Though it strikes me as impossible (despite knowing we must believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast!), on November 17th 2019, I will have been sitting down here at this here computer to create the vision that is BrocanteHome for fifteen years. Fifteen years! That can’t be true can it? I’m only twenty-one don’t you know??
But it is indeed fifteen years since I sat down with a chubby little one year old on my lap and set about stitching together my own dream of a site full of loveliness, and in that time my babba turned into a boy and the boy is on the verge of becoming a man and life has done all manner of somersaults in-between and the one surety in all of my days since has been you. This site. And my never-ending drive to keep on creating joy and inspiration for all who care to visit.
Of course it hasn’t always been polka dots and cabbage roses. There have been torrid and terrible times. Days and months when life has gone off track and of course I have made a billion mistakes and drove you crackers at times doing about turns and worrying too much and trying to be little Miss Perfect, all in the pursuit of both continuing to delight you in a world that has changed so much and providing for myself and my son, a steady income that made that possible.
And now here we are. Fifteen years on. And here I am sitting down all over again to think out loud with you, as if we were thinking out loud together over tea poured from a Brown Betty. You see in my next three posts here I want to share how I see the next year on BrocanteHome, tell you what’s coming and what’s going, and all the reasons why. (Though, of course, being me, nothing is set in stone and I have to remain as flexible as always, in order to grow, cope with the myriad of demands a business like this requires and thrive).
So today I want to discuss the main changes I am making, in the next post we will examine exactly what will be included in your membership and in the final post I will share my overall vision for BrocanteHome…
At the beginning of the Summer I opened my VIP membership – a kind of Salon Lite – and it has been much more successful than I anticipated, as you have all enjoyed having something with a more clearly defined purpose, alongside a little bit of sheer Brocante loveliness just for the sake of it, in the Playbook. But so many of you who are already Salon members have told me that you are loathe for the Salon to go completely which created something of a dilemma for me!
Thus I have been quietly debating what to do about my original intention to close down The Salon at the end of the year, and how I can please if not all of the people all of the time but at least those who have been so incredibly loyal over the past fifteen years and of whom I would never want to disappoint or offend. Especially after so many of you offered your opinions in Brox-it!
So in the past week I have been burrowing under my cosiest quilt with a pen and journal in hand, trying to come up a solution and I have settled on what I am thinking of as a one year merge – eventually bringing the very best of the Salon into the VIP Membership, via modernising what is now no longer relevant, completing what is unfinished and re-designing it all so that it fits rather beautifully into your Lifebooks, Playbooks, Christmas Book and coming from the end of December, The Yearbook, a month by month To-Do List based on the now very old Puttery Companion.
An amalgamation of sorts that will mean that those of you who are Salon Members now will continue to have access to ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING for the next twelve months, and those of you who are VIP members will have a growing, guided, library of loveliness over the next twelve months as I bring fifteen years of intense and lovely work into one of the most joyful and inspirational of memberships in the homemaking sphere…
Of course this will have a price. At the moment VIP membership is just $10.00 and if you are already a VIP member this side of Christmas 2019 that will be the price you will pay for the life of your membership, (and will NEVER be asked for a penny more!) but as the merge happens, the price of VIP membership will increase incrementally for NEW members over 2020 until it is the same price as Salon membership is now, with so many lovely bonuses I don’t know where to start, other than to begin with the thing I most excited about – access to your membership via an iPhone or Android app coming in November, so never again will I have to drop you an email harassing you with notice of new content when it can all happen via a short and sweet notification!
I do hope this makes sense, and I promise it will become clearer before the end of the year.
On Social Media
Also at the beginning of Summer, when I felt like I was losing my marbles (but was probably just beginning to suffer the joys of the Peri-Menopause!), I declared my intention to quit both Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter was easy. I barely used it and simply stopped sending anything over there and it made not a jot of difference to life nor business, but unfortunately Facebook has been another matter altogether.
First you lovely people wanted to keep the Living Room, my happy little community of long-time readers, and then my audience here fell dramatically because all those of you who found BrocanteHome via the fanpage where I was sharing daily quotes, simply stopped coming and as a blog almost wholly relies on footfall I started to worry. And worry and me can go round in circles for ever such a long time!
