I did a bit of background research and decided to send in a framed Brighton Skyline (which is where Holly Willoughby is from) and a Leeds Skyline - which is where Phillip Schofield's daughter graduated from earlier this year. I added a load more cards and bits and pieces, parceled it up and off it went.
I had no idea what day it'd be shown, if at all, but on the Saturday I got a message to let me know that my skylines would be part of a "Gift Guide for Her" on Monday's programme. I was still a bit apprehensive, so much could go wrong... and of course it could be pulled at any moment. I'd hedged my bets and placed big orders for archival paper, frames, printer inks and packaging... but I still didn't want to get too carried away!
Monday 4th December rolled round; I had both Hayley and Katy in to help me as it was pretty busy anyway, and we got on with all the orders - until just after 12, when the "gift guide" segment was aired... we stopped with a coffee to watch it with bated breath!
And there it was! My Brighton Skyline! Live on ITV! Wow, I have to be honest, I was a bit speechless. Hearing someone say your name on TV is really weird! Then my phone went mad... so many messages and comments, I was completely overwhelmed!
I kept checking my emails, and sure enough a reasonable number of orders started pinging in. Somehow, This Morning hadn't given out a link for my Etsy shopfront as agreed, so viewers were Googling my name - and orders were split between my Etsy and NOTHS shops... then I realised that I was also getting lots of orders on my own (very much half-finished) website...
As I'd never finished uploading products onto my website, I've never officially launched it. It was transactional, but until that point I'd only had a handful of low value orders through it. A few emergency messages to my friend Claire, and I'd managed to understand enough HTML coding to make the website print functional delivery notes - with address labels in the right place. Something I'd been meaning to do, but never got round to - ah well, at least it's done now!
It was a manic afternoon and evening, packing orders and answering emails, running mostly on caffeine and adrenaline... oh, and the chocolate that my lovely friend Nat popped round with. The mayhem continued for a good few days, and has hugely boosted my sales - that Monday gave me the highest turnover of any one day to date; and now, two weeks into December, I've nearly beaten the whole of my turnover for December 2016. Considering how terrifyingly quiet October and November were for me, I'm delighted - and more than a little relieved.
A hundred or so print orders in a day is a completely different kettle of fish to 500+ orders of Valentine's cards that I get each day in early February; with so many different options for size, framing and personalisation it's a lot more work. But we've managed fine, with a few early mornings, a few late nights and a lot of coffee. I'm so grateful to Katy and Hayley for keeping me sane throughout - and our endless games of "Tell Me..." - more about that another time!
Brighton is now my most popular skyline, having sold over 50 as a direct result of the This Morning feature - closely followed by London, Leeds, Belfast and Edinburgh.
So, thank so much for all the messages, emails, enquiries and, of course, orders - if I haven't got back to you yet I'm sorry - and if you're waiting on an order I promise it is on it's way! And huge thanks to Vikki and all at This Morning, it's great to see you featuring small businesses, it makes such a difference to us. It's proper Christmas-busy here now, and I am so happy. And exhausted. But mainly really happy.