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Celebrating Four Years Full Time in My Business!

Wow I can't believe it's been four whole years since I quit my office job! Let's rewind to January 2020. My design schedule was seriously heating up and I was struggling to find the time to make all of my orders whilst having a part time job as an estate agent and having to be open 5 days a week at my artist studio.

I therefore decided it was time to take the leap and go full time in my business. I had already been trading for 7 years and had always been 'half a risk taker', from moving back to my home town of Torquay from London to concentrate on Claire Austin England, dropping from full time hours to part time and getting the keys to my first ever studio but only being there half the week whilst my mum covered it the days I was at work. I was heading for burn out.

I had to give a months notice at my job and it was in those early weeks of 2020 when we heard the rumblings of COVID 19 but we had no idea how serious it was going to be. I ran into a wedding photographer friend of mine and he told me that two couples had postponed their weddings until the following year. I thought, 'Oh! Should I be a bit more worried about this?' but carried on waiting for my notice period to end.

My first day going full time in my business was two days before Boris Johnson announced we had to stay at home and the whole country went into lockdown. I thought, 'what have I done?!' and immediately panicked. It was certainly a hairy first couple of weeks whilst I spoke to all my brides to see what their plans were but thankfully they all wanted to continue with their orders as they knew their weddings would happen one day, they just didn't know when at that moment. I was already booked up three months in advance so I knew I had enough work to be going on with.

I still had my artists studio so I was able to work behind closed doors and keep some form of routine which I was grateful for. Instead of face to face appointments everything moved online and I conducted my design consultations via video call instead. I also had an intern who was meant to be with me for a month but because her university had temporarily closed she stayed with me for 5 months!

After a few months of the studio being closed then open to the public during the various lockdowns and measures, I began to settle into my new normal. In 2023 my husband and I moved from our little two bedroom Fisherman's cottage by the harbour to a three bedroom house which allowed me to work from home. I much prefer working to my own schedule and organising appointments with my brides around my life. I'm very much a night owl so I like to do my jobs around the house and run errands in the morning and then work till later at night!

It's been an amazing four years, I've made hundreds of gorgeous hair accessories and jewellery, exhibited at many wedding shows including at the Savoy Hotel and seen my crowns on the catwalk at London Bridal Week! I also wrote my first book, a wedding planner to ease the stress of planning your big day.

I celebrated 11 years of my business back in December but I also like to remember how long I've been full time as it was such a scary jump to make. I absolutely love my work, making beautiful accessories for lovely brides. There's nothing that beats getting sent a couple's wedding photographs and knowing that they have worn something you have made on the most important day of their lives.

To celebrate I'm offering 20% off all website products and bespoke orders for one week only!

Shop the collection here


Contact me to go bespoke

Thank you so much for all your support

Love Claire xxx

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