(Written on June 6th) 
 
Hello and a big thank you for visiting our blog here on our newly published website! Story time. June is always a big month for change in my life, and this year is no different: I have launched a new business and the website went live yesterday... And: I have had my first tattoo (at age 47) today. It is a very small tattoo on the inside of my wrist, and it's of my mum's name, Gill, in her handwriting with one of her hearts and I love it so much already. 
 
 
My sister has been working with me, setting up the new business, since 2022, and we have been up and running before this new website went live, quoting for future projects, as well as working on the Water Lilies development and sourcing for private projects behind the scenes. As mentioned in our first blog post, we named the business after my mum’s family name, Porter, last summer in June 2022. (the Gold part of the story is explained in our first ever blog post too). We then began gathering steam, arranging photo shoots of our work to show you, some of it was already in progress. We also got busy on clarifying our services and writing the copy for the new website (alongside running our other businesses). On the 13th of January 2023 my sister took photos of me (see them on the about page) and of my newly painted walls (Clay by Little Greene - https://www.littlegreene.com/clay-mid) and we were nearly ready. All that really needed doing was to finish the copy edits and add the last images and go live with Porter & Gold that next week. 
 
The world then turned upside down for our family over that weekend when our beautiful mum, Gill, died out of the blue at 6 am on Sunday the 15th January. This was such a massive shock, I cannot express how it felt even to this day. The weeks that followed were very very hard, and no one felt like working for a long time. At one point I was even thinking I would not bother doing anything ever again! That feeling passed, and even though we will miss our mum every day, I feel we are back in a place where we can work and move forward with life. I feel so blessed to have had a mother like ours, it's because of the way she raised us that we are here, taking creative risks and doing beautiful work that we are proud of. 
 
Our website designers at It's Eeze were the kindest throughout this time, and so patient. They told us to take our time and that they would wait for us to be ready to work again. I worked with Pam in the Bristol office, and she gently got our info together, managing to get me to do the things needed without being pushy or insensitive - a massive personal skill, and a pleasure to work with. Finally, and with some amazing editing help from a friend Faye, we got the edits done at the end of May. 
 
As a family, we have had a big project to do this year: to sort out our mum's house ready to sell. We are working with Boardwalk as Porter & Gold, so it was a natural choice to work with them to sell our mum's house too. For those of you that have cleared loved ones belongings away after they have passed on: I salute you. It will go down as one of the most poignant and painful processes of my grief for mum. She had some amazing things! There were notes, books, drawings and photos everywhere. Drums, baskets, objects, things the children had made her, gifts from friends…a whole life story of things. For months we did not want to move a single thing off any of her shelfs or side tables. Her home was always a place to visit and feel comfort, safety and peace. And I always feel closer to her when I am there. In May, we held a family day at the house and everyone chose something they wanted, and the kids made dens in the garden and we ate fish n chips. It was a beautiful way to honour our mum and her home, before we began to pack up her personal things that following week. My siblings and I painted walls, stained floors, cleared shelves and spaced out the areas - we basically ‘home staged’ our own mum's house, for the estate agents to come and revalue it for sale. It was a beautiful success, and the photographer from Boardwalk, Tim, took beautiful photos. This feels like the last physical thing we can do for our mum, and all of us put our hearts and souls into it - and it showed. I know my mum will be looking on us all proudly. Our Mum had some amazing clay pieces, and some metal and wood bowls that were piled up on shelves, so we spaced them out and showed them off on their own - on the coffee table for example. We used copper for new curtain rails on a wall in the living room, large old decorative shells from the antique fairs, (I especially love the AS Fairs), antique linen curtains that mum had made from French linen sheets when she moved to this house. There is beautiful old furniture dotted about that has been handed down from her family, and we found extra rugs from the local second hand shops. It was an honour to make her house even more beautiful as a last act of service to our amazing mum. It feels as though she has blessed the new business from afar, and I am looking forward to working on new projects, and completing current ones. 
 
Thank you for reading this, it means a lot. 
 
Big Love, 
 
Samaya  
 
 
 
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