But WHY?

If you checked out my latest email, you would have seen that I have been working hard on some pretty epic changes for Heartbeat Handicrafts.
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Although noone has directly asked for an explanation as to why things will be changing so dramatically over the next month especially, I still wanted to offer some insight into my reasoning. I briefly outlined this to the VIPs on my email list, but here it is unpacked a little further.
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Covid-19 social distancing has given me the time and space to go beyond just thinking about big picture future business ideas, but also to form action plans and even get started.
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That in itself was a bit of a red flag indicating that how I had been tracking in the business/ personal life was simply unsustainable. It took such a major event (a global pandemic with significant economic fallout) and shift in daily living to allow me the chance to reflect about my life as a whole, decide where I want to take things, what I want my lifestyle to look like...basically everything that encompasses my overall why.
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After all, the reason I chose to move to Heartbeats being my main employment, was to enable me to work from home to spend as much time as possible with my children in their early years. I also want to create a sustainable and successful business so that they are encouraged to follow whatever dreams they may have for themselves in the future. It also won’t hurt for them to see the reality of how difficult it is to run your own business, so that if this is the path they choose to take, then they will at least have a realistic view of what it takes.
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Since restarting new website releases in November 2019,  I had just been getting through making and packing orders, meeting my deadlines for monthly new product designs and releases, but that was about. It was also very much dependent upon Hugh sleeping well both during the day and at night. Luckily, we have had a decent run with his sleep lately, so it hasn’t all fallen into a heap too often, but I know that this is likely to change and once we (hopefully) add an extra kid or two into the mix. 
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Another big realisation was that my prices have not changed in the past 5 years, despite huge improvements in my products and increased costs on all fronts.
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Basically, I was still treating my business as the hobby it started out as, despite major investments in tools, learning and skill development over the years. When I thought about this further, it made me realise that it’s not sustainable to continue as is for my business or my family.
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So this huuuge revelation was the catalyst to me reviewing my overall business model and the direction that I want (and need) to move, in order to ensure I can continue to deliver the service and products that I can be proud of.
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One of the areas of my business I’ve fallen in love with, has been creating lifelike pet sculptures for earrings and other accessories, but once I did a bit of a time audit on how long they actually take, I realised I was basically working for free. So, as much as I love the making, to ensure I am available to create these gorgeous gifts and creations into the future, I’ve had to increase the prices to better account for my time.
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In order to free up the space to continue to deliver custom orders in a timely manner (and also take on larger projects like full body animal figurines for wedding decor and cake toppers), I made the tough, but necessary decision, to stop monthly new product releases and cut a whole stack of existing product lines too.
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I will still be releasing a few new collections over the year in the lead up to Christmas, Easter and a couple of other special occasions. There will also be an expansion of the custom order options, including some gifts that are more targeted to the males in your life as well as a line that will enable your pets (in mini sculpture form) to be right there with you on your wedding day, or any special occasion really!!
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I hope that this news hasn’t come with disappointment, but more a level of understanding that the changes were necessary and also so that you can share in my excitement for the opportunities the future holds.

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