To my community of beau-ti-ful angels.....
.....it’s taken me weeks and weeks to have the courage to publish this post, but it is with great sadness that today I am announcing the closure of Beauxoxo. Rather than abruptly leaving that announcement alone without any background to this decision, I just wanted to take to this space to share this heartfelt moment in my life with you all. Because when a chapter ends it makes me reflect deeply on the time that has passed and ultimately recalling what I am grateful for.
To everyone who makes it to the end of the first paragraph or the whole post, or just parts, my eternal thanks to you for allowing me that precious time.
My decision for closing Beauxoxo:
A huge part of the reason I decided to close Beauxoxo is that sadly life has thrown some challenging and uncertain times of late, culminating in being diagnosed with Scleroderma in early 2018, that is a rare, chronic disease of the immune system, blood vessels, and connective tissue that affects 2.5 million people worldwide.
Living undiagnosed for so many years started to take a direct toll on my work from the fatigue where I had to install a little place to nap in my office, where I struggled to get through photoshoots and markets with the Raynaud's disease, to developing severe carpel tunnel symptoms made more severe on excess making days. All in all, the illness started to eat away at the job I was so passionate about, and the choices and compromises seemed endlessly unfair and without reprise.
Naturally, during this period I felt like I had been existing under a very dark cloud, and it has taken me longer still to grasp the situation fully. However, ironically, Beauxoxo was started full-time because during my last year of University because I was diagnosed with a benign Pituitary Tumour so I never imagined anything further would stop me.
But ultimately whilst my conditions accelerate at this rate I cannot keep up with the demands of the business. Whilst I've tried to treat both my body and business with the same amount of love and care I've come to realise that it is no longer something I am able to manage, and hiring extra staff and taking a back-seat business side to Beauxoxo has never interested me (plus I can't do it, haha).
And so I looked at what my passions are in this life outside of Beauxoxo and realised how many other ideas I have always wanted to bring to life that I could adapt my condition to, and I'll talk all about that below. Ultimately my dream is to save enough of my health to craft through a whole Mollie Makes every month, to knit more Miffies for my friends (whether they ask or not haha), to make more of my own clothes again, to ultimately having a new role where I can travel and see the world and work from my laptop seeking the restoration when and where I need it.
Final Sale and Closure Date Details:
What's the end of an era without some celebrations and a closing party?! I've decided to set the date of 1st August before this beloved place of mine will close its doors for the final time. I will also be selling stock on my Etsy and anything left after the 1st August can be found over there. All my other outlets are now closed and this official website or my Etsy are the only places Beauxoxo can be found (except for some international outlets).
In regards to stock everything I now sell is more than ever a limited edition piece and with regret I am unable to take on any custom orders or re-order further materials. I will be doing my best to update my website as much as I can as I go with everything as it goes and putting updates across socials. Hugest applogies in advance for any over selling issues and I'll do my utmost to keep things updated each day.
Being a handmade business in a fast fashion world:
The fashion and handmade industries have undergone dramatic changes over the years, that now stands out as one of the greatest disruptors of the fashion business in the 21st century. There has been, at least, in the last year or so thankfully seen a huge uprising of the damages of this movement going forward however in the years building up to this, I'm sure I speak on the behalf of many handmade artists where I say we felt the pressure to conform to the trends, ways of business and 24/7 service of the highstreet.
But to me, e-commerce and retail have always been my second home (I grew up working for LUSH before Beauxoxo!) and I believe it should be a beautiful circle full of love and humanity at the core with fair exchanges for all and something that gives back in beautiful ways.
Since day one of opening my business, and all the years I spent at weekend craft markets, it has been the person to person contact that has been my greatest driving force, not wild profits and easy sales. Hand on heart, it's serving you that that has been my greatest priority. It's the care, compassion, inspiration, celebration, and community aspect to what I have done that has enriched me the most and I will take that spirit with me wherever I will go.
But again I'm sure my handmade artists know only too well how hard it can be to strike authentic meaningful relationships in the 2019 age of the internet. Social media is not as small and intimate as it used to be, and it can be really hard to connect deeply with the community. What's missing in all the automated Instagram spammy comments, and all the overnight shopping convenience is the heart of what makes our experience as humans so very, very special and beautiful, and to me that's the connection that deeply warms my heart.
My endless thank yous:
I don’t think words can ever truly express the gratitude I feel right now. Simply because there will never be words that fully sum up just how thankful I am because my thankfulness is perpetual and your support, encouragement, and even friendship over the years has meant so much to me. I could not have lived this destiny with Beauxoxo without your love and support.
So, again and again, thank you just so very much from the bottom of my heart. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have had you all in my life and supporting this journey I have been on. Your most heartwarming messages here, there and everywhere have always meant the world and beyond to me. You have no idea how much your kindness brightens my day and how getting to know so many of you on such a personal level as well has been one of the greatest honours of what I do.
Then there's, of course, the unthinkably grand thank you to my incredibly talented team that have helped me out behind the scenes at Beauxoxo from day one. For this I simply don't know where to start because Beauxoxo has blessed me with an abundance of an inspiring, beautiful network of humans who have shaped me into the person I am today and so many have turned into family.
From my breathtakingly beautiful models especially in heart soul and mind, to photographers and videographers, make up artists and hair stylists who made my fairytale visions come to life (and I've had some pretty wacky ones too!), to graphic designers and web designers over the years (especially big thanks to Bears Graphics and Marceline Smith for your countless support, time and patience!), to Paige Joanna, my soul and sidekick in life and business who transformed my social and inspired me beyond life, to Becky White PR who created such otherworldly dreams for my brands in its very humble beginnings!
