It's my birthday!
Rather, it's Arabella Jones's birthday - one today, and what a year it's been.
When Arabella Jones launched in 2020 I had little idea, really, of the challenge I had taken on. Balancing a toddler and a baby (often literally - who needs the gym?) during a worldwide pandemic, with a business, while my other half was away...I knew it would be difficult, but this year has opened my eyes to the world of small business owners and that is something I am beyond grateful for.
Getting to know an incredible small business community (including many owned by serving military personnel, veterans, and spouses) is one of the reasons I am now determined to support and shop small where I can. As a family this means that we've benefitted from being introduced to some fantastic children's books for the boys outside of our more mainstream choices (more about those another time), and our friends have received some truly beautiful gifts - some of which it's unlikely we'd have come across had it not been for this business.
For Arabella Jones, supporting small means working with other small business owners to design and create gifts that are just perfect for military families. Our popular collaboration with Fawn and Fall for custom military peg dolls, launched at the beginning of 2021, proves ever-popular...these military pegs have been helping children up and down the country as stand-ins for a deployed parent. Some of the photos I've received have been so incredibly heart-warming; please keep sharing them on social media! In fact, the military peg dolls have now taken over our engraved compass as best seller. (A little insider secret - the order book will be opening again imminently - sign up to the mailing list here to hear about it first.)
Another collaboration, this time with stitch experts Oz & Belle, is coming soon. It was designed with military spouses in mind, and wow it's a good one! I cannot wait to share it with you.
The wait list for the wide Home and Away Clock remains - unfortunately getting hold of timber has been difficult this year, particularly with several bouts of self-isolation due to the boys picking up germs at nursery. However, if you want to get your hands on one for free, keep your eyes open for the summer edition of Army & You...I'll say no more than that.
There is so much to look forward to in the next few weeks, including Father's Day which is right around the corner! (Don't forget to check out the Father's Day collection for last minute gift ideas.) We are fortunate enough that we will be able to spend it as a family of four this year, as Mr Arabella Jones is now home for the foreseeable. Updates from me might not be as frequent as they once were, but as service families like ours, I know you'll understand that spending quality time together while we can is oh so important.
Here's to another year of Arabella Jones, of small business collaborations, of making military friendships, and of being stronger together.
Thank you for all your support x