My last update occurred one week after we launched our blog and website. I feel like my life is totally different now than it was then because of all the small changes that have happened. I suppose I didn't know exactly what I was getting in to because we didn’t know how people would respond to our little business. So far the response has been very encouraging. We have added new products to our shop and held 6 meetups where people come and play with our carriers and we talk babywearing, motherhood and parenting. The sunny season has been so nice for outdoor meet-ups, and we have so loved it! We are heading in to the indoor season soon, and I am reaching out to places that might host us and keep us warm through the winter.
For those of you who have never been to a meet-up, they look like this: I bring a very large tote full of baby carriers and a demo doll named Robin to a park (I use the Bob Duallie to carry everything, that thing is BOSS at holding my carriers) I spread out a blanket and unload the carriers and spread things out so people can see them and try them out. People come to the park and see the crazy lady wearing the doll (my son is getting to the age where he wants to play instead of be held so much) and know that they are in the right place. They ask questions, we chat, they try on carriers, I show some techniques, and then we talk some more. People often bring their own carriers to gain some understanding on how to use them. If I have experience with the carrier we troubleshoot. I was totally stumped by a buckle carrier on one occasion, however. No carrier should ever have 17 buckles/clips. Just no. We usually stay for a couple hours, pack up and head home. It’s been a really fun way to meet people and I have made some new friends! Everyone is welcome at the meetings, and we love it when dads come too!
So the last two months have been filled with meet-ups, trying out new items for the shop, gearing up for the launch of Simply Carried Parties and helping customers! I also had the privilege of speaking about babywearing safety and different types of carriers to some new mom groups. I’ve learned that the parents of two week olds don't have the same sense of humor about sleep as the parents of toddlers. I might take that part about my three-year old that still doesn’t always sleep through the night out of my introduction. I have been crazy busy. Busy is good though right? Let’s break this down. Things that have gone south in two months:
- My ability to keep up with cloth diaper laundry (we now use paper diapers)
- My average number of hours spent asleep
- My availability to be fully present with my family and friends all of the time. At this point, we are not seeking childcare for me to work, we just incorporate it into our daily lives and I stay up late working a lot, and have a weekend day that I catch up on things with the business while the kids and husband go on an adventure. I have struggled with this a bit because it’s not my typical form to use my phone a lot while visiting with family or friends, but it has become a necessary part of building my business. I hope that as our business grows I will fall into a groove with this and our lives will be a little more structured. Not planning on that happening any time soon though.
- My meal planning. I started a special diet for some intolerances I have about two months ago. It’s a pain in the tush and a lot of our favorite meals are not easy or quick to make. With me working in the evenings we need easy right now. Thankfully my husband has been a rock star and stepped up to the plate and has meal planned and cooked more than half our meals lately. Go husband!
- My free time. It’s an hour or half-hour sliver here or there. I have been really occupied with Simply Carried, luckily babywearing is also a hobby of mine so I feel like it’s not just “work.” I have a lot of fun selecting products and getting contracts with companies I love and planning meetups.
- My blog writing time. I am ten blogs behind where I wish I was. Isn't everyone who blogs?
Most days I take these things that have gone south in the last couple months in stride. Some days I get a little crazy and have ragey fits about how I fail at this or that and my husband or sisters need to help bring me down. Deeply thankful for the support of my family and friends for the encouragement on those days.
Things that have gone up in the last two months:
- My average trips through the Starbucks drive-thru. I honestly can say this has more to do with Pumpkin Spice than anything else. I can make a great coffee at home, but that PS has been rocking my world since I was a barista there for five years. I do not care at all that there is no pumpkin in it. It’s the thought that counts.
- The new friends I've made. Every time I've had a meet-up I have made a new friend. It’s really nice putting myself out there more and meeting new faces.
- The hour in which previously mentioned three year old goes to bed. This is probably a blog post in and of itself. She is my child. We are night owls. She is feeling that I am not as available as I have always been and I think she is pushing her bedtime up to get some one on one time after brother goes to bed.
- The number of trips we've made to the post office. Almost daily! I love it.
- The number of Bolder Bands I currently own. I am now a Bolder Band retailer. So I need one of each for samples right?? I love them and it’s been really fun to add a product that anyone can use to our line-up. I have to reach a certain sales goal before I can add them to the website, but if you would like to purchase one from me, just shoot me a message! I love matching them up with carriers and accessories, we always have them for sale at parties and meet-ups.
The highs and lows of the last few months have caused a lot of feelings and opening up a business has not been the easiest thing I've ever done. It has been really hard and really rewarding to see how applying my skills into my business has helped my family and a lot of other people too. I am learning to manage my time and day a little differently and really gear up for the next part of our business venture. Next week, we celebrate International Babywearing Week and hopefully a nephew is born (I am sister doulaing his birth). Stayed tuned for our next blog about Simply Carried Parties! Hope you're as excited as he is!!