The First Of Many….

The Hub 2

So, on Friday 27th November I attended The Hub 2 in London.

Wow! What a really wonderful day…despite having to get up at 04:30 and then not getting home until after midnight I went to bed with the biggest smile on my face and a head buzzing of possibilities. Why can’t every day be like that? Or can it?

Firstly, let me introduce you to the amazing lady who organised the event…Kiki of Chosen Wedding Fair and the Chosen Wedding Collective. If you haven’t yet checked her out and what she does you MUST! You see, I believe in earth angels and oh my this lady just has to be one of them. Her mission and enthusiasm to build up and encourage other creatives within the industry is exceptional, she goes above and beyond. To be so loving and kind (within this industry) is rare…or at least that’s what I believed until I was sat in a room surrounded by others like her! Now I don’t feel so alone, now I know there are others out there that I can really call on for help and advice, people that genuinely want to help me and my business succeed. That realisation is such a wonderful feeling…so THANK YOU KIKI, thank you for showing me that I don’t have to do this alone xx

There were seven speakers throughout the day, the first being the beautiful Tamryn of Candid Apple who I had previously met at The Wedding Sessions back in May  (I have yet to blog about this…but I will I promise). I’ve followed this inspirational lady for a while now and I absolutely adore her!

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place”.  J.K Rowling

This quote is so apt for Tamryn’s talk because I really was transported to another place, another time, totally lost! But, whilst I was MIA the penny finally dropped, I realised for the first time why it is that I do what I do, where my story started…

This was confirmed for me whilst I sat and listened to the talk from Cat Hepple because she asked us to focus on WHO we are, and WHY we do what we do. A quote that Cat used at the beginning of her talk really resonated with me…

“The sun glints through the pines and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of a paradise. After that day, we become seekers”. Peter Matthiessen

So, WHO am I? I’m Danielle Donnelly, Danni, Mummy, Wife, Daughter, Sister, friend.

What do I do? I design and hand make stationery, I’m a shop owner, I’m a stylist…non of which I ever gained a qualification. (Well tell a lie, I paid £33 once to do an online styling course, which doesn’t count because my 6 year old daughter could have done it). I didn’t have dreams to do any of this, I didn’t write a business plan with long term goals when I started, in fact I wrote my very first business plan this year after I’ve been in business 6 years. It all just evolved, like I have I guess.

Like many of us within the wedding industry I started off after my own wedding. I made my own stationery as we had very little money and I tried to do as much as I could myself (along side having a new born and a husband away on a 6 month tour of Afghanistan) It was hard but it was my escape, being creative made me happy! After my wedding I had several friends ask me to make their invitations… and so Faithful Designs was born!

So here comes my WHY?

When that penny dropped it was actually quite painful, I found myself a little breathless and my eyes filled with tears (had I not been on the front row I’d have escaped to the toilet for a little cry) luckily I noticed a few others looking a little glazy eyed over Cat’s talk so thankfully it wasn’t noticeable!

My Why…well I finally get it!

The feeling I get when I’m in the company of two people in love is one of safety, wholeness, a total euphoria…it’s my happy place!

Up until I was about 5 years old I don’t really remember much, I don’t know if that’s because I choose not to have those memories or my memories choose not to let me! I lived with my parents and two sisters, we had a nice house, lived in a nice area and went to a nice school…home wasn’t so nice.

My parents separated, my mum and us three girls moved to a not so nice house, in a not so nice area, again it wasn’t so nice and it wasn’t easy.

However when I was 8 my mum met, fell in love and married the love of her life within 3 months….he was called Tony and he was her everything. They were both madly in love! I’d never whitnessed that before, I never knew what that looked like, I didn’t know that it existed. I watched all those fears my mum had just melt away, she was happy, the happiest I had ever seen her. Being in love did that, being in love made her glow. She was whole for the first time in her life and it radiated out of her.  That’s where my life changed for the better, it’s where my mum and my sisters got a second chance at being happy, at knowing what real love felt like…all because two people met by chance and fell in love.

That feeling, that memory of seeing them together and happy that is what I look for when I meet my couples.

I can honestly say all my couples so far that I have been chosen to work with have given me that, they have evoked those feelings in me and taken me back to my happy place….So to all my couples I’d also like to say THANK YOU, Thank you for giving me that!

Wow…I feel lighter! See what happens when you spend time with other creatives, when you allow yourself a little time out to think! Once again thank you Kiki, you really are an inspiration and Friday was definitely a turning point for me!

With so much Love D x

Her heart said, “it’s time to create!” Her soul overheard and replied, “it’s about time!”

PS All the other ladies who spoke on the day were also super awesome and I seriously learnt so so much about things like SEO, Pinterest, Saying no, dancing like a loon at the drop of a hat and legal dos an dont’s…so I’d also like to say thank you hugely and that you ladies rock!!

Madeleine Noble Jones

Amy of Bo Boutique 

Charlie Kingsland-Barrow

Kate Cullen of Kate Cullen Creative Styling & Design

Anna Jones