Well here I am finally sitting down to get some stuff off my chest. I know I’m not around here much at the moment but I simply can’t do it all, and after the drama I had with the crazy person when I was in labour with Bear, I simply fell out of love with this world, and that person tarnished the wonderful online space I had built for myself.
So my time is now spent building and growing my small business Ada & Alfred. My dream job, my passion.
If you’ve been around a while you’ll know I began my small biz journey on this website and just over a year ago I rebranded and closed down the Lamb & Bear shop.
I’m still super happy with my decision to make that change. My designs were evolving, my ideas were evolving and well, my kids were growing up and I didn’t want to concentrate on baby leggings any more.
After the launch of Ada & Alfred, I worked hard to build up a new customer base, a bank of designs and work out the manufacturing etc. I wasn’t expecting miracles. I knew it would be tough. But alongside any income I got through blogging, benefits and orders on the shop I was managing.
Fast forward to the present and I have to say things aren’t too good.
As you can see from the blog I haven’t spent much time around here over the last few months, because every spare minute I’ve had has been on the business. The start of this year was amazing. Order numbers were increasing and I was being kept super busy printing in my little studio.
I couldn’t believe it. It was going somewhere!
Well, so I thought.
May, June and July have been dire. Sales have plummeted. Literally nothing.
I know from talking to other small businesses I’m not alone, and everyone is feeling the strain of quiet sales.
My problem is I don’t have another source of income. As a family we are still feeling the strain from our redundancies in 2015, and only now is my husband is fully qualified in his new profession. We decided I would stay at home with the boys and work around them, because quite frankly we wouldn’t of been any better off with me in work and paying for childminders etc.
Plus we both wanted one of us at the school gates.
As my husbands wages have slightly increased over the last year it seems we’ve hit a threshold with benefits and my tax credits have literally halved. This is a big shock to a family who heavily rely on them to put food on the table and diesel in the car.
But, it is what is and we have to get by. Something I’ve had to do my whole life.
We are lucky to have extremely supportive parents who wouldn’t ever allow us to get into trouble, however we are fed up of not being in a position to treat ourselves to a holiday, new shoes, a splash of paint in the house.
It’s incredibly difficult to stay positive about the future of my business when overnight the income I make can just disappear. I mean, where do I go from here? I’ve had more texts from my bank warning I’ve gone over my overdraft in the last month than ever, and I’m at the very last bit of money in my business account.
I try my hardest to reach out to influencers/celebs on Instagram in the hope they will help promote my little business and I’ve had a little success here and there. I even gifted Mrs Hinch back in April, but alas my items are most likely packed away amongst a million other gifts in her storage unit. It was worth try I suppose. I’m still keeping everything crossed she comes across them eventually.
The problem with gifting items is I have to pay for them, print them, then pay to post them. I’m at a loss if they don’t get shared. So it’a always a risk to send out gifted items.
I didn’t mean to come here and plaster all this negativity on the blog, but this is my place to document and I’m hoping one day (when my sales are booming) I’ll look back and be proud I didn’t give up.
When I’m treating myself to some new make-up or even buying Disney tickets in Florida for our dream holiday, I can remember how tough it was, but how hard I worked to grow my business.
I’m not going to give up the shop, I’m way too stubborn for that. But it is getting to the point where I have to decided if I need to find another income from somewhere alongside this. I really hope not, as the shop needs me 100% to be successful, but at the same time I need money in the bank to pay bills.
My little bear cub starts preschool in September so I’ll have 3 1/2 days a week to work. I’m going to plan as much as possible over the next month ready to hit this business head on when I have some more child free time.
If you don’t follow my business on social media I’d be super grateful if you could head over and give me some love. We all know what a bitch Facebook and Instagram can be at the moment. And don’t get me started on paying for ads. They reach NOBODY.
If you’ve made it this far I can only apologise for ranting, but also thank you for listening.
I’ve always stayed positive in time of hardship, and although I’m still smiling, on the inside I’m genuinely starting to worry about how I’ll pay my bills next month. BUT I live each day as it comes, always have, so for now, everything’s fine and I will carry on putting everything into my shop.
* Collaborative post.