living the dream...kind of
Living the Dream...Kind of
So here goes..... I am Ruth a 30 something Mum of one amazing 5 year old daughter. I decided to take a leap of faith at the beginning of this year. I gave up a career as a primary school teacher after 10 years to follow a dream.
I keep questioning whether I am brave or very stupid!
If you are a teacher yourself, you know the reasons why you went into teaching. For me personally I wanted to teach children - plain and simple. Unfortunately teaching seems to have become more about paperwork than the actual teaching. To turn my back on teaching was a big decision that took about 2 years to become reality. I still love the teaching side and (trying not to blow my own trumpet) I think I'm good at it. The paperwork side of things took over my life and meant that I was missing out on so much family time and when I was spending time with my family I was fretting about all the things I needed to do.
We as a family have had a hard few years , firstly giving birth to my daughter at 27wks (26+6 to be exact) after suffering from Pre-eclampsia where I nearly died and she spent 11 weeks in the NICU. Losing my beloved Mum to a fatal heart attack when she was only 63 and then caring for my Dad who has early onset alzheimers. Somehow I managed to hold it together - just about! but it made me re-evaluate life.
So this is how 'Wonderful Things' was born.
I came up with lots of hair brained ideas which I soon realised were mental! I have always loved gift buying and love pretty things so I decided to start an online business selling exactly that.
My aunt came up with the name based on the Howard Carter quote
“...as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, 'Yes, wonderful things.”
I went home and googled the name and couldn't find any gift businesses of the same name.
Then became the hours and hours of research on the internet of gifts that I would be proud to sell. I also got in touch with Miss Sammie Designs who designed my branding and website after seeing her amazing work on many of my favourite instagram follows. Sammie was amazing and came up with design ideas that fitted well with my own ideas.
Trying to get wholesale accounts before we were launched was a challenge. I had to spend a lot of time emailing companies explaining why their products would fit well with my branding when there was nothing to show them. Luckily a lot of the companies that I really wanted showed faith and gave me accounts (Caroline Gardner, Rifle Paper co, Lanka Kade).
I wouldn't describe myself as 'on trend' but I understand what is! Buying stock was 50% my dream job and 50% agghhhhhh am I choosing things that others will like enough to buy?!!!
Launching the website was a little scary as you don't know how you will be received. I thought either I would sell out first night (high hopes) or nobody would like my stock and it would fail miserably.
So this brings us to today.
I never realised how much work goes into marketing yourself on social media - counting every single 'like' as a little victory.
sales have been slow and this is scary but I have had so much positive feedback and lots of support. Reality is, it will take some time to get known and I will have to constantly be promoting myself.
I'm hoping to do some Christmas Markets in the local area to build my profile.
Any advice on any part of running a business is well appreciated for a newby to this retail world.