Thursday, 19 February 2009


At an impasse...

You might be wondering what that monstrosity above is. That's 'Debutante Barbie'. And why, pray tell, would I superimpose my face onto Debutante Barbie?!

a. I'm a dork
b. I'm showing off my mad Photoshop skillz
c. I have a mental disorder
d. I want to give you nightmares
e. All of the above
f. None of the above

Okay, the reason I put my face on Debutante Barbie is because after eight months from when Kitschy Coo began at local nursery fair, I finally feel like I've 'arrived'. I've been selling online since August, and between August and Christmas I had less than 30 sales. Since I started selling my patterns, business has picked up exponentially and the extra traffic has meant more clothing sales too. I've had nineteen orders this week (13 patterns, 3 dresses, 2 coats, 1 hoodie), yikes!

While I'm over the moon that I'm finally getting somewhere after months of sleep deprivation and slog, it's also given me some things to think about. Most importantly, how can I cope with this level of business? I definitely need to find a large-scale photocopier for my patterns (at the moment I hand trace them onto butcher's paper for each order). It will cut into my profit margin but I'm spending a lot of time tracing these days and not enough time sewing and developing other patterns.

So that will free up a bit of time, but the biggest consideration is whether I have the ability to sustain this momentum long term. I currently have eight hours a week when both of my kids are out of the house at the same time. To put this into perspective, a three layer jacket probably takes me four to six hours to make. The easy answer is to get them into more childcare, but I'm not sure if the current level of orders is just a blip, will remain static, or will even grow. I'm certainly seeing a lot of 'word of mouth' orders and repeat customers, which warms my cockles no end. Childcare is so expensive that all of my earnings (if not more than my earnings) would just go straight to the nursery. So lots of hard work on my part, less time with the kids, and nothing to show for it.

I'd love to know how all you other 'mum-trepreneurs' are juggling it all!


  1. Hey Amanda. Sorry your so time crunched. I think you need to switch to PDF's. Do you know any other seller's that you could ask about it?


  2. well done you for 'arriving' your clothes are beautiful and you'll definetly be getting some orders from me for my little girl. I've had my eye on one of your dress for a while now.

  3. Do you have any friends locally who you'd feel comfortable doing a 'kid swap' with once a week? You have their kids on a day they need childcare, and they have yours another day? My kids go to a nursery one day a week because I'm supposed to be on bedrest and really just need a day when they're not around but it *is* pricey.

    That, or are there any local teenagers you trust who live locally and who could come into the house to occupy the kids for a few hours while you work?

    I think your work is fab, personally. I'm not surprised at all to see it taking off!

  4. Amanda, well done on your success!! Your clothes are amazing so your success is only remuneration of your hard work. I would condense your patterns to PDF files too. Or, outsource to a printers.

  5. Congratulations on doing so well! I hope you sort out your time issues. As a 22 year old only responsible for getting herself out of bed and to work, and taking care of 2 bunnies I'm afraid I don't have any advice to give! I like Vonnie's "kid swap" idea... hope you work something out!

  6. Wow, good for you! What a great feeling it must be to see your business growing like that. I don't have any advice (possibly a first for me!) but just sympathy. It's hard to juggle and you don't want your cash all going on childcare. So yeah, I suppose like the others, maybe think of a way to work smarter (ie time-effective) rather than longer?

  7. Thanks for all the advice guys!

    @Munora and Sweetpeaknits: When I was accepted by they said they could put me in touch with an editor who could help me with pdfs and the like. I didn't follow it up then as I reckoned if I was going to employ an editor it should be for all of my patterns rather than just a single one, but I guess I could follow it up now!

    @Lej: Thanks! I'm curious which dress you have your eye on...

    @Vonnie: That's a good idea, but unfortunately almost all of my local friends with kids are in 'proper' work during the week. I'm definitely going to look into a local teenager though, I did so much babysitting when I was younger! I can't remember why I found it was so easy back then!

    Bedrest sounds pretty serious, is it a bad pregnancy this time round?

    @Blackberry: thanks for the good wishes! I used to have two rabbits and they were loadsa work. Pyscho lesbian incest bunnies.

    @Rhubarb: Sympathy is as welcome as advice, thank you! I have a tendency to feel sorry for myself no matter what!