Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A break in progress

It's Wednesday morning, and I'm sitting at my MacBook dictating this blog post. I badly wanted to write it but I haven't got enough movement in my right wrist. To catch you up just in case you missed it, last Thursday I randomly tripped and fell, I broke my radius bone in my right arm in half and needed to have 3 1/2 hours of surgery on Friday afternoon. I spent most of the weekend in the hospital and to date, my right arm is swollen, it has a steel plate fitted in and it's painful, I have very limited movement in the rotation of my right wrist.

Mandycharlton's garden a break in progress, Mandy Charlton Photography Blog, coronavirus they are getting angry email

Here's the thing though it could've been so much worse, I actually sprained my left wrist and there but for the grace of God I might have broken that one too. Similarly, it could've been my head, I smashed my glasses and my large nose took most of the fall,  had my head of hit the ground who knows if I would've even been here right now.

I'm really thankful that this happened now and not during a really busy wedding season when I almost certainly would've ended up missing weddings. At least at the moment there is no social photography and I have the time to heal, my next planned wedding isn't actually until September now and with any luck, I should be okay in around six weeks time.

What has happened though is that unfortunately, I've had to put both of my new businesses on hold until I'm in a better place where I can take photos and type properly again.  It also means that unfortunately, I am not going to be able to go back to portrait photography until at least mid-July although, to be honest with coronavirus it's likely that my restart has only really been delayed by about two weeks. I think frustratingly the things that have bothered me are the small things, I cried because I couldn't put a bobble in my hair the other day and I also cried because I couldn't actually sit and type this blog post, my right hand won't sit on the keyboard properly without it being excruciatingly painful and anyone who has tried to use the dictate settings on a MacBook will know that It doesn't always understand exactly what you're trying to say so proofreading is definitely essential! Usually, I just write in the moment which isn't currently possible.

I will recover though and this isn't forever, it is just a mere second of my life. 2020 has without a doubt being probably one of the most challenging years I have ever faced and I can only hope that this is a small blip and that the future is a lot brighter afterwards.

So let's look forward to what's to come, the launch of my online gift boutique, Philomena's Boutique, The continuation and expansion of Planty Mandy's Gardening gang and most importantly the resumption of Mandy Charlton Photography! There might be a little bit of unknown left about the world at present but with every bone (No pun intended) in my body, I will make sure that these three important things still happen!


Monday, May 04, 2020

New Business Nerves

Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang, New Business Nerves, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, gardening with kids, gardeners seed kits

Planty Mandy's Gardening gang was launched officially on Friday evening and like every small business, I definitely have new business nerves.  Since 2007, I've run a range of businesses but this is the very first product-based business and only I would choose to launch a business in the middle of a global pandemic and resulting lockdown!!  Nothing ventured nothing gained though and for me, it was the right time.

Lockdown is the first time in over a decade when I've had the chance to sit and had space to think, it was the first time for 2 years when I didn't have to worry about the success of over ten thousand women, for all of the good that happened and the lessons I learnt, it also made me really poorly and I stopped giving the things I needed to, to those who are so important.  I was not present because I carried around the weight of an entire community on my shoulders but if anything, the lockdown has been a lesson that I needed to change my life.

Now I should say that Mandy Charlton Photography isn't going anywhere, it's not a great time for social photographers right now. I will always be a photographer but the market is so much bigger now, the industry is more cutthroat and I want to work to live, not live to work.  There's so much that I still want from my life and given that I'm around halfway through it, I have so many ambitions still to fulfil and passions I truly want to explore, now is the time when I must think of me and my family.

Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang, New Business Nerves, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, gardening with kids, gardeners seed kits

Planty Mandy's gardening gang is not meant to be business of the year, a huge organisation or a world-conquering project, it's a tiny business I'm running from The Planty Garden with my gardening gang, Holly Bobbins, Iris and Mister Wednesday (please note, Iris and Mister Wednesday won't be doing the post office run).  It's borne from my love of being in my small garden, of building a garden myself which would be my haven from the world.  I wanted to create that haven not just for me but for wildlife, and for the bees.  It's worked too, I have so many varieties of fuzzy bumblebees in my garden, they're all completely adorable too, I feed them if they get tired, I accommodate them if they're tired and I provide safe water spaces they can fly into without the fear of drowning.
Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang, New Business Nerves, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, gardening with kids, gardeners seed kits

It's not just about the gardening though, I've worked with kids now for over a decade and without a doubt, it's my favourite part of my job, you know where you are with a 3-year-old.  I think if we can teach our children about gardening we will provide a path to better mental health, we will bring up a nation who nurture and care and we will have small ones who aren't so scared of our friends, the bees and who will truly cherish their presence and in some small way, that means we play our part in saving the world.
Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang, New Business Nerves, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, gardening with kids, gardeners seed kits

Growing your own flowers and vegetables is an adventure, there's nothing more exciting than the propagation of seeds, seeing your plenty babies emerge from their shells knowing they could grow to be giant sunflowers, that's the best thing ever.  Not only that but growing your own vegetables and fruits leads to a more sustainable life, more mindful life and a greener and more eco-friendly life.  Quite simply, love your garden and it will love you back tenfold.

The very first seed kits went on sale on Friday evening, my target for the first week was to sell 10 kits and I'd sold 8 in the first weekend so I feel it's definitely viable and my hope, when I have figured it all out is to have a shop selling gardening things for kids and adults and also to have a monthly seed kit subscription which is aimed at but not solely for children.

In one week, I designed a logo, I built a website, I started a Facebook page and got my first 200 likes and I sold 8 kits, I feel pretty accomplished.  To put this into perspective, if I can sell 12 kits, it equates to half an hour of photography, that may sound like a hard path to take but I know in my heart, this business is about something bigger than me, it's about the future of the world.

If you have enjoyed this article, I'd love your support to keep writing, especially during lockdown, buy me a virtual coffee

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