Apparently these are the new craze sweeping the US and originally went on sale back in November 2008. Animal bands are like those plastic bracelets that I wore back in the day but these are in the shape of an animal or object. I actually like these. They are cheap and colourful, I may buy them for myself just to be a bit silly myself – which doesn’t take much lol
These animal or silly bands, as some like to call them have been worn by celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Agyness Deyn. I think they would be great stocking fillers or even birthday presents if you are on a buget. Buy them as a gift and buy a few more so they can share with friends. With a pack of 12 starting at £1.99 you can’t really go wrong! They can be worn as accessories, can be collected and traded. Once you put them on they stretch but they go back to normal size once removed.
From my own experience when setting up a business I found that there were a lot of things to take in consideration. You have your business plans, funding/finance, cashflow, employment etc but one thing I think is just as important as having all the fundamental things for starting a business is having a good support network. By this I mean having like-minded people around you that understand what your passion is and are supportive.
With added stress of starting a business having someone to talk to when you need a sounding board or just want to share experiences are invaluable. It’s beneficial as its good to talk to like- minded women, especially if they are running their own business or are thinking about starting. They may also have good links that you can share or use too.
Having a business girlfriend has helped with ideas on what things I could do next in my business, as they are women or mothers who have had previous experience in business so why wouldn’t connecting with them be any value to you? You never know, you may be able to join businesses up to create even more value for your customers.
Also, it can be very irritating to your other friends if they are not business minded to be constantly talked to about things they have no interest in. I believe that you have friends for different purposes. You have the one you take shopping with you because they got great sense of style, the agony aunt that you can talk your problems away or the one you go for a coffee with and get a manicure and talk about the kids and have play dates. So just bare that in mind when you need someone to talk to about your ideas as not everyone will be interested in what you have to say.
There are great fun and free ways in growing your support network. Try, forums, twitter, facebook, networking and events. Take peoples details and stay in contact with them. Don’t forget to have fun and be yourself.
How you doing ladies and gents?
I’ve had fun making my own soaps recently for Christmas presents and I’ve been on the hunt to find other crafty ideas when I found this! Teddy bear cookies, they’re so easy to make and my son can help make them too! I’ll be getting my ingredients tomorrow so I’ll post pics when they are actually done.
Making things, especially presents, are a big deal for me as I’m really crap at making anything! I’m too impatient, I can’t wait for things to dry, set, stick together before I start fiddling with it and probably wrecking it. I’d thought I’d try this as it can’t be that difficult or could it? Only time will tell, depending on how my patience wears…
Here’s the short video,
I was looking for some inspiration for all parents out there who are looking at starting their own business. As it is getting harder and harder to find jobs and suitable ones, many people are turning to their own creativity to start their own businesses. After all, if there aren’t jobs out there then why not create one yourself?
There is a growing trend amongst women who have just had children or who have children who are starting their own business. I personally think this is a wonderful thing as who better can create and provide a product or service for children, or other parents than people who share your experiences?
What can you do to bring money in? Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy that you could teach and charge for? What things do you wish were on the market to make your life easier but are not there?
Examples of jobs you could do are;
Selling children’s books/toys
Just to name a few.
So here is our inspiration this week of a mother who took charge of her destiny and created her product, the dreamgenii® out of necessity and to aid in comfortable sleep when pregnant. Vanessa Blake has successfully brought her product to market and is now widely available in Mothercare, John Lewis, Mamas and Papas and other online retailers and has an RRP of just £44.99.
Vanessa was recognised this year as a runner up in the Parentpreneur of the Year category of the Remote Worker Awards, and dreamgenii® as a business also recently secured 3rd place in the Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards – SME of the Year 2010. Vanessa continues to own and run the business day to day, as well as looking after her two young children.
Sleepless nights lead to sizeable success for this mum of two
One mum’s story of how starting a family led to business success
Mum of two, Vanessa Blake, created the award winning dreamgenii® pregnancy pillow when she was pregnant with her first child in 2005.
I was six months pregnant with my son and after weeks of tossing and turning I’d had enough. I tried every pregnancy pillow on the market and none of them actually worked – the V Pillow was the wrong shape and didn’t fit comfortably under my bump, the bolster pillow was too big and took up the whole bed and the wedge pillow was uncomfortable and pushed my bump into a really unnatural position. All of them woke me up in the night when I wanted to move as I had to roll over with them to reposition myself and they usually ended up strewn on the floor by morning!
I bought a sewing machine and made a prototype pillow, but it was pretty basic. I showed it to my midwife at my antenatal class and everyone raved about it! They suggested I should look into selling it to other women so I took it to a manufacturer and asked them to make up some proper samples. It seemed unbelievable that no one had thought of doing something like this before.”
