Wow what a year!
As we are settling down after a potentially busy few days of festivities, I am taking a moment to reflect today on our year at The Hills. It really has flown by, and I am confident that is because of the wonderful people and businesses that I have been so lucky to meet and work with along the way. The end of the year is a perfect time for me to remember all the amazing moments, but also look ahead to the New Year and consider what we have coming up, and how The Hills can serve even more readers. Today, I am taking this opportunity to share with you my thoughts on the past year, and my wishes for the year ahead.
Over on the Blog, I have been joined by a number of talented writers and local correspondents to keep you abreast of rural affairs and explore people's lives in the countryside by getting out and about and writing about who and what we see along the way. Did you know, to date, we have published over 120 blog posts on a wide range of topics, from rural businesses and sustainability to pet care and home style - and that’s just on our own platform! We have also been featured regularly over on other publications such as North Wales Magazine, and we have more exciting magazine partnerships in the pipeline. Our readership continues to steadily grow as we reach more and more of the people who are integral to the thriving communities of our small towns and villages, and who are passionate about helping us spread our sustainability and ‘shop small’ ethos. If you aren’t a regular subscriber, I encourage you to sign up to our email newsletter, and come with me to meet some truly inspirational country folk.
Talking of inspirational people, you will have noticed that we have been busy hand-selecting the very best country-loving businesses to join our valuable Directory. As you know, the British countryside is packed with thriving rural businesses, from local delis and artisan crafters to professional service providers, artists, therapists and much more - and our thriving directory features some of our absolute favourite ethical, local and innovative rural producers. I have had the pleasure of interviewing a number of them for our The Hills Meets feature this year, and know that I have only just scratched the surface! There are so many artisan crafters and creative businesses out there whose stories are so inspirational, and I can’t wait to share them with you in 2019 and beyond.
So what do we have planned for the New Year?
You will have noticed that our country shop is currently having a little overhaul. I am thrilled to be teaming up with crafters and creatives to be able to bring you more exclusive Hills products to accompany our popular luxury throw, all will be made here in the UK and come with the official Hills stamp of approval. I am passionate about supporting our local retailers and collaborating with the best our countryside has to offer, but also in producing quality goods that you will treasure for years to come - so simply ‘watch this space’!
One of my favourite things to do this year, was visit our local fairs and artisan markets. I have found myself constantly inspired by these fabulous rural communities and am planning our own country fair, packed full of our Directory listers and wonderful creative contacts. If personal rather than online shopping is where you love to discover artisan goods, this will certainly be one for your diary.
My abiding passion is simple country living, and The Hills is my home on the internet where I share my favourite rustic discoveries... but it’s time for The Hills to expand and fly out of our little digital roost! Beautiful independent magazines hold such a strong place in my heart when it comes to reading inspiring stories and discovering interesting places. We want to join this growing sector and are busy planning our very own print edition of The Hills. If you would like to feature and share your creative story we are currently compiling the Spring content and would love for you to get in touch.
Finally, if you are following us on social media, you will have noticed that our Instagram feed is edging towards the 1000 followers mark, and we simply love sharing our readers adventures in The Hills over there, so this year, join in our #lovingthehills hashtag so we can see what 2019 has in store for you!
Thank you so much for following us this far, it truly means the world! From all of us here at The Hills, we wish you a very happy, peaceful and exciting New Year!
I’m Janet, and I live at the foot of the beautiful Welsh Hills with my children Mary, 21, and Mark, 18. We share our four-acre plot with our six dogs, six cats (plus a cheeky regular overnight visitor!), four hens, an assortment of wild ducks and all the other wonderful wildlife that visits our garden.