Hello, How are you? We’ve really missed you!
It’s been a while but we’re ready to climb on board this beloved blog of ours bring you design. I guess before we get back into things we kind of owe it to you and ourselves, to explain our absence from the blogging world. We’ve really missed it but sometime life happens and theres not much you can do to stop it. One minute you’re shovelling snow in -20°C, the next you’re soaking up some much needed vitamin D on the other side of the world. Sure it sounds peachy when I say it this way, but it’s been a long hard year with plenty of hurdles to jump.
We’ve never been ones to go too much into our personal lives here at Quirk Design, but since our last real post was waaaay back in June, it seems like were going to need to share more than just a sorry to make up for the over 9 months away from the screen.
It’s time to bare our souls and share the truth. I guess you need to know a little more about us to understand our crazy year, so here goes nothing.
We’re just your average handsome english man and adorable aussie girl who met, fell in love and moved to Europe, where we’ve spent the last 5-6 years. We travelled, we ate, we learnt languages and experienced things we’ll cherish forever.
It was during this time that we decided our small company, which at that time mainly involved in consulting work, needed a web presence and needed to start producing its very own products. We’d had ideas in our heads for a long time, we just needed to find a way to get started. Since moving to a new country that wouldn’t allow me to work; not because of visa rights (don’t worry we’d never do anything illegal) but because I couldn’t set up a bank account or be on my husbands account details, it provided us with the push we needed. Since I was going to be at home all day long, it was time to get started on some of our ideas and top of the list was to revamp our sad, tired looking website.
I guess sad is a bit too harsh a word, our first company site was functional and nice but I never really loved the branding which I guess is why it didn’t hang around for long. Before a site could be built, we needed a new image, something that would take us from being a pair of consultants, to something that could proudly be labelled on our very own product one day. Yes we have big dreams, but I figure it’s way easy to dream big and have to tone it down than it is to add to a small dream.
Anyway, after weeks of toing and froing, we finally nailed down a design that we both loved and as a bonus it worked great once transferred into business cards, letterheads, invoices, etc…I love it when things just work out.
Branding complete, the new website was under way. At this time we were not only living in a place that was very remote, but the remotness also meant that an internet connection was not going to be easy to find. In a completely reasonable idea, I decided that with our new website, we would have an online shop and also keep a daily design blog, clearly a very smart idea for a pair with no internet connection?? Yep, there I go dreaming big again!
We may not have been able to up date the Oddity News as often as we would have liked to but we did manage to get some good bursts of internet where it was all hands on deck to upload as many posts as we had stored as possible.
This was also back in the day when this ol’ blog was running through Apple’s iWeb, which meant updating posts was incredibly slow but it did mean that you could work offline, get everything ready then when the connection did work, it was just a click of a button.
A few months later we made the big switch to WordPress and we haven’t looked back since. As we were starting to get into 2 posts a day, iWeb just couldn’t cut so it was adios to iWeb and bonjour to WordPress.
Things were running pretty smoothly up until this point, sure we were staying in place that was about as friendly as barbed wire and sure there was hardly any internet connection available but things were cool, calm and collective.
It was around this time that we realised were our hearts belongs, this was when we realised that without friends and family, life can be pretty tough, so we made the decision, not an easyone I might add, to make Melbourne our home.
Once the decision was made the balls started rolling and things needed to happen, first thing on the list which would decide whether this could actually happen would be to get the gorgeous pom his permanent residence visa.
For anyone who has ever had to get a visa to come into Australia would understand the frustrations, the paperwork and the emotions that go into a successful application. Multiple police checks, health checks, letters from friends stating how much we loved one another, phone bills, emails to one another, birthday cards, the list goes on and on and on.
This just happened to coninceide with the GFC (Global Financial Crisis), which really didn’t help matters and in fact saw us make another move, our fifth in five years to another country. Are you starting to see what I mean about hectic?
Another country, more moving, still waiting to hear from the Australian authorities about his visa, so things were just in limbo.
On a wonderfully bright side, you guys have hung in their with us and were were able to give you two posts a day, plenty of tweeting, and even getting started on the Pinterest bangwagon. Our online store had to go into hibernation since all our materials had been packed up and shipped to Australia, but Oddity News was going strong.
It was at about this point that due to a number of issues we decided that the resident aussie (that’s me) would make her return to Oz while my beloved pom would hold down the fort in Europe and handle dealing with all the odds and ends like closing bank accounts, redirecting mail, etc
So just over a year ago, we hugged and kissed each other goodbye for an unknown length of time.
I’d just like to add some advice here, feel free to take it or leave, I just have to say that if you’re thinking that ‘Oh it’s fine we’ll only be apart for a few months, how hard can it be?’ think again! It was incredibly hard and if it hadn’t been for a the reasons it needed to happen, there’s no way I would have ever been apart from the man I love.
It’s now a year on and Melbourne is our home. I love this city. There’s a vibe that is so unique to this place and we had no idea how much we missed it until we returned. With most of our furniture out of boxes, our UK car off the boat and in our garage, things are looking good for 2012.
We’ve got a lot of exciting things planned for Quirk Design and Oddity News and we know that with our determination and your support we’ll make it happen.
I know it already the first day of April, but here’s to an exciting and hopefully more settled year.
Lisa & Matt
Melbourne image from I Love Melbourne, airport image from an unknown source. If you happen to know where it comes from, we’d love to know so we can give them the credit they deserve.