Thursday, 4 October 2012

Exciting news.... here come the girls

A little update - I have been voted through as one of the Mumsclub top 100 businesses - super excited!!

Forgive me, the blog has been left hanging while I have been busy but here come the girls! And mums...its National Business Mum Week and I have been nominated for a inventors and designers award, feel free to vote for me! 

Business Mum Week was created to inspire the growth of UK mum-owned enterprise.  The week was the idea of a fellow business mum and founder of MumsClub, Jane Hopkins MBE with the aim of creating local media interest in mum run businesses and to create more mum-owned businesses.

I want Strange Fruit to be the leading independent publisher of multicultural greeting cards and social stationery in the UK. Mine is a small but distinctive company and since my our first card was sold in October 2010 I have maintained the simple aims of offering my customers great value, design led greeting cards that are always reflective of a modern and diverse society. Two years of trading has shown me that my customers are not just black professionals as I originally thought. My customers are anyone who buys and sends greeting cards with a love of vintage or a passion for diversity, the cards being sold in the Mary Portas at House of Fraser shops is testament to that. The hard work is paying off, the cards are also stocked in independent shops gift and card shops across the country and through a distributor in the USA.

As you know I still have my day job and I am building Strange Fruit in my 'spare time'.  Working the day job (which is always intense,) building a business and being a mum and a wife is not the easiest combination but I want my children and their friends to grow up in an environment where it is normal for them to get a birthday card with a child that looks like them on it.  I have much work to do but being nominated for an award lets me know I am on the right road, especially a week away from our second birthday!

MumsClub Jane Hopkins was awarded MBE this year for services to entrepreneurship she says “Being self employed is the perfect way to combine family life with generating a second income. Women now have the freedom to get paid to do something they love. Business is great for household finances, great for self esteem, great for work-life balance.  Mum owned businesses generate £4.4billion a year for the UK economy, but there is little help and support out there for these ‘part time’ business owners, so starting up from home is a low cost, low risk and incredibly rewarding option. Business Mum Week demonstrates that with support from each other, a small group of like minded people can quite simply achieve great things.
If you are thinking about starting your own craft based business and don't know quite where to start Make Money From Makes is a good place to start. I am delighted to be a case study in the book so I have read it and there is some great advice and lots of useful contact points like my nice friends Craft Guerrilla who offer a great platform for designer makers.

I have loads more to update you on, but for now packing orders and finding new places to store boxes of envelopes is the task at hand!