Tuesday, 24 April 2007

My little fairy

OK, not strictly business related, but I had to put in pics of my little fairy before I go away for a couple of weeks.
While I was fitting the elastic she insisted on running around in the skirt, she kept pulling it right up to her armpits then it would gradually fall down.
I was squatting down to take the photo at her height, so she had to copy me.
Here she is. It has little wings on the back, too. She was so excited it was finished she had to wear it to playgroup, although I did rescue it from the sandpit.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Weekend Markets

We have a local market every couple of weeks so I went down with some baby things. No nappies because I am trying to make ones for testers at the moment, but I took some of DDs for a display and had lots of women look at them and ask questions, which was really exciting. I was going to take some of the pamphlets from Modern Nappies but unfortunately their site was down, I will have to make sure and save one the next time I am there.

The velour painted beautifully and I made some wipes. I was using one on DD and had a bit of a panic the next morning - it's gone hard! somehow the paint must have affected it! Until I realised it was actually the food I had wiped off DDs face. The wipe is still gorgeous and soft.

The velour was really easy to use on the overlocker - I have heard that other people have had problems but it didn't roll, possibly I have a different supplier and it is a different knit. Although the lower looper thread broke twice, which it has never done before. I have discovered why threading the overlocker is considered a pain. I almost didn't overlock it because it wasn't fraying at all, but decided it needed to be finished.

The logo is absolutely lovely, it is very exciting, and I am looking at colours and designs for the shop and trying to write up my information and care, so they can just be copied in. I am also waiting with bated breath for the results from the tester nappy I sent off and trying to get more testers made. Actually, I am going away on Wednesday and I thought it was a good opportunity to make a fairy dress for DD. A while ago she liked them in a shop, but Mummy took one look at the price and said "You've got to be kidding! That's just a handkerchief skirt, I can make one of those!" Of course then Mummy saw the price of the fabric ...

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

It's all happening.

Well, things are really starting to happen.

I got the courage to send a nappy off as a tester to someone I really respect, so now it is the nerve wracking wait to see how it goes.

I have registered for an ABN and decided on a name, now I am organising a logo from another lovely WAHM, Kristie.

I have even sold some nappies! It was very exciting to make the first sale, and to know that I could produce them in the time limit.

And then today my yummy bamboo velour arrived, so I am going to get some set up tonight to paint tomorrow. Painting is one of the things I can do with my little one around, she loves helping to pin things and painting with water and mud, then she is in charge of putting rocks around the edges to stop things blowing away! The only problem is when she decides to combine the mud and the drying, which is one of the reasons most of the designs are hmmmm, abstract. She also loves the spray bottles, it is just a good thing her little hands aren't big enough to work them or we would have a house that is all lovely colours.

Now what do I have left to do:

  • Testers, testers, testers! (So if you are interested, let me know!)
  • Register the domain name.
  • Register the business name, can only be done 2 months before trading.
  • Set up the accounting programme.
  • Organise labels - after the logo is finalised.
  • Get the shop set up - after the logo.
  • Insurance.
  • Actually start building up stock :).
  • Advertising.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Money, Money, Money

Now that I have a pattern worked out the big problem is actually time.

I know that to run a business properly it will take quite a bit of time and I am a Mum first, with a baby who isn't the best sleeper in the world. I'm not willing to go into anything if I can't run it professionally, although these may go down as famous last words!

The will I/won't I was really stressing me, because I am enjoying the sewing but don't know if I can lift it to the next level. Do I branch out into clothes for my baby and myself and keep it as a hobby? How many nappies can I actually sew in a week? I know that doing it as a production line will be a lot more efficient than doing one at a time - less swapping around, but until I actually have a go I won't know what it is like. But to do that I need lots more fabric. I live in the middle of nowhere so that means ordering it, and the stuff I want is going to take four months to get here. How do I know what it will be like in 4 months time? How will she be sleeping? Will I still be enjoying this?

I told my husband I was going to leave it and see if I was still enjoying it 6 months down the track.

But then I saw that some of the fabric was on special really cheap. And it will take 4 months to get here, .... Damn, there I go again, will I or won't I?

