Happy New Year! Reflections from 2019 & Plans for 2020

Happy New Year from all of us here at Ragged Life!

I absolutely love New Year’s Day, and I bet there are a few of you out there who feel exactly the same way. Even though the weather is often cold and dreary, and I’m generally feeling the effects of mountains of Christmas food and my effusive New Year’s Eve celebrations (one too many glasses of fizz), I feel surprisingly perky and bright.

For me, the new year acts as a big reset button, where I can draw a line under 2019 and look forward to making 2020 one to remember. I’ve come back from the festive break re-energised, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect back on some of our Ragged Life highlights from 2019, as well as sharing some news on what you guys have to look forward to in 2020. So, here it goes…

Ragged Life Highlights from 2019:

If you’ve been following Ragged Life for a little while now then there’s no way that you can have missed our absolute highlight of the year.  We won the Mollie Makes Best Established Business Award! We were going on about it for weeks so apologies if it’s old news to you, but we’re still dead chuffed. The Award really changed the course of our year, as we won a free stand at The Handmade Festival at Hampton Court, which was an absolute hoot and we were awarded a mentoring session with the fabulous Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons, who is an absolute don of making it in the craft world. I was a bit nervous about meeting Tilly, but she’s absolutely lovely 🙂

My mum, Victoria’s highlight from 2019 was undoubtedly Woolfest, where we got up close and personal with cute sheep and gallavanted about the Lake District in glorious sunshine for a few days. I mean cough cough went about really important Ragged Life business. We’ll be heading there in 2020 hopefully (please select us Woolfest committee… pretty please!) so maybe see some of you there in June.

2019 was also the year that we decided to tackle our blanket yarn mountain. We turned our disaster zone into a colour-coordinated craft mecca with custom shelves for our 100% Wool Blanket Yarn. I dare anyone to look at the photos below and not find them immensely satisfying… See the full transformation here.

In 2019, we exhibited at more fairs that ever before, including some we’d never been to (thanks for having us Exeter and Cockermouth!) We had a diverse group of Ragged Life helpers on the stand this year, including wonderful Sany (an expert rag rugger who makes many of our gorgeous sample pieces like this one here), my mum Victoria (who needs no introduction hopefully), Lorraine (our workshop tutor for York), Jake (a very talented songwriter from Harrogate – check out his stuff here) and even my boyfriend Christian sacrificed his weekends to help out in Exeter and Alexandra Palace. Now if that isn’t love then I don’t know what is! Thanks to all you wonderful people.

And just on a personal note, I got my new kitten Zanzi in 2019, so it’s always going to go down as a good one for me 🙂 Like his mother, Zanzi loves rag rugging. Seriously, if you put down a piece of hessian, he’s on it like a flash.

And before I move onto our exciting Ragged Life plans for 2020, here are a few crazy numbers from 2019:

  • We’ve now sold over 10,000 copies of my first book “Rag Rugs, Pillows & More”. That’s great news as I’ve just started working on my new book. Oooh, mysterious!
  • On the Ragged Life online shop we sold kits and bits to lovely customers from 22 different countries in 2019. Wowza!
  • In 2019, we taught over 1000 people how to rag rug at our workshops. Do give us a comment at the end of the blog post if one of them was you 🙂
Ragged Life rag rug workshop in Wapping London
A rag rug workshop at our cosy Wapping venue.

So that was a flavour of the year. Here’s what’s coming up in 2020…

Things to look forward to in 2020:

We’ve got some great launches coming up in 2020. Some are top secret (sorry, we like an element of surprise), but one launch we’re happy to shout about is our rag rug purses, which are finally ready (hallelujah!). They’ll be hemmed and ready to go in April of this year, so stay tuned for pre-orders opening in March. Below are a few of our prototypes…

2020 seems to be the year of the big project! We’re currently working on a rag rug headboard, two upholstered rag rug chairs and a rag rug foot stool / buffet. As with any new project, they could end up in disaster, but we’ll certainly give them a go. Here’s a sneak peak of the work-in-progress foot stool and the chairs we’ll be upholstering (they’re my great grandma’s!)

We’ve got some exciting new workshops planned for late 2020. Namely, peg loom rug making. Check out a couple of examples below to see what peg loom rugs look like and email us at hello@raggedlife.com if you’d like to be the first to know when these workshops go live later this year. These classes are new for 2020, so sure to sell out fast!

And finally, we’ll be trying out some new fairs this year, as well as going along to some old favourites. Below are the fairs we’re planning to exhibit at, so get them in the diary if you’re local to any of the areas 🙂

  • 27th February – 1st March – The Stitch Festival (formerly the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show) – Business Design Centre, Islington, London
  • 7-10th May – The Living Crafts Fair – Hatfield, Hertfordshire
  • 23-24th May – The Hertfordshire County Show – St. Albans, Hertfordshire
  • 26-27th June – Woolfest – Cockermouth, The Lake District (subject to selection by the panel, so fingers crossed)
  • 30th July – 2nd August – Festival of Quilts – The NEC, Birmingham
  • 26-27th September – Yarndale – Skipton, Yorkshire (subject to selection by the panel, so fingers crossed)
  • 8-11th October – The Knitting & Stitching Show – Alexandra Palace, London
  • 5-8th November – The Creative Craft Show – The NEC, Birmingham
  • 26-29th November – The Knitting & Stitching Show – Harrogate, Yorkshire

p.s. know of any great fairs we should try out? Pop us a message at hello@raggedlife.com. We’re always on the hunt for good ones.

That’s all folks… until next week!

Interested in any of our plans? Comment below to let us know! We love to know that you’re reading 🙂 And, if you want to stay tuned on all things Ragged Life then join our fortnightly newsletter here or connect with us on social media below:

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Thanks for reading and here’s wishing you a great 2020!

Elspeth and the Ragged Life team x

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