Monday, March 28, 2011

charity begins at home

Building up my own wee business has taken a back seat in the last month. LIke many others our family was affected by the Earthquake on Feb 22 in Christchurch. I belong to a small online craft group and in the days following we spent time thinking about how to help when none of us had spare cash to donate...

Handmade for Christchurch was born from our skills at making and from most of our group being WAHM's. Our marketing skills, money handling,  time management and any other skill we had were channeled into trying to make some money to donate for two Christchurch charities.

Its taken us a month so far, of advertising via facebook to get donations, then listing them on Trade me, getting payments, organising postage of items, making sure our banking system worked, collating emails etc and as of this morning our small group of WAHM's have raised a total of $11500....

It is amazing how small things grow, how a call for donations of handmade goods brought in donations from across the globe, and how we as a group have pooled all our business skills to make this a success. I think our Mum skills have helped too, its meant we have been able to overlook small disagreements, and to keep ourselves focussed on helping those that are in need.

We choose two charities, the first is Women's Refuge in Christchurch, they were chosen because of the awesome work they do in helping women and children leave situations that are unsafe for them. Our second charity is The Salvation Army, choosen because of their willingness to help anybody.

Our small idea of selling a few things through Trademe has become a huge workload, with over 600 donations all being sold and send to new homes. Its truely amazing how a little idea is helping others and become a way for those without cash spare to be able to help too...

Once this is all done I promise I will focus on Black Bow Designs again.

love D

Monday, February 28, 2011

diary of a Mumprenuer.. the power of social networking

I live in New Zealand and last week our second largest city was devastated by an earthquake, in the hours that followed I watched facebook and twitter for updates from friends that they had survived and were ok, we also used texts/cellphones to find out how my husbands family were.

I was amazed at how twitter and facebook were used to spread such important information so quickly. It was then that the power of social networking started sinking in for me... it gave me the information I desired and allowed me to pass on information without clogging up a cellphone network that wasnt coping very well under the strain.

I belong to a small chat group on facebook, a small group of mainly Wahms, we just chat about sewing, projects etc and are a support network, one of our members was in Chch when the earthquake hit, she has lots her house... this made us all think about how we could help esp wehn $$ are rather limited and Handmade for Christchurch was born....

We thought that we might get a few donations and auction them through Trademe.... well our wee baby has grown through social networking and is now over 1400 people and over 250 donations, very humbling for a small group of Mums/wahms who wanted to make a small difference for those in need.

It makes me realise that for my wee business it is about making connections, maintaining them and using facebook and twitter to get word out about what I am doing.... Social media is a free and easy way of advertising and keeping people connected to your business, I for one am definitely going to keep using it.....

love D

ps if you want to bid the page is and our facebook group is you can also follow us on twitter, its handmade4chch

Monday, February 14, 2011

no room at the inn

well that's how its feeling at the moment, we don't have a very big house and finding the space to set up my sewing machines and tables properly is causing some issues... so I am having to downsize my fabric stash a bit, and move kids around so that I can have space in our room for my wee business....

I wonder how to balance all of our needs, Orion needs his own room, we need bubs out of our room, and the big girls don't really want to share with bubs... oh to have a money tree that enabled us to have a 5 or 6 bedroom house with room for me to sew... but that's not going to happen anytime soon so I just have to get really organised and make me a space that works.....

do any of you have this problem, not enough space to work comfortably? We had been using Orion's room as a study/sewing space while Ben was finishing up his PhD but now that's done its a bit unfair to make him share with the big girls.... or do I save up some $$ and make a space in our garage, which means shifting yet more stuff :) any suggestions on what to do would be great.....

In other news after a slow start to the year, I have 3 orders to do in the next week and a half, so that will keep me nicely busy.

love D

Monday, January 24, 2011

diary of a mumpreneur.. introducing myself

I am so nervous about writing for this series but so excited as well…. Black Bow Designs is my 5th baby… my first four are my gorgeous children Katja (7years), Linnea (5 years), Orion (3 years) and Natalya (1 year)… they take most of my time so thinking of starting my own business seems a bit nutty but I am enjoying the challenge at the moment.

How this all began is because of my need to be "handsfree" when out with one or more of our children. So with Miss 7 we used  a front pack, then we got a commercially made sling for Miss 5 but it hurt my shoulders to use it, I perserved with it for Mr 3 but when I was at the "big latch on" I saw other slings and thought I can make those, so I googled them and made myself and my best friend matching slings to use for our boys . With Miss 1 I wanted a new sling and as my sewing had improved heaps I got onto google again and found a new shoulder system to try. Its by far my favourite sling ever and I love using it.

Once I had made my new one I had people asking me about it and after selling a couple I decided that this could be a good business for me, it uses skills I have and I can do it at home around my children.... so "Black Bow Designs" began....

I found via facebook a lovely Wahm to design my logo and in June last year I started a facebook page. I have got over 450 fans on my page and get orders every few weeks for things that I make.... but so far its been more a hobby than a business. This year I want to make it a proper business so am going to need to look at banking options, marketing, stocking shops or online shops and all the other things that go with this. My husband bought me my own dot com name so I need to learn how that all work.

I am really excited about this journey. This year is about me and improving our lives in the long term, the last 6 years have been about having babies, and supporting my husband to finish his PhD (it was handed in last week), so its neat to have time to think about my goals and what I want to achieve for me. Please join me on this awesome journey.

love D

Monday, January 17, 2011

diary of a mumpreneur

I have been selected to blog fortnightly on Connect2mums about my small business journey... it should be really exciting and will be a great way to keep motivated and to learn more on my way to getting Black Bwo designs up and running properly, so join me every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month as I blog my progress.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

2010 Auckland Sling walk sponsor

Yes thats right, Black Bow Designs is donating a sling as a prize for some lucky person attending the sling walk in Auckland this year. I am hoping to be able to attend the walk myself everything going to plan.

To find out more click on the button and it will take you to the page.

love D

Saturday, August 28, 2010

And the winner is

Kerry Murphy, yay, you have won a 20% off voucher for a purchase at Black Bow designs.... Kerry wrote in her entry that she is leaning towards a Palmsupial/Mei tai carrier or a apron top, but I can make alsorts of  other things too.....

Thanks to the 13 people who entered.

love D