The samples were shown to various midwives, healthcare organisations as well as many pregnant friends and volunteers. The pillow was universally welcomed as a huge help for pregnant women.
Now five years on, Vanessa balances being a mum to her two children, working at dreamgenii®, as well as being a director at the Charity fundraising company she used to manage. Her husband Stephen works full time on the dreamgenii® business, and they have been able to take on further members of staff as the business has grown.
It was hard work in the beginning, trying to get a business up and running with a new baby. Most women in the nursery industry are mothers too, so everyone is incredibly understanding and flexible. I even took Lucas along to most of my business meetings with me at the start, and nobody minded. Trying to get something off the ground can be stressful, and I could never have done it without the support of my husband Stephen and all of our family. I firmly believe if you can get through those first few months it’s well worth the effort! It’s amazing to think that it’s almost five years since I first sat down at my sewing machine to make my pregnancy pillow. Our pillow is now sold in over 18 countries worldwide and has helped thousands of women enjoy a magical night’s sleep during pregnancy.
Questions & Answers with Vanessa Blake:
-What did you do before you designed the dreamgenii® pregnancy pillow and came to work on the business?I spent many years working as a senior manager in a number of corporate companies, including working as a Managing Director of a Marketing Agency. I’m sure this general business background helped when it came to starting my own business.
-Can you tell us about your typical day? How does running a business fit around family life?
Every day is different! Some days I am at home being a full time mum to my children Lucas, 4 and Daisy, 2, when my husband Stephen goes in to the office. Other days I drop the children off at school & nursery and then head into the office myself. I spend quite a bit of time talking to our manufacturers and distributors – we now distribute the dreamgenii® pregnancy pillow all over the world. I work on product design including developing new products such as our new breastfeeding pillow, and new fabric designs. Some days you can even find me helping to pack up orders for customers! We are a small team and all help out with whatever needs to get done.
-Where would you like to see the business in another 5 years time? What plans have you got for the future?
We will help to deliver a magical night’s sleep to millions of pregnant women around the world. Our range of products will serve to make women’s pregnancies, births & children more comfortable. In particular we are working on a new product for the children’s sleep market which I am really excited about. After many sleepless nights with my daughter I thought I must be able to create something that worked to get us all a better night’s sleep!
- What makes your business unique?
I launched a product that was born out of genuine human need – not by people sat in an office – and that really works to tackle a massive issue for pregnant women. All of the products I have designed are born out of my own personal experience and are unique, patent protected, and really work. We have worked really hard and created a successful business – but still remain a small, independent company and true to our family life roots. We focus on products that genuinely work to make parents’ and children’s lives more comfortable.
-What do you think makes a successful working mum?
The ability to prioritise! And to remember that family always comes first. We never lose sight of why we set up the business in the first place and that everything we do is for our family. We try not to sacrifice family life for the business – but to make the business fit around our family. Even if it does mean some late nights working from home sometimes once the children are in bed! We also try and make sure we have fun. We are a small team and all enjoy working together.
-How would your colleagues describe you?
I have no idea – you’d better ask them!
-What do you think are the hardest things about being a mum?
I guess the uncertainty. Everyone tries to help you with advice, and there’s so much information available on the internet. How do you decide what’s fact and what’s fiction? There are so many products to choose from nowadays. It’s difficult to work out as a first time mum what you really need and what you don’t.
-What do you think are the best things about being a mum?
Having fabulous children! They can test you sometimes but there is nothing more rewarding than watching your children growing up.
The business now manufactures and distributes innovative nursery products to retail networks across 18 countries, including the UK, Europe, UAE and the USA and can be purchased online at www.dreamgenii.com
I remember seeing one these a couple of years ago and they looked so cool. Be warned, they are highly addictive and will get you even fighting with your children to have a go on one. Don’t be mean! Get one for yourself ;-)
Who said parents can’t be big kids too?
good thing they got a special offer of 20% off which includes free postage
Ride off into the sunset with one of these
I don’t really have a sweet tooth but goodness gracious me, these cupcakes are to die for! Literally lolol. They look like my teeth would crumble instantly as I took a bite, but I can’t help it they look mmmm good!!!
These look so easy to do and are so creative that I think I may make them for little kiddie’s christmas presents. The parents can deal with dentist! Mwahaha.
Hi mummy’s and dady’s, hope your keeping warm in this cold weather.
I have had the heater on all day and I am terrified to turn it off lol.
Well, today on my never ending mission for activities to do with my son I found this cool site. If you are teaching your child maths or teaching them how to read; flash card are a brilliant tool to help your children remember words, numbers, languages, anything you name it!
With this site you can write what you want your flash cards and print them off! Easy peasy.
So here you go