top of page

2021 Round Up

My first full year running Variorum. With all of the highs came just as many lows and plenty of opportunities to learn from mistakes. It has been a huge learning curve, especially starting a small business in 2020, during a pandemic. And being a one-woman team can also be extremely challenging with having to balance a whole business on top of a part-time job and not having my family as nearby as I would like.

All that said, I think it's extremely important to focus on the achievements of the year, the successes, and the happy points. It's good to take a step back and be proud of what you've accomplished, and I'm going to do just that.


Launched the Variorum Website

On the first of January, I allowed this website to go live for the first time. It was a huge step in developing my brand as well as making it seem more professional and being a hub for everything Variorum. Although I still use Etsy for sales, I've managed to gain sales through this website which is a result in driving my own traffic and not relying on the Etsy search engines. This will always be a work in progress. Constantly developing the style, the pages, and overall layout depending on how my brand progresses. I'm hoping to put a lot more effort into the website this year to really show the best Variorum has to offer.

Da Street Shop Small Campaign

In the middle of the second lockdown which took place over the first four months of 2021, I starting a 'little' project to promote the small, local shops in my hometown's town centre: Commercial Street (or Da Street as locals call it). If you weren't following along with it, then I illustrated every local shop front on Da Street which would end with a large art print featuring every local business I illustrated, all together. I never expected this to take off the way it did. It was originally just a way to boost the morale of shop owners and workers, and also promote all of their businesses after what's been such a hard year. With so much love and positive feedback from the shop owners, I decided to gift all of the original illustrations to the shop owners. It was such a rewarding feeling going between shops and seeing some faces light up at receiving their drawing! The final A3 print was also a success, being my most successful product launch, despite it being pre-order based!

First Wholesale Stockists

After the success of the shop front series, I was asked about wholesale prices from two of my favourite shops on da street. Although I already had limited products in Burns Lane clothing, Cee & Jays, and An Lanntair in the Isle of Lewis; these were my first wholesale stockists and I couldn't be happier with them. The overall feel of these shops is exactly what I want to portray my brand. In 2022, Variorum is hopefully going to branch out more and be stocked across Scotland and hopefully even further afield. Fingers crossed!

First Wallpaper Commission

This year, Variorum also landed its first wallpaper design job for a set of cottages up in the island of Unst. The owner allowed us to stay a couple nights in the cottages to get a feel for the place and gain inspiration. It was the most beautiful trip and I felt so lucky to get to spend that time surrounded by nature and gorgeous views. The design came into fruition by November and samples are currently getting made. Very excited to see how they turn out!

First Market Stall

With the cancellation of events for the past year or so, markets and fairs were not taking place. But I finally got to have a go at my first market in December at the beautiful Abbotsford House in the Scottish Borders. It was a great learning experience and received a few sales so made the day worthwhile!

Graduation Ceremony

After waiting 18 months, my classmates and I from Heriot-Watt University finally received the graduation ceremony we missed out on in 2020. It was an amazing day for feeling proud in myself, and to see so many familiar faces who we had to say such sudden goodbyes to in 2020. It felt like that chapter in my life had finally closed and I could now focus on the next adventure.

Although a lot of things didn't go to plan, from work offers not going ahead to product delays holding up orders, I have come out of 2021 better than I was coming out of 2020. And isn't that the main thing?

32 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page