Friday, 28 September 2007

Well, that was nasty.

Been a long time since I've posted, mainly because nothing much was going on. I was just pottering along trying different things. Then I went to check online before going to bed and discovered all sorts of things were happening. I'm not going to say what it was, some people will know or be able to work it out but while it was very over the top I don't think it was anything that hasn't happened before in other industries so you don't really need to know details. I'm only writing about it because this blog is supposed to help people see what it is like being a WAHM.

I suppose I've been a bit naive. It's funny, I've been involved in discussions about stealing designs and copying, but I suppose I had this image that this is a nice little cottage industry where we are all trying to help each other stay home with our children and push our favourite products at the same time. If someone asked I would have said that it is a good thing that there are so many WAHMs out there doing nappies, because all babies are different and the huge range means you are sure to find something that suits your baby. Unfortunately some other WAHMs and even customers don't seem to agree with me and there is a lot of competition that seems to get nasty. And then of course it all becomes tit for tat and gets out of control.

Maybe my perspective is shaped because I have a husband who is able to support me and my business. I am trying to treat this as a genuine business, not a hobby, but to be perfectly honest anything beyond breaking even is a bonus. I've been very careful to set up fallback positions and alternatives so we don't lose too much money, even if I had to pack it in tomorrow. Maybe for other people it is more important to make a profit or they have more invested. I definitely have as much emotionally invested, it hurts when a week goes by with no orders, or when I have lots of people visiting the site but not buying. You definitely start to wonder what you're doing wrong and why no-one likes you. And it's wonderful when I find a link that a customer has put up recommending my products, it pretty much makes up for the bad times. (So I just need a few more of these, hint, hint.)

Anyway, what happened had nothing to do with me directly, but it could impact on me. To me it was unethical, and I was very tempted to react. I definitely don't blame the others who did, a huge part of me agrees with them. However I decided not to, and I just wanted to share some of my reasoning.

As both an educator and as a parent I have to believe that mistakes are to be learnt from, and I have to believe in second chances. I have done stupid things in my time, and other people have given me the chance to redeem myself and rebuild those relationships. So tempted as I am, I have to extend that chance to the people in the wrong here. I definitely don't believe in forgive and forget, I'm far too vindictive and nasty for that :), but I believe in letting people earn back trust. And if they don't, I'll be able to say that at least I tried.

Because ultimately, the only person who's behaviour matters to me is me. I can be angry at other people, but I don't have to look in their mirror or live with their conscience. All I can do is behave in a way that I can look back and say, "Yes, I like that person and I am proud of them."

Tuesday, 4 September 2007


Well that took a lot longer than I thought. Just lots of things happening, so it took me a lot longer to get them sewn than it has. A few silly mistakes as well which slowed things down.

DH has come up with a good suggestion. He has made us a timetable for our work times, family times, times with DD etc. This tells me how long I have every week to spend on the store. I then work out how long it takes to make an individual nappy. This is a bit tricky because I make them in batches, but I can make a batch of 7 or so easily in a week (or at least I can normally). So my target is to make 5 every week, no matter what I sell. This gives me a bit of time left over to do other things like admin, and hopefully if I stick to something like this I won't get caught again. Of course, it would be nice to be selling more than this :) but I don't really want that pressure at the moment. Maybe later!

My other big news is that I have a store on WAHMania. I am doing the admin stuff at the moment, hopefully it will be ready to be activated on Friday. At the moment it will just have stock from the store, but I also have some nice fabrics I am playing with and would like to get at least one special nappy done for the opening.