DH was great.
"If you get the fabric and then decide not to do it, is there something else you can do with it?" "Well, I'm sure there are other nappy sewers who would buy it - it is a pain getting everything from Canada."
"So get it."
"I checked, it will cost $1000."
"We have that in the rainy day account, get it."
So I ummed and ahhed for a few more days, but eventually got it. Wow, I have spent $1000 on fabric, but I know roughly how many nappies I have to sell to get that back, so I am keeping the panic at bay. Now I am trying to get everything else organised so when it arrives it is all set bar the sewing.

Oh yes, the bamboo. It also costs $1000 for just one of the types I want. And the shop that sells both types isn't replying to emails. As an aside, I find that unbelievable - here is someone willing to spend well over $1000 with you and you don't even reply to their emails! And a big order is easier to deal with than lots of little orders, this is exactly what worries me about being a WAHM. It is obviously difficult to juggle everything, there is sooooo much more to it than a nice nappy pattern. Anyway, long trip in the car with DH.
"So why do you need to import it? I thought you wanted to support other WAHMs."
"No-one is selling it here at the moment, there are some places trying to get it in but they don't know when and how much. One of them has had to put it back because of suppliers. If I know these guys have it I keep thinking I should get it because who knows how long it will take to get here."
"So if it is hard to get hold of do other people want it?"
"Yeah, it is just the yummiest fabric."
"Well get the whole bolt and sell it as well."
"But it will cost over $1000."
"We have the money, get it."

OMG, I have over $2000 of fabric on order! Don't panic, don't panic, don't panic, ...

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

In the beginning ...

Mum lent me her old sewing machine and off I went. Actually, it belonged to my mother's brother's wife's mother by way of my Grandmother, so it is experienced.
With a funny shaped baby snappis were the obvious solution because they pull up the rise as well as around, but I didn't want boring terry nappies if I was going to all the trouble of making them. So why not put terry tabs on? Ummmm, because they WICK!!!!! So several versions later we had dealt with that problem, created some more, dealt with them, added something else, dealt with those problems, and got something I was happy with. Along the way I learnt to blind sew elastic, sew stretch fabric, sew PUL and ProCare, and WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. Patterns also work much better if you mark everything so it all lines up.

Then I ran out of fabric.

Then we went on holidays for Christmas and 3 days later found out hubby had a promotion which meant moving to another town.
But over Christmas Mum gave me her overlocker, and when we got to our new house all my parcels of international fabric had found us, so I had a great incentive to unpack quickly. In fact, I splashed out and got myself a snap press for my birthday (No, hubby got it, hubby!) and my paints also arrived so here is my beautiful craft area. This is the first time I have had more than a cupboard to store things in, and it is so much fun to have everything set up and waiting any time I want to use it.

"Paints?" You say, "What paints?"
Well I really liked the painting my mother was doing for her quilting fabrics, so I decided to use them on terry flats and wipes, and think big. Hey, if I can add a bamboo range, ...

Monday, 2 April 2007

To WAHM or not to WAHM

I love being a stay at home Mum (SAHM), but I didn't realise that I have always done something creative so when I finished studying I was going nuts. I spend my days with an 18 month old WHO DOESN'T SLEEP and just wants to be involved in whatever I am doing. So by 8:30 I really need to do something for me.
My little shadow also has incredibly large thighs, so she was in Large nappies at 6 months to fit the thighs that were falling off everywhere else. Even side snaps just looked funny or hung down because the rise was way too long. So I started making my own nappies to fit her.
Now this worked for a while, but like every other creative crafty thing I have ever done, eventually you have enough. There are only so many cross-stitches you can hang on the wall, so many cushions you can use, and you really can't have candles every night when you are as blind as I am. So I started thinking - I can't be the only one out there with a weird shaped baby, can I? I feel my nappies have something unique and there are probably other people out there who would like them.

So the question is: "To WAHM or not to WAHM."

I have decided to blog my journey so other people who may be thinking the same thing can follow me, or add their ideas if they are leading the way.