MY 2015 IN REVIEW

Wow, 2015 is almost over. I've had such a crazy year, with some serious ups and downs. There have been times that I've cried out of frustration and moments of absolute glee and astonishment at what I'm capable of achieving.

I think if I had to summarise this year into one word it would be...

GROWTH.

I've grown so much stronger as a person and as a 'businesswoman' (doesn't that word sounds so cheesy), having to deal with various financial ups and downs, the impact that trying to build a business has on my family, and generally just a few haters out there in the world who don't like the fact that I'm making shit happen. I seem to forever come under fire for concentrating on my own business and my own future rather than dedicating my time to help someone else build their vision. I've realised in 2015 that I can never be an employee or work for other people. It just doesn't fit me well.

So as I look forward to 2016, it's all about creating my brand, my vision, my business. 

Here's my year in review.

January

I land my first ever interior decorating client from them finding my blog (you can read all about that here). 

I also score some e-design work helping Russell of The Raw Chef think about how he wants his future workspace to look, which is loads of fun. 

February

I launch my No Bull Blog School by hosting a free webinar on traffic building for your blog, and it's a great success! I'm hosting another one on Jan 7th 2016 if anyone's interested...

March

I launch my 'Room Revamp' service online, which is a really affordable e-design service for my readers. The launch goes well, but I feel like I've been watching too man cheesy American sales videos and don't think I came across as myself in the launch videos. I make a mental note to be more 'me' next time I do an online launch. 

Joss and Main ask me to curate my own collection for their online shop, which is awesome! 

I'm invited to do a talk at Mothers Meeting about creating a strong brand on social media. Just as I'm about to walk into the building I get a call from my last remaining non-interiors client who I've been doing copywriting for, and they are dropping me. That hit me like a ton of bricks as that was my last remaining bit of regular income. After that, I was totally out to fend on my own. I tell myself I'm not picking up another client outside of interiors and pull myself together to go and give a killer talk. #boss

April

Paint by Conran get in touch about working with them as a brand ambassador. They saw one of my youtube videos! 

The gorgeous Gabriella from Flat 15 blog asks if she can shoot my flat for her blog (read the finished piece here). 

I also work on a shoot for M&S as an assistant stylist. Lots of learning this month! My husband and I also celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary with a trip to Portofino in Italy (see my photo diary here). GOALS!

May

May isn't particularly exciting but I do get my first solo styling job for Paint By Conran. It's a massive learning experience - they ask to shoot 18 looks in 2 days which is almost unheard of in interiors! We get the job done though, you can see some of the final pictures over in my styling portfolio.

JUNE

I score my first article for The Independent's daily paper, the 'i paper'. MAJOR!

I also turn 30. TURNT UP!

JULY

July is crazy, I'm literally on back to back shoot for M&S, DFS and BHS. We're shooting Xmas gift guides in sweltering July heat!

I get another e-design client, this one is a home office for a busy female entrepreneur so it's all about making her feel peaceful and calm. 

AUGUST

In August I start working for the 2 Lovely Gays! I've been admiring their work for so long and to get to finally work with them in so much fun. They keep me in constant giggles and give me much more an insight into the world of interior design and get my creative juices really flowing. 

I also take a short weekend in Whitstable to celebrate my friend Naomi's 30th birthday. We do loads of exploring and discover cool stuff. You can see our photo diary here. 

September

September is also full of back to back styling shoots. Along with loads of M&S stuff I also get to work on the Dulux Colour Of The Year installation which is knackering but really fun. You can see my behind the scenes photo diary here.

On a lower note I get some really bad feedback from a stylist that I've assisted. It's disappointing and makes me pretty upset as I felt like I'd worked really hard, but I learn a valuable lesson - You can't please everyone. 

October

I get another e-design project with a lovely family in Maida Vale who are a joy to work for. 

I also get invited to film for two channel 4 shows! One is Kirstie's handmade xmas (read all about that experience here) and the other is top secret, I'll share more when it comes out in the summer!

To finalise a great October, I also get a solo styling job for Dwell, and I'm so pleased with how the pictures turn out. See them all here!

November

I'm finalising my second interior decorating project for a fabulous client (also called Sarah, naturally) over in Southfields. I have a blog coming up which will share how we're getting on with that but here's a sneak peek!

Wouldn't you know I get more e-design work, this time for a client in Dallas of all places! Things are starting to go global y'all.

 I also work with a great photographer to come up with a concept for a still life shoot we want to do with Rust-Oleum and get that wrapped. It's so nice to see something in your head come to life and I plan to do a lot more of it.

See all of the shots here!

December

My daughter Marley turns 3!

sarah akwisombe

I also get asked to become a regular contributor for The Independent's i Paper! So cool.

However, things are extremely quiet on the styling front and I'm twiddling my thumbs.  

So I decide it's time to pick up on the No Bull Blog School and bring it to life. 

I learn from my mistakes with my launch back in March and this tie go at it 100% being myself. Croydon accent, slang and random outfits included. 

After 3 weeks of promo, the doors to my Blueprint To Blogging class are closed, and I have nearly 70 students inside of the online program and 10 in person. I'm absolutely blown away by the positive engagement I'm getting and how much value people are getting out of the course. It's done so well, exceeded my expectations and more, so there will be plenty more where that came from. If you're interested in finding out more about the No Bull Blog School, click here!

Phew! I'm exhausted even thinking about it all. There have obviously been way more ups and downs but as I wrote this post I decided I would like to focus on the positives.

Here's to 2016. I warn you now I am taking no prisoners!

What was your best bit of 2015?

S x