New Year thoughts and reflections

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Sunday, January 2, 2011

A very Happy New Year and my warmest wishes to you for an exciting and creative 2011.

2010 was mostly a good year. In hindsight there may have been a little too much work and not quite enough play, but that's what self-employment brings and Red Ruby Rose is still my driving force.... more on that in a moment.

Aside from Red Ruby Rose, one of the nicest things to happen in 2010 was the formation of our Band Cue Fanfare from a two piece to a full four piece. When our previous band Santa Dog had dissolved the previous summer, the last thing on my mind was launching another full band. This was partly out of respect for the others in Santa Dog as the split hadn't been perfectly lovely. Hence Robbie and I played as a duo for the remainder of the year until we met up with Alan and Holly from Schnauser and the Cue Fanfare band formed.

We've had a lot of fun since then, releasing an EP with Kingem Records in Italy, playing Aeon Festival in August and supporting Scottish indiesters Haight Ashbury here in Bristol in November. We rounded things off this year with a post-Christmas, pre-New Year gig with Schnauser and Billy Whizz. In 2011 we'll hope to lark around some more..

Cue Fanfare playing Aeon festival

For Red Ruby Rose, 2010 was mainly lovely. I launched my own website and introduced a few new lines including printed silk clutches and silk scarves. On a slightly more negative note, I noticed more Etsy sellers copying the peacock clutch.

Silk peacock feathers clutch, Red Ruby Rose on Etsy

I've had such a love-hate relationship with this clutch! I remember when I first set eyes on the fabric back in 2008, and almost couldn't bear to cut the roll of silk when it arrived as it was so beautiful. When I made the very first clutch I thought it was the finest bag I'd ever made and I was so proud to sell it. It was about a year before the first copies started filtering through on Etsy and I was so upset. At one point I considered withdrawing the style altogether and even started to secretly hate it a little. Now I've stopped sulking about it and accept that other sellers will make similar clutches, possibly underselling on price to compete, and actually that is absolutely fine. I know I made it first (which is an important point of principle to me) and am delighted to still be making it more than two years down the line.

Thanks also to Naomicayne and Etsy for the treasury that made it to the front page on the 31st December featuring the gold version. So delighted to see that!

There is just one additional thing I need to mention as we enter the New Year. Due to the spiralling costs of raw materials I've had to put my prices up. Silk and printing prices especially have gone through the roof and because of this I've voluntarily registered for VAT here in the UK. This means that from January 4th, buyers on Etsy from the UK and EU will have an additional 20% tax at checkout. This won't affect international transactions from my customers in the USA, Canada, Australia, etc but I do anticipate this additional tax may sadly reduce my European customer base on Etsy. However, as I move towards wholesaling here in the UK, VAT registration is a necessity.

Oh, and finally, I'm working on a new range of customised bridesmaid clutches which I can't wait to share. Sneak previews in a couple of weeks!


  1. jacjewelry Says:
  2. Happy New Year! So happy to hear about your new band. The picture looks terrific! Congratulations!

    I love the peacock clutch. Just remember - to be great is to be imitated. :) Like you said, there isn't anything you can do about it, but we all know yours is the original! Can't wait to see the new designs!

  3. Thanks so much J, wishing you a fabulous 2011!

  4. Kim Smith Says:
  5. Wishing you a Happy New Year and lots more success that you deserve! Whenever I see a bag in the peacock design I too know that you were the original on etsy! Looking forward to seeing your designs through 2011.

  6. Anonymous Says:
  7. Happy New Year!

    Just discovered you through etsy. Love your clutches.

    I started selling cushions etc in 2005 in my ebay shop when the £ was strong, which was great as I purchased much of my stock in USA. In the last couple of years, I have had a major increase in my sales with international buyers as the £ is so weak. Although I don't think you will have a problem as your clutches look so beautiful, I do think many uk sellers will notice a drop in sales or will have to reduce their prices when the £ goes up again after this financial downturn.

    Keep up the good work and best wishes for 2011.