new chapter for 2021. I moved into The Paper Haven in March 2016 following years of wanting my own class space and built up what I think is a lovely, relaxing shabby chic creative space. Over the years class attendance had fluctuated but I kept going because it was mine, something I had built up from ideas inside my head and based on a place that I would like to attend if I were participating in a craft class. It was hard work but very rewarding and I can honestly say I love my job! I love seeing someone arrive nervously for the first time and then leave having created something they are proud of and feel like they have made new friends.
Fast forward to March 2020 and COVID19 – I had a few hours notice that the site where my studio was based was going to be locked up as part of the first lockdown endeavours and would only be open for 2 hours a week so that we could collect our post. I drove over there with a number of boxes, scooping things up and filing my boxes in scenes reminiscent to those on an episode of Supermarket Sweep! And I set up The Paper Haven at home, on our dining table in the corner of our living room! And I thrived!!! I discovered I had the time to work on things I had wanted to do for months, even years – such as my successful Parcel in the Post , You Tube videos, online classes and much more. Whilst I really missed seeing my ladies face to face I found a new way of creating an online community which helped people through the first lockdown. I have had so many messages, emails, texts, cards and gifts from people thanking them for helping them through these extraordinary times we have experienced.
Whilst I was loving working from home, keeping people busy and attending to all the ideas I had in my head, I knew that time was ticking and the renewal of my lease at my Farsley studio was coming up in February, it was like a dark cloud hanging over my head. At the moment I had only been using the studio once a week to do order packing and click and collects and am obviously still paying the rent for the space. I am not lying when I say I have been in turmoil over my decision what to do for the best regarding the studio but I made the decision to let the studio go and carry on with my online business until we are able to come together again in a safe manner, and a manner in which we were accustomed to before! I am in no way saying I will not be doing face to face classes again, because I will, as soon as it is safe to do so and I can find a space to hire that I am happy with. For now I am clearing out The Paper Haven, something that fills me with great sadness but I have some good news and this is where a new chapter for 2021 comes in. I could not carry on using our dining table, it was limiting and although it has been a lifesaver, we needed our home back so I looked for a small office to rent close to our home which wouldn’t cost the earth!
I feel very lucky to have found a place about 15 minutes from our home that ticks all these boxes. In the future I could do very small classes in here plus there is the possibility of using another room within the building. I will still be travelling over to Farsley regularly to do deliveries and collections and will look for a place to hire in the Farsley area to do classes when it is safe to do so. I want to take the time to say THANK YOU to everyone who has attended a class in my studio, who has purchased from me, who continues to support me online even though it’s different – I am very very grateful.
Here’s to the next chapter and a safer 2021!