Wednesday, 17 June 2009

All Over, Red Rover

I've told a few people privately, but here's the public announcement. I'm winding up Waggle-Wee Kids. It's not going to happen immediately, (because I have the site paid for for a while!) but I'm going to start sales or start using some of the stock myself (yes, my daughter needs some new nappies). And there are some things like ProCare and bamboo velour that I will continue to supply - they're hard to get, but don't take me effort to make up and have as stock.

So what I wanted to talk about here are some of my reasons.

The main one comes down to moving on. I started designing nappies for a reason, I couldn't get ones to fit my first daughter. I enjoyed developing the new side-snap design, but when I came to time to test it and start producing it the fun wasn't there. My little one is toilet aware, we won't be using nappies for more than another year or so, so my interests have moved on and I want to sew things for my girls.

Which is where we come to the second reason, time. There are lots of different elements that go into running a business of this type, I can identify at least four.

  • Stock production - yes, it takes a long time to sew a nappy. And if you don't produce your own you have your own set of problems - finding suppliers, ordering stock, keeping track of levels, differentiating yourself from your competitors, ...
  • Packaging and posting - It doesn't sound like much, but it does take time to pull an order together, check it all and send it out.
  • Store maintenance - again, this actually takes a long time. To photograph your stock, clip, crop and otherwise pretty-up the pictures, to load them, to write the descriptions, if you have 20 different products to put up you're looking at hours of work.
  • Marketing and advertising - I know these are two different things, but for a one-WAHM show they can be treated together. In a business driven by word of mouth it means time to get on the forums and talk to people, not just market to them. It means time to find the different places you should be advertising, because surprise, surprise, websites don't find you, you have to go out and find them. Of course you could pay someone to do your marketing for you, but then you need to ask yourself some hard questions about what you are getting out of the business and where you are going with it. (In short, have a business plan, which you should have anyway.)

So my position at the moment is I don't have the time to do all four, and I don't want to take it to the level of outsourcing. So better to take my time and wind it down now, so I can use that time to do things I enjoy more, like playing with the new sewing pattern program I just bought.

I do have another project I'm very excited about, but I'll post about that later. I thought about it and I will be continuing this blog about my new journey.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

Good luck on your new venture Deb and I think your post is an excellent one for those up and comers, it's not just sewing that makes a WAHMs life and you've put it down so beautifully.