This year I turned 20. Ok, not my actual human birthday, my 20-years-in-business-birthday.

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A birthday friday 5 at Natalie Ryan Design

This week, A birthday friday 5This year I turned 20. Ok, not my actual human birthday, my 20-years-in-business-birthday. On a side note - oh, how I've loved writing I've turned 20. It's really made me smile.

If I go back to the beginning, March 2002, I sat in my friends flat in West London researching domain names. I remember the squawking of the parrots in the trees, he told me how the parrots escaped Heathrow Airport and took up residence in London. I felt sad that they could have been somewhere much more exotic than in the tree tops near a flyover. I remember at the time thinking "We bloom where we are planted" and that's pretty much been the theme of my business since that exact moment. If I've learned one thing in business it is, quite simply, we are never rooted where we start.

March 2022, 20 years on, and the sound of birds ever present. Instead of the exotic West London escapee-parrots I hear blackbirds, magpies and a particularly noisy Pheasant here in the countryside. The countryside is still new to us and at first I was intimidated by a loud, bright Pheasant who simply insists on starting his day sitting on the fence by my office. Time has passed, we're used to each other and I feel we have our own daily team meeting going on. I could type 300 words alone about nature and the wildlife we are surrounded by. Another time.

Back to 2002, the year I started in business, it was the year the Euro was introduced and the Queen Mother died. It also snowed at Easter. I remember the snow because I was camping and at 3am we packed up the tent and came home to the warmth. Each year since 2002 I've marked the time passing with something of significance, from a painting of a beach hut to a pair of Jimmy Choos. This year, with our move and life being full of house admin, I didn't have time to consider what I'd like to mark this wonderful achievement. Suddenly we were away for a celebratory weekend in London, during which I was taken out to dinner at Wild Tavern in Chelsea.

Wild Tavern, Elysian St, Chelsea

It was a weekend full of laughter and I made a new friend. My new friend is intuitive, insightful and as we spoke I realised what this year would be marked with.

I'm giving myself time.

A whole month off starting tomorrow, where I'll be making my way down this river on a canoe.

As my time involves some travel I'll report back, either visually or on this blog. Although I'm away Natalie Ryan Design will remain open. My colleagues Ed and Clare are here, as ever, to answer your queries and manage the studio.

In other news, I am in the process of posting some behind the scenes reels and working out more content about the workings of my business, as you've told me that's what you'd like to see.

Of course this wall of tubes features. This is probably the most important part of production - tubes filled with art prints, sent safely around the globe.

Taking of behind the scenes. There's been a new development, the addition of a painting room, inspired by Virgina Woolf's writing room. I absolutely promise to write more about this precious corner of our garden, a room of ones own. I'll share what's stocked in the cupboards of this wonderful space, how I set up a drawing studio and let me share how the garden designs are shaping up. If you saw my last garden you'll know how much I love the process.

OK, so I know it's not Friday, but it's my last day in the office, I've got some adventures to get on with!

See you all in June!




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A birthday friday 5 at Natalie Ryan Design

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