The Little Craft Mouse #craftbiz Story
I’m Kirsty and I’m a mum! It has always been important to me to be at home and around for my children when they need me. So when my family started in 2010, I knew my priorities. In 2012, after baby number two, we moved to North Devon and my eldest started pre-school shortly after. I got a part time job in early 2013 but it was really hard to go back to work leaving the children in childcare. It meant I wasn’t around as much as I wanted to be.
In my evenings, after the children were in bed, I started crocheting and made some toys from craft magazines that both my children adored.
Friends loved them and wanted them too. I realised, I can make toys and sell them.
My handmade business The Little Craft Mouse was born. Until I discovered that toys need to be CE tested and it put me off. I made other craft items but I just didn’t have the same enthusiasm as I did when I made the toys.
I needed to find out how I could CE test my handmade toys. I joined a Facebook CE support group and that really helped me along the way to get my toys CE tested.
From there I sold a few on Etsy and to friends and family but I wasn’t really making much of myself. I was still working part time and I didn’t put much time into it the way I should have done.
In 2014 my youngest started preschool and my eldest started full time school. My work was not going to be flexible enough to accommodate school runs and so I decided that in September 2014 I was going to stop work and be a WAHM (work at home mummy).
I spend much of 2015 procrastinating. I had every intention of making more of The Little Craft Mouse but I just didn’t get on with the work.
Then I realised in September 2016 that my youngest would be in full time education too I thought I had better get on with it. At the beginning of 2016 I took the time to start using Facebook much more and keeping it consistent.
In February 2016 I discovered Nicola (founder of this website) and one of her free webinars on ideal customers. I soon realised that I wasn’t talking to mine! I joined Make Your Way To Success (also known as MYWTS) her course for crafters in business and that was exactly what I needed to understand what I needed to do.
At first I was thrown into complete disarray. I could see that I what I had been doing wasn’t going to get me anywhere. It was time for a change!
MYWTS showed me that my pricing was all wrong and what I could achieve with a blog, the right social media, product descriptions and photography. I felt so much had to change that it hit me all at once “How on earth was I going to get everything done?”
I took a very large step back! I decided that September 2016 was going to be my end goal for setting everything up. I also decided that where I had been previously hosting my website wasn’t giving me the flexibility or control I wanted, so I changed my hosting to Ben at a Handcrafted Hosting.
I set myself goals of what I wanted to achieve such as setting up the website, blog and Facebook page. I wanted to improve and have a wider range of toys to sell. I broke them down into projects and tasks. Using the bullet journal system and the limited working time I had free around school runs and shorter pre-school sessions, I ordered the tasks in priority over the year working towards September.
In the mean time I have taken a bit of time to write some blog post and schedule posts so I have a presence on Facebook and twitter. I am testing these few post as we all know what Facebook can be like.
My goal is to have everything sorted by September so that I can really get down to things.
I will have some website content to promote and hopefully be able to schedule to Facebook and twitter much more so that hopefully I can talk to my ideal customer in time for Christmas.
My plan is to make The Little Craft Mouse a business and not just a hobby in 2017 and still be there when my family needs me.
Note from Nicola: We all start our businesses for different reasons; it’s the story behind you and your business AND your reason for why you do what you do.
Hold onto your story, your ‘why’, – remembering our ‘why’ gives us the impetus to fight harder and longer so we achieve our #craftbiz dream.