A few thoughts for mums thinking of setting up their own kidswear company.
I often hear from – mostly - new mums how wonderful it must
be to run a children’s nightwear company. This is mainly because they don’t
fancy returning to the 9 to 5 demands (with frequently a dreadful commute on
top of that), to earn enough to buy the nappies and pay for someone else to
look after their child. From that perspective what I do looks like a very
attractive alternative – and I get that, I really do!
However, as with so many things in life, what something
looks like from the outside is not always the same as how it is in reality! So,
for all those mums thinking of starting a home-based retail business, I thought I would share with
you my last three weeks of ‘fun’, just for a bit of balance!
So, with the end of the summer term in sight and just as all
my friends are looking forward to long school holidays and preparing for the
trip to the sun, instead I have been out on the road. And I know that, being
British, we should never moan about sunshine, but boy has it been hot!
It all started with the ‘Spirit of Summer’ exhibition at
Olympia in London, four days in late June, with the mercury climbing towards
30°C! Layout the booth, put the well-travelled Pixie Dixie sign up, try to make
our nightwear stand out from those of our competitors.
It worked, because lots and lots of mums and aunties visited
our stand looking for unusual children’s gifts – and they weren’t disappointed! The show was great, busy and successful, with loads of new
customers and lots of our lovely PJs, particularly the Paint your own PJs and other wonderful nightwear and gifts
As soon as that one was over, it was then off to France for
‘Playtime in Paris’, a three-day trade show in an enormous marquee. Forget
30°C, that suddenly seemed cool, as here the temperature was heading towards
40°C! The organisers, God bless them, gave all 400 of us stand owners little
Chinese-style hand fans. Lovely idea, but we were sweltering and our trade
visitors were virtually on their knees.
Then pack away the exhibition stand, fold up the nightwear,
put the sign in the car and off to ‘Bubble’, another trade show in London to do
it all again. The temperature was not quite at the dizzy heights of Paris, but
still hot enough to shed a few pounds!
In the meantime, there were samples of new designs to check,
the normal day-to-day running of a busy website, planning the anticipated move
to our new London office, and dealing with regular customer and press enquiries
- not to mention complaints from my long-suffering husband that I hardly notice
Hot, exhausting and all time consuming… yes, absolutely. But
new mums don’t let me put you off.
Satisfying, rewarding and, after 9 years of doing this, do I still love
running Pixie Dixie?! You bet!