Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a full time working Mum building an amazing side business called Knitaboo. Knitaboo is an online shop that sells hand knitted and crochet items for little ones.
Knitaboo was birthed out of making my daughter some knitted items when she was small as I didn't always like the knitted items that you could buy in the shop.
What are you hoping to achieve with your business?
My dream would be to be able to grow the business online and maybe end up with a boutique of my own. I would love to get mother's involved, teach them the craft and enable them to raise a family and earn income whilst spending time with their kids.
Describe the highs and lows of running your own business alongside your full time career, being a Mum and a wife.
It's challenging a lot of time and money has been invested into Knitaboo and I feel I am not always able to put all my energy into the business. The high point for me is always when I have a sale. I use Etsy as one of my selling platforms; The great thing about the Etsy app is that when you make a sale it sounds like a cash register and I have to say it gets me excited. Not just the purchase but that someone out there loves the items that I have made and wants to share in that. I have previously been requested to sell my products in stores, one in particular was in Carnaby Street. That was definitely a high. I am changing jobs so this should give me more time to spend on my business as I am looking at two stores to place my items in.
What advice would you give to others in a similar position to you who want to start their own business on the side.
Running your own business is rewarding, being able to make what you love and generate an income from it. I would definitely recommend getting your branding sorted first. Make sure you know what you are about and who your target audience is. And for me it was about finding the right platform to sell from. Talk to your partner, it's much easier when both of you are working towards the same goal.
It is challenging and there are days when I have gone to my husband and said I want to quit - I can't do this but then I look at what I have achieved so far, and I remind myself I have come along way. I have a way to go before I fulfil my ultimate dream, but my Dad always told me “good things come to those that wait”. The other expression I live by is "If you dream it, you can achieve it" You will never know if you don't try and I don't want to have regrets. And lastly, social media is key in getting your product/brand out there to your audience, but you need to be prepared to put the time in.
Talk us through a typical day
Wow a typical day for me starts between 5am and 5.30am where I will get up, pop downstairs and quickly switch on the computer or iPad to see what is happening out there. Once my husband is up at 5.30am we start getting ready for work and then get the little one up at 6.30 and head out. This past summer I have arrived home after 9pm so I make the most of my time on my train journey. I take my crochet in my bag (not so much the knitting as I get very frustrated when I loose stitches!). I also do some marketing on my iPad to promote Knitaboo. I am learning how to be more active on social media. When I get home it is either switch off from the world time or once the little one is asleep, picking up the knitting or crochet hook. I also try and find time for my blog and coming up with ideas.
Plans for the near future?
I am working on ideas to change my packaging and make it more unique to create an extra special feeling when people receive their orders or gifts. I want customers to get excited about the idea of receiving a parcel from Knitaboo. I am hoping to have this completed by the end of the year. My other project is to read more books on blogging and photography. My husband is currently building me a light box so I can keep practicing. I would like to sign up for a Nikon course and also learn more about editing and lighting. That would be awesome. We learn a lot about speed to market in my job and that is what I want to achieve within the next year.