2022 in review!

As 2022 is drawing to a close, I can’t help but think of how crazy and wonderful the last year has been for me as a business owner.

In January, we finally opened up at our second location in Llanishen and started meeting lots of new patients! It was really strange to work clinics at Llanishen when I hadn’t previously met almost everyone who came in. I’ve been working at Pentwyn for ten years and most people who come in – I know their name, I know about their families and I know why the’ve come in. So for every patient to be someone I didn’t recognise or know about – that took some getting used to.

Also, as we took the practice over from someone else, the patients had been used to the practice running a certain way, so it was unusual for them to come in and all of a sudden so much has changed.. but hopefully they feel we’re doing OK!

In February, Storm Eunice came to town and cancelled a clinic for us. Also, my lovely little sausage dog, Honey became unable to use her back legs. This ended up with her having surgery in March, and then with me bringing her to the practices with me each day so I coudl keep an eye on her. Luckily she was so well behaved and everyone she met seemed genuinely pleased to see her. I guess it’s strange to come to the opticians and see a dog there, but everyone welcomed her so well that Honey is now a permanent feature at Llanishen!

March was a busy month for us. As well as it being a very busy month for us, clinic wise, Clare did some filming with Marie Curie UK about the benefits of the Dementia Friends scheme, and my very good friend Mel was even roped in at the last minute! Bless her, Mel was there for her routine eye examination and very kindly agreed to be filmed as well! Also in March we started to see some lovely flowers coming up in our new gardens at Llanishen and we felt so fortunate to be able to enjoy time in the gardens in between patients. My very worst moment in March was having to call our bank and being in a call queue for three hours during a busy clinic. That was a real low point and was the catalyst for us signing up with a new bank a week later!

In April, we closed the practices for a week for our first break of 2022. We were a little nervous about this as the Llanishen patients had never experienced the practice being closed for a few days, but with us being a team of only two, if we want real breaks from work – we’ve learned over the years that the only way to do this is to both go away at the same time and close the practice whilst we do it. We both really needed the break as well, the first quarter of 2022 was so busy. We were working a lot more than we were used to and we both still had families to be taking care of at home – so for us both to get a break was very valuable. When we got back, all was well and the patients kept coming so it was all good!

May was beautiful, the weather was lovely and I spent as much time as possible between patients at Llanishen sat in the garden, on our lovely bench – reading or updating our social media. May was a very busy month again at both of the practices.

June saw more beautiful weather and the addition of some amazing Vanni sunglasses and some outstanding asymmetric frames from Outspoken to the shelves at Llanishen. July brought a heatwave with it and I was the hottest I’ve ever been whilst trying to work. I had to wear flip flops, and although the Pentwyn practice was nice and cool inside, Llanishen was a struggle and even with all the windows and doors open, I was still boiling at times!

At the start of August, we closed up for a week for our second break of the year. We always take the first week of August off so that Clare can have her birthday and I can have my wedding anniversary at home. This year we both spent some time in the british sunshine with our families and had a lovely time.

September saw two important milestones.. firstly P+B officially turned 10. Whilst the partnership was formed in March of 2012, the first patients were seen on September 11th, 2012 so we quietly celebrated this with lots of trips down memory lane, and lots of grateful thoughts. Most businesses fail in the first couple of years, so we are full of gratitude that our business has been paying both of our mortgages and keeping both of or families for the last ten years. Also in September, I turned 40 and I must admit, it feels good to be forty knowing that I’ve achieved everything I wanted to by now.

In October, we took another look at some amazing, fully customisable frames and ordered them to wear at the Optician Awards, we brought our our very own range of frames and at the end of the month, Honey came to the practice wearing her halloween outfit. She was the cutest dog-witch I’ve ever seen!

November saw us decorating both practices for Christmas (which was especially lovely at Llanishen) and also saw us head to London for the Optician Awards. As I’m sure you’re aware, Clare won the Optometrist of the Year award and we were finalists for the Sustainable Practice of the Year. We all had an amazing few days in London, and hopefully we can do it all again next year!

December was a perfect end to our first year as a two practice outfit. The highlight for me was when we bought tickets from one of our patients to see an amazing big band in Lisvane Memorial Hall and we all had a wonderful time!

Well, that’s it! My 2022 in review.

The most important thing is that both practices have done us very proud and we could not be happier with how well the first year has gone. I hope next year will be as kind to our business as this year has been.

Happy New Year to all of you!


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