As 2021 ends and 2022 begins, like many of us I've been reflecting back on the year. It's been a tough one so we're taking a slow and steady approach to ease us in. Before I share what the studio's resolutions are for the next 12 months, I wanted to step back first to reflect on the last 12.
Unlike 2020 when the future was filled with uncertainty; 2021 was a little better—but not by much. There were, thankfully, glimmers of hope and your support kept us going. Every order we received, every review we read, and every message we received, meant a lot to me and it's meant OMCH is still here.
The pandemic has been scary for small, independent businesses. Many of us have not weathered that storm well and it's shown us all just how important it is to continue supporting small businesses as much as possible. If we don't, they'll disappear.
I don't want to linger on the negative. We're entering into a fresh new year eager to keep pushing on and making improvements. There's excitement in the air and new plans developing. Amazing things are coming. But for now, let's take a look at what 2021 was like for us in the OMCH studio.
Instead of moving to a bigger studio, we've invested in the one we've already got. A little decoration and restructuring has gone a long way in maximising efficiency and comfort while minimising waste. The biggest change that was made in the studio was trialing small batch production over the holidays. A risky time to do it but it paid off. It was so successful the studio will be switching over to small batch production in the new year. It's one of the best things we're done for the studio. It's helped to maximise my time as a jeweller, keep material waste to an absolute minimum, and reduce the studio's environmental footprint.
Everything was cancelled in 2021 but we were back at our favourite handmade market (and the only one we ever sell at): the Paperdolls Market in Birmingham's Custard Factory. Thank you to everyone who visited our stall, despite the snow. There was an amazing turnout with lots of visitors to the over 50 stalls featuring featuring; art, illustration, ceramics, clothing, homewares, and jewellery. It was wonderful to meet customers face to face again, and provide a rare opportunity for you to shop our jewellery in-person. If there's a market you would like to see us at, let us know.
Our Alternative Black Friday
We've always opted-out of Black Friday. This year we shared the reason why we don't do Black Friday sales. We've never held a Black Friday sale for one simple reason: our prices are always honest and fair. We don't inflate the cost of our jewellery all year just to discount it over the holiday season. I started OMCH in 2012 to provide sustainable jewellery at a fair price, without traditional retail mark-ups or inflated costs to cover discounts. Being honest and transparent about how and why we do this is important to me as the sole jeweller behind OMCH.
Click & Collect Available
Pick-up was introduced in 2020, and abruptly had to stop in 2021 when it didn't feel safe to offer collection from our studio. Click & Collect is now available again albeit with a few restrictions still. You're able to order online and pick-up in person from our studio in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. Our studio is only ever open by appointment only so please only turn up once you've booked a date and time for collection with us. Pick-up is from outside our building but we're hoping in the near future to open our studio doors back up again to the public, both for order collection and personal appointments to browse and try on our jewellery.
Our Best Sellers
It's always a delight to look back over the last year to see what our best selling jewellery has been. There are always a few that take us by surprise. Gold jewellery was the standout favourite, despite silver jewellery having its moment in the trending category. When it comes to individual pieces, two of our designs that have been with us since the start were also our most popular: the Cubes Necklace and Circle Necklace. Plus two new arrivals this year that raced their way to the top of everyone's wishlist: the Etched Medallion Necklace and Satellite Chain—perfect for layering. A few more that reached the top 10 were our simple studs, classic hoops, and arc earrings.
Thank you for coming on this journey with us.