The January effect. 0 Comments

We did it. We made it to 2021. Is anyone feeling relieved? Accomplished? Or… no different? A lot of us are still feeling the 2020 vibes, like the aftertaste hasn’t quite worn off yet; the wound is still open. Well, I find that the best way to dispel the new year negativity and anxiety is to have some clear-outs - in your mind and your living space. 

New Year’s Resolutions have become quite a toxic thing; we set goals with the best intentions, and get ourselves pumped up and ambitious, but before long we find the pressure gets to us, we lose our steam, and get lethargic. Then we spend the rest of the year feeling like failures. The trick is to not go ‘too big’ with your intentions. And don’t think of them as a goal for the year; pitch them to yourselves positively, and make sure they’re things that won’t eat at you. Don’t set time limits. And make them gentle, happy things like ‘treat myself very often’, ‘meditate daily’, ‘learn something new’, ‘indulge my creativity’, ‘invest in my own mind’, ‘take a leap’, ‘look into that business venture I keep dreaming about’... you want to look forward to these things, not dread the moment when you give up on them.  



Now, once you’re done with clear-outs, sharing your finest ‘offcuts’ around amongst your loved ones, and popping to the local second hand shops with overflowing bin bags, you need to have a good long look around you, and fall in love with what you have left. The many lotions and potions that you’d forgotten about, lying in the bottom of drawers beneath your bathroom sink. A great many obscure trinkets, silver bangles in dire need of a polish, and statement necklaces worn at parties way back when we could plan, host and attend… remember those days? Oh, and the plants you didn’t donate to your green-fingered friends, because you know in your heart that there’s hope for them yet - or rather, hope for you, learning to care for them better. (a tip for that - stop watering them so much.) And of course, the beautiful, unmistakably ‘you’ clothes and accessories you adopted over the years; the curated capsules you spent hours piecing together and have your happiest memories stitched into the fabric by now. Care for these items. Wash them gently, and rarely, if you can. Mend them when they fray or tear, don’t just cast them out and look for a newer model. Sponge the spots, steam out the creases, sew on a new button or stab an extra hole in a belt. 

STOP SAVING YOUR BEST FOR ‘BEST’. Wear it all now! Don’t let anything gather dust. Treat yourself, and dress up for a day working from home. It lifts your spirit, and helps you get into the coveted, oh-so-elusive ‘Work Mode’. Then when it’s safe to go back to work, treat yourself some more, and dress down. Bring some home comforts to the workspace. That could be a favourite mug, a postcard from your favourite holiday, or a pair of the cosiest bamboo socks. Oh, and definitely get yourself a ‘work cardigan’. You deserve it. 



This month's artist inspiration is Laksmi Hussain. Her work is a perfect balance of bold yet meticulous - and gentle, warming elegance. She grew up in London, always drawing as a child, but it wasn't until she'd had her first child that she was inspired to pick up the pencil and turn a lifelong passion into a profession; the inspiration apparently came from watching the joy her child found in creativity. She works in a variety of mediums, and mostly at night. 

'Often, her work includes elements that appear incomplete, obliging the viewer to pause and engage with the artwork, filling in the absences themselves rather than just dismissing it and moving on.' (




It's an unpopular opinion, but I really feel like everyone is waking up to the outside these days, now we're not allowed in cafes, and we're spending an outrageous amount of time indoors. The sky seems bigger, the sun feels warmer and sea air is somehow more fresh; the salt lingers on your tongue, so you can still taste it when you get home and settle down with an afternoon tea and a book. 



This beach hut called out to me as I walked by; the colour combination reminded me of a 1940's kitchen design, and on a windy, dull day, it felt hopeful and warm. 


The Southwater Tote, in green.


Here's some big news... It's my tenth year in this business, making bespoke bags and accessories, and as my 50th birthday (16th of February, FYI) approaches too, I've decided something. I'm going to stop making St Leonards bags to order. 

I'm ready to step into a new decade of my life, making bags as and when I feel the urge, creating set stock and ready to go pieces.

This means there's no more waiting for an order to be made, because everything listed on the website will be already made and ready to send to you, (or to walk out of the store with, when I can reopen!).

It also means I get to explore new and exciting avenues as well as designs, without having to repeat them over and over again. When you see something you like on the website or in store, it's ready to go home with you. It's as simple as that. Let's start this new era. Can you feel my excitement!? 



This also means more time to focus on Modern Mentoring. The Facebook group is growing, and so many creatives are connecting, elevating their mindset and their respective businesses. It's wonderful to see all their paths being paved, with my help. 

If you're interested, and haven't summoned up the courage to dive in and invest in yourself yet - this is the sign you've been waiting for. And great news! You can sign up for my Marvellous Messaging course in either March or June.


I hope your January isn't feeling too long, and that you're finding some light in amongst all the darkness... and madness. Keep an eye on the social platforms for offers, new products and shop news as it happens, but for now - until next month. x