Now that my business is nearly 10 years old, it might be easy to assume that I have the art of business ownership all figured out. Well no siree, I’m pretty much still surprised, shocked even, by what a business throws at you. So I thought it might be interesting to write about our ups, our downs and everything in between for new budding entrepreneur to learn and titter over. I’m no expert, I just love business. But one thing I loved when building my business was gaining knowledge from other business owners who had done the same thing.
When I started Oh So (In my spare bedroom back in 2006) I had no fancy business plan, I thought creating a plan would just be wasting my time. You see, I have zero patience. I want everything NOW! – I just wanted to get stuck in and start learning and creating.
From leaving my job that day, I went on to set up my own design business working from home. It gave me an amazing grounding for business. I was a single girl with a famished feline *flatmate, I had to do something quick as the mortgage payment were looming and my flatmate was looting the neighbors for food. The pressure was on and I desperately needed to bring in money. I remember just sitting in front of my Mac thinking ‘what the hell have I done you crazy kid‘. I learnt pressure is a mad thing and I work better under it, I didn’t want to let anyone down. I had to prove that tactless teacher wrong after all!
To get things kick started I spent way more time than I needed creating some humorous direct mail postcards. I’d done this many times before for clients but found it doubly hard for my own business. I enlightened potential clients about my USP as a graphic designer. I sent them out to local businesses to try to get work, I really think they struck a cord and made people laugh as I picked up quite a bit of work from them. I was on my way to freedom and my flatmate got his Cod night!
When times got precarious I talked to my flatmate a lot. I would discuss, balance sheets, tiredness (which he always looked at me perplexed), html coding, java and my latest geeky softback. I swore for putting up with the ramblings of a burnt-out woman I was determined to repay him with gourmet gold dinners.
Over a period of 3 years having my own clients and working from home my business just evolved overtime, I started designing wedding invitations for friends and family getting married, I enjoyed it so much I decided to set up a bit of a side line. I created an online store ‘Oh So Inviting’, selling wedding invites, as well as ‘Oh So Cherished’ selling wedding guest books and albums. I had never been in retail, I didn’t no THE first thing about retail.
I knew nothing about web programming either, but I had landed myself a boyfriend (much to my flatmates disgust). You know the ones, the ones who are just sodding well good at everything. I attempt to be good at things, I find it sooooooo hard just being good really. He doesn’t. He is just naturally good at e v e ry t h i n g. So I told him straight ‘What one man can do, another man can do‘. It’s now our personal moto and he’s now my fiancee and that day he build me a shiny website for Oh So Cherished to grow into, now that’s love!
The First HQ Of Oh So Cherished – My Spare Bedroom
My shelves were full of products and packaging
To be continued…