Above all else I missed the dailiness of touching base with readers, friends, family and the local community. Heck even Finn’s school rely on Facebook to get important messages to us parents and I started to notice how out the loop those of us who live in this terribly modern, terribly complex culture of ours can become when darn Facebook isn’t a part of our daily routine.
And so it started to creep back… a quick peek here at the school page, the testing of how it felt to dip my toes tentatively back into my group, and of course the liking of all the joys those I love care to share. While I have not downloaded the app back onto my phone and will not be doing so, I have had to admit that Facebook is intrinsic to my business and to staying in touch with family who are dotted across the country, and one of the things I am always willing to do is not be stubborn for stubborn’s sake, nor to be afraid of admitting when I am wrong.
- So the plan is this: I will be closing the group again, so that only those who are members of the Salon or my VIP membership will be invited in (though if you are already in, don’t panic: I won’t chuck you out!) and I will be bringing the content inside the group in line with all that we are doing in your Lifebooks. This is for two reasons: firstly because recently the group has been inundated with those determined to advertise inside the group and I am spending an awful lot of time refusing access to clearly dodgy characters, and secondly I want the group to not just be the comforting community it has always been, but to further encourage you to keep working on making life lovelier…
- And… the quotes will be back on the fan-page because I do believe I miss them as much as you do!
Becoming More Business-Like
Finally I want to talk about the business of running a membership group like this, and how very much work goes into it, and how sometimes it can seem that change happens at a snails pace…
You see I have said it before, but I am just one person and I do all the things. Every word is written by me, entire magazine- sized Playbooks created, designed and planned by me, all the (ton of) admin done by me, every graphic, social media post, printable, calendar post and book written and more – all me. While sites of this size usually have a whole team behind them, Brocantehome, is, for a number of reasons, just me, and it is without doubt a really tall order and there is no doubt that expectations can be high and sometimes it gets on top of me!
Last week during a personal crisis, I hired a VA for a few days to get me through and it was a real help in many ways and the cause of a little chaos in others, but I am becoming more aware that if I want my vision of BrocanteHome to come to pass, I will need help going forward and I have to get over my resistance to being helped! I’m just so very shy and secretly a bit of a control freak!
Finally I will also have to get firmer about payments and subscriptions as sadly the same kind of abuse I discussed at the beginning of the year is still ongoing and so I’m now having to bring in measures to chase up skipped payments and to make it clear that the rules I have set out in the Salon Blueprint will stand and that YOU are responsible for managing your subscription – meaning that it is up to you to cancel recurring subscriptions and that while I am more than willing to help those struggling, I cannot have members quietly accessing the site regularly without paying.
Ugh, I hate sounding mean!! But please understand that while Brocante is a labour of love and I’ve got no interest in chasing megabucks, such a lot of work goes into the site and I need to keep a roof over my head…
And Now For the Good News – My ANNUAL SALE!
Yup it’s that time of year again: when you can get the bestest deals on my products and memberships! While VIP membership at $10.00 is NOT included in the Sale, you can however upgrade to Salon membership for for $4.50 more, or make even greater savings on an annual subscription you can lock in forever!
Ok so most of my older products are for the next few weeks available on a Pay What You Want basis in my dedicated Sales Room and there is 50% off all Salon Subscriptions using the links below.
Pay What You Want is something I have done for the past few years as I have long been dedicated to sharing my work with as many women who want it as possible. So do please use Pay What You Want honorably and truly pay what you can afford: in this way we help those who truly cannot afford to pay more than the bare minimum and I can afford to keep on offering this annually as a gift to all.
So grab a little inspiration with one or two downloads or get 50% off Salon Membership with the code “2020” to pay (and lock in for a lifetime!) the following prices:
The monthly subscription would go from $29.00 to $14.50. (Click here to pay monthly!)
The annual subscription would go from $299.00 to $149.50 (Click here to pay annually!)
And the LIFETIME membership will go from $399.00 to $199.50 – which means you would never again pay me a penny for your Salon subscription and trust me, The Salon in one form or another is here to stay! ( Click here to pay for a lifetime subscription!)
This then is my annual gift to you and I’m so looking forward to welcoming you into my lovely community and helping you bring joy, purpose and organisation to your days…