Quote by Mandy Hale
I've wrestled with the guilt of not spending enough time with the kids and I've felt angry at putting so many hours in with so little to show for it. This year financially has been a shocker and I'm not ashamed to say it. With the pressure of keeping sales up to a certain level in these recession-hit days, has been no mean feat. Take the mortgage, endless bills and household outgoings, add rent for premises, staff, VAT, massive commission charges on a certain marketplace website, tax, insurance (for everything!), huge amounts for supplies, even bills to listen to your own goddamn radio while you work...you get the picture.
This is our job, we don't have any other income.True, it was our choice to start the business (out of necessity at the time) but we've worked our arses off over the years.
Nobody can say we haven't tried.
Painting til 4am with tonsillitis takes dedication. Crawling out of bed with the norovirus to deliver the post takes dedication...something me and Steve have no doubt about it!
But there comes a point when all that dedication and hard work should pay off.
Don't get me wrong, we've achieved so much and I'm proud of us. Proud that we've won awards and our products have been featured in virtually EVERY national home magazine, wedding magazine, newspapers, blogs and even on the TV...we did all that. When we started the business sitting on craft markets at 5am earning peanuts, we never imagined we'd get this far!
We've bought a house and had two beautiful kids and we try our best to have a nice family life but I've had enough.
The amount of hours we work far outweighs what we earn. To be honest, I desperately need a change.
We've tried every outlet to sell our work but making everything from scratch to order, hand painting and hand finishing each item takes time. These days it seems far important to 'some' that orders are delivered within a couple of days, nobody wants to wait, everything has to be instant, there is no alternative.
Well, actually there is. It's our business and we're making some changes. We can't compete with mass produced imports taken straight out of a box. We have no problem with imports but we can't sell on the same terms. What we can do is try to appeal to those who appreciate the time it sometimes takes for a handmade product.
We're taking control back and going our own way. This means cutting back in different areas but so be it...this is where we have no choice.
Last week, we said goodbye to our office manager Charlotte. It was a heart-breaking decision for us but sadly necessary while we decide on our next step. We will miss her more than I can say.
We're not giving up, just giving in to the intolerable pressures and changing things for the good of our family.
We have a little something up our sleeve for the Summer and we're taking on new ventures. For now, we're going to see what happens.
We know for a fact that it's tough out there for small businesses. The ones that speak to us privately prove that. Publicly, most business owners will put on that brave face and say that everything is fine. Nobody wants to be seen as a failure. Some days I've felt exactly that but then it dawned on me, that actually it's ok.
It's not failing, it's changing and change is good.