So, I must admit, I kind of left you with a bit of a cliffhanger on my last post and a few people have asked me to continue it on. So, here you go.
September 2015. I packed my things and moved out of London, and back in with my parents in Norfolk. Within a few weeks I had booked an appointment with a not-for-profit enterprise agency to assist me with a business plan and getting a startup loan. I had weekly appointments with an advisor (who I still see now) to discuss my business idea and the logistics of how it would all work, putting together this business plan and pitching it to the loan company. It felt like forever, but after a few weeks I received the loan and our appointments were made to monthly instead of weekly.
In my original plan, the bags were going to be made in my Dad’s factory here in the UK, and whilst waiting for the loan and business plan to be approved, my Dad and I were working hard to try and make them ourselves. My dad was fitting the boxes together and I was sewing the fabric to wrap around the box. It may sound easy, but it was really difficult! We spent hours each day, each week trying to find the right fittings, materials, tools, etc. We decided after many attempts that it was just taking too long and costing too much money for each one. This is when we decided to go to China and source a supplier over there instead. Thank goodness we went for this option!
Here I am in Hong Kong in January 2016!
Many people pull a face when they hear me say “it’s made in China”, but I’ve been there and I’ve witnessed the craftsmanship that goes into each of these products, and they truly are incredible workers that turn these designs of mine into actual quality, beautiful products (if I do say so myself). I wouldn’t have a business without them! Oh, and the condition of the factory is better than most factories I’ve seen here in England, so I’m not worried about the conditions they work in at all.
From the point of me moving home and setting up that initial appointment with my advisor, to launching my business, was a year and a half (I worked part time in retail to help with my investment into the business). It wasn’t a quick and easy process that’s for sure. But, I now know the ins and outs of setting up and running a business and now I want to help others do the same. If you want to hear more about my journey and free training’s that I offer please join my new Facebook group here.