The latter part of 2019 was a real battle for me, as a full time mum and small business owner I'm already a bit time poor and over-stretched. Moving into our glorious new studio space in Little Majestic was no mean feat. Logistics, toddler wrangling and a lot of hard work. It took me to late November to really get settled in and I celebrated with a great Christmas Makers Market at Join The Dots, Marrickville.
The Marrickville Makers Market was such a great event, I've been searching for a regular market that is a good fit for me for such a long time. I realised that actually I need to have so much more handmade & upcycled products so that I can fill an entire stall instead of taking along my vintage wares. This would enable me to apply to more Makers Markets rather than the outdoor vintage markets which can be so challenging (weather, competition, price, logistics etc).
Every January I take some time to brainstorm a plan for the year, working out what in my business works and what is the best use of my time. This year I came up with the positive statement "2020 Year of Plenty" with a mission to focus on growth and revenue making projects.
As a small business that I run around my freelance work and my family life, I am left with one day a week at the studio and about 8 hours a week (15-20 hours ish) for various home office based jobs such as blogging, editing images, listings, social media and the many other tasks that running a small business is all about.
I realised that to get enough product to fill an entire stall is a massive undertaking. The handmade range is going to take so much more time than I have available at the moment, but working slowly and steadily, by the second half of the year I'd like to be in the position that I can roll out more of my kit//ten collection range and show it all off together... it really is SLOW FASHION!
In the meantime, I need some cashflow in the business now.... (even more so in recent weeks!)
My plan was to stick to the key markets I know and love such as Round She Goes - (now cancelled) and create some monthly Pop Up Events at the Little Majestic Studios with my fellow creatives. Our first one was planned for March - now postponed till the Covid19 situation resolves.
I'm no stranger to buying and selling (I had my shop in Manchester for 10 years), but eBay in Australia has always been a bit hit and miss for me and never really gave me a good regular income. By following some basic principles and having a great support network of other mums (check out Aussie Reselling Mummas), I've had the confidence to take the plunge to open an ebay store and now buy and sell specifically for this part of my business. Whilst I'm out and about in OpShops hunting for cool vintage and quirky fabrics I often find great secondhand clothes that don't quite fit into the things I would take to markets so it's been easy to find some really great items. View my ebay store here
It costs about $30 per month plus selling fees to have an ebay store and I opened mine this February. I had 3 or 4 great weeks until the Covid19 Crisis caused everything to slow down. I've been using this quieter time to grow my listings (luckily I stocked up before the opshops closed and it will be some time before I run out of things to list!).
Now I have my ebay store, my vintage & upcycled range and my kit//ten handmade collection. In a way they're three different businesses but they all feed into each other and support each other:
Juggling these three elements means I just have to get smart with time management. My little girl will turn 3 in June and will start preschool (hopefully at some point in this crazy year), so my aim is to give an achievable task list and work slow and steady as best I can, then I can ramp things up when I have more time available.
The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster - I never thought I'd be making washable facemasks as a defence against a supervirus! Lets hope we get the vaccine soon and we can pick up the pieces and get back to some kind of normal...
I'm missing a good Op Shop Trip and a forest adventure... in the weeks to come I'll be creating some more Op Shop guides based on past trips - something to look forward to! And if you are needing some inspiration for some isolation projects, I'll be sharing a few 'easy makes' like my How to Make A Scrunchie guide...
Stay Safe Everyone and if you got this far thanks for reading 😀