The year 2020 has been ‘interesting’, to say the least! A rollercoaster of events and emotions plagued our entry into the new decade, making it one of the toughest years in a very long time!
2020 has been a struggle for so many people, not only financially but also emotionally, mentally and physically. Our lockdowns have wreaked havoc with our businesses and incomes (especially small businesses like mine), social unrest and racist rhetoric has made us question our places in society and the unprecedented effects of the Coronavirus pandemic has left us feeling more fragile than ever…what a year! But to avoid complete despair, I’ve made sure to focus on the positive things that have happened in-between the craziness!
This blog is a breakdown of all the positives I can take away from this year and the events I am most proud of. I sincerely pray that 2021 has more of this positivity for me, you and everyone who’s been struggling to stay afloat!
BBC Radio London interview
The year started with an amazing opportunity which sparked my desire to hop, skip and jump my way out of my comfort-zone. On my birthday, 13th January, I was invited to speak about my business on BBC Radio London’s The Scene with comedian, Aurie Styla. I was so nervous but it helped me find the confidence to speak to my audiences directly and I then went on to creating a YouTube channel!
Leanne Creative joins Jamii
Jamii is an online discovery platform, that makes buying from black-owned business easier. There are over 50 different brands and I was proud to join this platform this year. Shoppers with a Jamii discount card also get 10% off my greeting cards and coaster designs! So why not sign up?
Representation Matters campaign (part 2)
It was great to find even more people who felt represented by my greeting cards and gift illustrations – it’s why I do what I do! Thank you to everyone who sent in photos of themselves.
Healthcare greeting card release
With the pandemic in full swing, I decided to create an illustration to say thank you to the healthcare workers who are working so hard to keep us safe and as well as possible. I designed this purely for an Instagram post but the response was so great that I decided to turn it into a greeting card!
1k Instagram followers
I hit my target of 1,000 followers sooner than I had thought! Thank you so much for your interest in my products, services and tips. I’ve enjoyed engaging with my followers and meeting many inspirational people along the way and I am now at over 2.5k followers! Follow me here.
LGBTQ+ greeting card design launch
June is the month of many Pride celebrations for the LGBTQ+ community in the UK. I was approached by ParliREACH and ParliOUT to help them promote their initiative of better representation and equality, so they asked me to design greeting cards that had illustrations of same-sex couples.
Response has been very positive and I’m pleased to have been able to create greeting cards that Black gay and lesbian couples can relate to. Shop here.
My mum wanted to do something special for charity this year – two years after her diagnosis of Leukaemia and losing a lot of muscle strength. She challenged herself to do a 26 second headstand to raise money for The Sunshine Foundation for Children with Special Needs and the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) and she smashed it, raising over £2000!
Thank you to everyone who donated and please continue to support these great charities.
Black Pound Day
I was very pleased to be able to meet the founder of Black Pound Day himself! Swiss is so dedicated and passionate about his initiative to promote and shop from black-owned businesses like mine, so it was amazing to hear him speak about it and his plans for the future.
This event, at BOXPARK Wembly, was the most successful event for my greeting card and gift sales, so a huge thank you to Carib and Co Brunch for organising it. When we all pull together to support each other, great things can happen!
World Afro Day
Founded by Michelle De Leon, World Afro Day is a day to celebrate afro textured hair. Our hair is unique and beautiful but often faces judgement and discrimination in workplaces and in the media, so this day aims to combat these problems. I celebrated by sharing my original illustration of a black woman rocking her ‘fro with confidence and style!
Debut book release
I was so excited to release my very own children’s book! MY WORLD – Mackilli & Seeva’s Switcheroo is a fantasy story with real-world themes of self-love, teaching children to love their differences and the unique features of others. I wrote and illustrated this magical book during lockdown and I am very proud of it. The support has been amazing so far and I hope to grow this series of books next year!
Ebony Her collaboration
I teamed up with Ebony Her – a holistic digital marketing agency with a focus of unlocking brand validity – to offer those who sign up to the marketing packages FREE bookmarks that I have designed (while stock lasts). I understand the importance of great marketing strategy, so wanted to partner with a great company like this!
Stylist Magazine Feature
I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited to see that my classic bauble Christmas card design had be listed as Stylist Magazine‘s Best for Subtle Sparkle! To have my work recognised and awarded felt amazing after such an uncertain year. Were you able to grab a copy (Issue 533) and buy this card?
Roll on 2021!
With so much happening this year, we have to count our blessings to still be here in the first place, so I am very grateful to be healthy, working and thriving amongst the chaos. What have you been grateful for?
Please stay posted, for my 2021 blogs, new items and books by signing up to my newsletter and I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and a Happy New Year!