Mums That Mean Business is a weekly series where we feature Mums who run their own business. It is proving to be quite a popular series and we have had so many lovely businesses already.
Just incase you missed our last feature, you can catch up and read all about Joanne and Cherry Blossom Gifts.
This week we are featuring the lovely Melanie and her business Three Little Pigs.
1. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU AND YOURS.
Hi, my name is Melanie I am 43 and live in Barnsley, South Yorkshire with my hubby Rob and little boy Daniel who is 6. I started my business just over 4 years ago. I came up with the name Three Little Pigs as I make a lot of items for baby’s nurseries and bedrooms. I also had the story book that I read to Daniel and just thought it was fitting.
2. WHAT MADE YOU START A HOME BUSINESS?
Daniel was the reason I started my business for a few reasons. I had always worked full time before I had Daniel in various office based positions and as a wedding coordinator in a hotel, but knew when I had him these roles wouldn’t be available part time. I made the decision I didn’t want to work full time. I didn’t want to miss out on him growing up. I’d always had part time creative businesses in the past while working full time. These included handmade wedding stationery, handmade jewellery and handmade soap and greeting cards.
So when it came to decorating Daniel’s bedroom from a nursery to a big boys bedroom, for him at 2 years old I wanted something a bit unique and handmade but still high quality. I didn’t want the usual high street ranges but struggled to find anything a bit different so I made them myself. A set of 3 pirate themed canvases with matching bunting using lovely modern fabrics and buttons….this is where Three Little Pigs began.
3. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, WHEN YOU STARTED AND WHAT YOU MAKE.
This gave me the idea to make different ranges and designs especially for boys as there seemed to be a real gap in the market for boys nursery and bedroom accessories unless you wanted the commercial ranges.
I made a few more designs nautical themes, cars and tractors etc. My friend gave me a refresher lesson on the sewing machine as I was some what rusty. I listed the canvases on EBay. Not much happened in the beginning and I was starting to doubt my handmade items. I wondered if I had a business in the making at all, but I just knew inside that I had to persevere and keep at it.
Steadily the orders came in and the positive feedback followed which is the key to any eBay business. I added to my ranges with both boys and girls designs, and looked at what colours were on trend and different fabrics. I loved coming up with new ranges and added cushion covers to match too.
It went from one or two orders per week to now on average 4-6 per day. For the festive season I make Christmas bunting and can receive upto 30 orders per day.
I now have a seamstress working for me. I’m also looking at starting someone else to help me with social media and making the canvases.
I sell on EBay, Etsy and Facebook and have just started with Twitter and Instagram, but have limited time to really push these sites hence why I am thinking about having some help.
4. WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL DAY LIKE?
A typical day starts with the school run with Daniel. Then breakfast when I get back home and half a hour of peace and quiet, ha ha. I then go upto my workroom in my loft and get cracking….making the canvases, sewing the bunting, ordering fabrics and supplies, answering emails, checking on fabric stock and designing new ranges….I love what I do and the day goes very quickly…I pick up Daniel at 3.30pm, parcel up the orders I have done and we go together to the post office and call for sweets.
During busy times I have to work sometimes in the evenings at weekends, but mostly I try to stop working at 5 and start the tea for us.
5. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER MUMS CONSIDERING WORKING FROM HOME?
My advice for other mums would be to find something that you love doing, that you’re good at. Research your product, look on the internet at similar businesses and check out pricing etc.
Keep at it, it takes time to build up and there will be times when you wonder if it’s going to actually happen, but with determination and belief in yourself you can really do it.
It is so worth the work, I have no horrid commute, no juggling breakfast and after school clubs. I get to take my little man to school and pick him up everyday. I get to be there for the harvest festival, nativity, sports day etc without begging my boss for time off, or feeling guilty because I have missed another concert or reading assembly. If I feel not so well I can go back to bed for an hour. No phoning in sick and getting evil eyes at work because I had to leave early because my child was poorly at school. I just go and pick him up.
It’s hard work, a lot of organisation needed but the rewards are plentiful. DO IT.
Fab advice Melanie and thank you for taking part.
You can find melainie and her lovely business Three Little Pigs on the social media channels below. Please do pop by and follow if you can.
Are you a Mum with your own business and would like to feature on ‘Mums That Mean Business’? Or perhaps you know somebody who would?
Then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.