Updated: Jan 14, 2019
It's finally here! After all those weeks of teasing posts, the build-up of the giveaway (congratulations to our winner by the way!), and after a lot of hard work from the both of us, we can now welcome you to spoonievillage.com. How cool is that?!
First things first, we’d love to say a huge thank you for everybody who signed up to our mailing list over the past few weeks. More than 350 of you told us that you wanted to be kept up to date with what we’re trying to build and create here and we couldn’t be more grateful to you. If you didn’t sign up before the website’s launch, don’t worry! You can still sign up at the bottom of the page, or choose to be signed up when you log into our forum or buy from our store (more on those bits later!) But anyway, on with what we came here to talk about!
So the first thing we should probably talk about in this first blog post is the question we've been asking ourselves throughout the whole of the past few weeks: What made us decide to build a whole new website from the ground up? Well, there's no single answer to that question, in fact there are quite a few, so we're gonna talk you all through the major ones here right now. So go make yourself a brew, grab some biscuits, get into your favourite comfy chair and make yourself at home while we bring you up to speed with everything that's happening around The Village.
As you've probably noticed by now, Spoonie Village is no longer a one-gal operation. It is now a team of two Spoonies, with Tom being the new half. You will get to know him a lot better over the coming months, but if you haven’t met Tom already here’s a few things you should know about him. He loves a decent coffee (Ethiopian coffees are his favourites), he would adopt every dog he sees if he could (in fact, the majority of animals), he is basically a pun making machine and loves to wiggle (that’s as close to dancing as he can manage). Not only that, he’s also the website designer and builder, he will be ensuring there are no glitches in the system and it’s all running smoothly. Bringing new insights from his personal experiences with mental health and autism, as well as collaborating with fellow chronic illness warriors, he is here to help expand and grow Spoonie Village so we can provide even more awareness and diversity. Most importantly though, his main role (and most important) in all of this is to supply Hayley with hugs (plenty of hugs!).
Over the past year Hayley hadn’t been able to complete the things she wanted to, give it the attention she felt it deserved and hasn’t had the energy to pursue new ideas. As the year drew to a close and a new year was on the horizon, Spoonie Village was at a bit of a cross roads. As Hayley always says, “things happen for a reason, trust the timing of the universe” and it was around this time Tom discovered Spoonie Village - In fact, it was the day he helped post out the bundles of 2019 calendars. At first Hayley was hesitant of opening it up because it felt so very personal and something she was very protective of. Also, it’s the one thing that help give a sense of independence, so that combined with accepting help being something she’s typically not so good at, it’s fair to say it took a bit of getting used to (she didn’t even allow Tom to follow straight away). However, after some open conversations it felt like the right time to go for it and introduced Tom to the countless unfinished ideas, notebooks full of scribbles and showed him what she was always doodling away on her iPad for (oh and he did get to follow!) Not long after all that, a conversation happened that went a bit like this...
Tom: This is such an awesome project with a really amazing community, why haven't you tried expanding it?
Hayley: I've not been well enough and I don't really know how...
Tom: I’m pretty good with nerdy internet stuff, why don't we do it as a team?
[An absolute ton of ideas were exchanged at this point]
Hayley: LET'S DO IT! *Starts dancing and humming the theme to The A Team*
Okay, so perhaps we've taken some (plenty of) creative license with the retelling of the story but that's kinda the gist of it. So now Tom has taken on all of the boring admin jobs, as well as all the nerdy techy stuff, giving Hayley the time and space to carry on doing what she does best: designing amazing Spoonie artwork and products and putting them together in pretty packages for you all!
That leads us onto another of the major reasons for the new home. As a lot of you who've been around for a little while will know, Hayley