To celebrate the PlayBag’s first birthday, I wanted to share with you some of the highlights from our first year and some important lessons we have learned along the way! It has definitely been one roller coaster of a year!
- Aspire product of the year. I was delighted to receive this as it was the first real confirmation for me that I was on the right track and that my product was appreciated.
- Aspire trophy for design and innovation. This for me was really the icing on the cake in my first year as I no longer feel inadequate in a household of trophy winners – I now have my place in the cabinet! :)
- Finalist in NM business awards. With a swanky awards dinner to attend in April.
- We also went to our first exhibition - Anna Kennedy Autism Expo met some amazing people and had very positive feedback.
- Less time spent creating than expected! I guess when I started I had a romantic idea that while the children were at school, I would spend my days creating. Oh how naïve! In reality, probably only a third of my time is spent actually making the PlayBags, the rest of my time is spent on admin, marketing, advertising, photography, and the biggest time drain of all – social media!
- Not enough time for everything. Like a lot of business mums, I started up my company so that I could stay in control, make a living and have flexible working hours so I could be there for my children. The reality is not quite as romantic! I still love the flexibility and control, but something has to give when you are a housewife/mother/wife/business owner/cook/homework helper....... (you get the picture!)
- Too many ideas. I have a whole design book full of ideas that I am really excited about, but sadly I know that a lot of them will never reach the shelves. At the moment it is not feasible to have too many designs on the go and there is the whole process of making the prototype, refining the design, play testing and then safety testing before I can actually start making and selling them.
- Baby and toddler show in September. I am really looking forward to getting out and meeting people at the baby show in Northampton. It is an ideal time to get some feedback on my PlayBags and also launch the new autumn/winter range before they hit the shop!
- New designs. Although the school holidays are not an easy time to be in full production, they do provide a perfect opportunity to make and test the prototypes while I have the full attention of my chief tester and adviser.
- New Adventures! This is all still very new to me, and although I have my plans for The PlayBag Company, I am also very aware of how things can take unexpected turns! So, with that in mind, I look forward to the road ahead and seeing where it leads.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me so far in this venture. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and it is this what keeps me going!
I am looking forward to seeing where our second year will take us!