To Jamie Stevens and the Clothes Show Live for giving me my great break when I was simply a young girl completing my studies with a dream of taking her creative dreams to the big, wide world. Not a day goes past when I don't think about how blessed I was for that and how my thankfulness to you and Megan is everlasting.
To every single magazine, TV show, blogger and vlogger who championed Beauxoxo from the very beginning to the very end. You have no idea how much it meant, and how it never failed to excite and thrill me to see something I had made and designed to be seen in glossy pages or on the big screen. Or to be adorned by ladies and gentlemen I would watch on Youtube and through their blogs. For the latter, so many of you became close personal friends and it makes me beam with happiness to see where life has also taken you. This has been such a special ride seeing the blogging and vlogging explode in such mindblowing ways and I am honoured to have grown up alongside you all. A huge big thank you to Zoe Sugg and the Zoella team in particular for believing in me since the start. I will never ever forget your kindness Zoe and I will never stop being totally starry-eyed inspired by every single thing you have achieved and shown is possible for us all.
To UKTI, Start-Up Loans, my Japanese business team and advisors (especially Mana) to all my physical stockists around the world and to all my online retailers thank you beyond words for your trust in me, my designs and for treasuring my brand like you have done. A huge thanks to Etsy in particular for starting this journey all those years ago and all the people I have met through this wonderful place.
To Solent University for allowing me the chance to work and nurture the huge talent of your hardworking, inspiring young minds who it has been my absolute pleasure to see go forward living their own passions and dreams. Working with all the students and sharing their successes over the years is something I am immensely proud of and will always hold dear to my heart.
To all the incredible ladies I have worked alongside to help me expand my business to make my handmade accessories such as Marlene, Nickie, Lizzie, Sue, my big sister in heart and soul Kelly and all the other angels that have supported Beauxoxo over the years and who I so deeply trust and admire. Expanding in this way all those years ago was always the most terrifying prospect to me but you have always been the most patient, loving support in the world and I am eternally thankful to you all.
To my incredible mentor Angela for your eternal patience, wisdom and time. I will forever take your advice with me wherever I go and couldn't have done this without you.
Finally to my family and friends, thank you for putting up with my mad world filled with all things bows and whimsy and for your patience and never-ending support. It’s this constant love and support you have continually showered me with that I have and will continue to, turn into the strength I need so that I can create all the impossible things. Especially my Mum, Dad and brother for going above and beyond for me always from day 1 until just this week when I returned bed bound and desperately weak from my trip but running around helping get orders out safely. Your unconditional love is my most precious gift.
What I will be doing and where you can find me:
Before I started Beauxoxo in 2010 I had my blog, Georgie xoxo, that was set up in 2009 during my time at University as a special place for me to document those pure, beautiful moments in life where I strive to showcase what brings me the most whimsy and joy in life. From pretty and practical everyday crafts, to recipes that nurture my body and mind, to travels from a heart full of wanderlust with a dream to see everything that this beautiful world has to offer. It also has a very, very mini shop feature!
I haven't had as much time to be present on my blog or make the content I truly wish to make whilst working on Beauxoxo, but now it's one of my priorities to always make time to document those simple wondrous things in life so that I can hold them close as the complete blessings they are. I'm in the process of still getting a lot of things up and running but please stop by my personal Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for all the absolute latest details. In just a few weeks I'll be starting a monthly newsletter with a very special free download or two!
Aside from this, I have been working on creating a business (now to be called Painting Music) that focused on helping children, but also curious humans of all ages, to discover and embrace the arts for as long as I can remember.
I truly believe music and art (both my original studies!) are two of the most powerful forces for happiness and healing in the world, and it’s my life-purpose to help as many people as possible discover this.
I actually announced I was going to be starting this project a few months ago because it feels like it’s been a calling of mine forever but I didn’t think anyone would care for it. I wasn’t sure if people would get the way I’m choosing to illustrate this passion I have for it by joining them together. The fact so many of you have reached out to lend your kindest support, or simply illuminate some inner curiosity to the subject means everything. Thank you beyond words for reaffirming my commitment to this life long dream.
Painting Music will now, in many ways, be my 'new Beauxoxo' but the nature of writing and this online project will allow me the flexibility my soul, body, and mind so desperately craves right now. The website hasn't launched just yet as I'm committed to seeing Beauxoxo off with all the love and time it deserves but after August 2019 I'm so excited to reveal what I have and will be working on. The best way to stay in touch with everything is through my personal blog again Georgie xoxo.
My personal message to you all:
If you've made it this far: I love you, and thank you again, haha. So let me finish by just saying that if you've picked up on bits of this post, or been here from the beginning, know that whatever life may have in store for you, listen to the voice within at all times, and follow your heart always. One of my core beliefs is that every one of us is here for a reason. We each have a unique set of strengths and gifts that we are meant to share with the world. There will never be another you.
I hope that life gives you the opportunity to realise your dreams, rediscover your strengths, keep your spirits and determination unshaken no matter what happens, and that with courage and faith you conquer everything you desire. I will always believe in you all like you have believed in me and I really hope you will continue to share your dreams and most beau-tiful moments with me going forward.
I'm tying this journey up with a big giant, oversized bow with endless love, blessings, and thanks to you all,