How I went from a simple market stall to my very own shop front
If you’re anything like me, you experimented with the idea of many different dream jobs when you were young. By the time I reached college, I’d finally narrowed down my own search. After seeing the struggles that some families go through, I’d decided on following a path to become a family support worker.
But life had other plans for me. And before I finished grade 12, I was expecting my own family to begin.
For the next ten years, I juggled parenthood and working life. I tried various retail positions, secretarial roles, and even a little dabble in floristry before settling into Early Childhood Education.
During my four years in child care/early childhood education, I stumbled across some nappy cakes and instantly fell in love with the concept. I rushed home to tell my husband about the idea as we were expecting a new nephew, and it would be the perfect opportunity for me to give nappy cakes a go.
At first, my husband and children were a little alarmed at the term ‘nappy cakes’. But once I explained the concept to them and made it very clear that you did not eat the nappies, they gave me their support, and I headed to the shops for supplies.
To be honest, I don’t know which was more fun that first time - shopping for the baby gifts or creating the actual nappy cake!
- The adorable giraffe plush was the inspiration for my first ever nappy cake.
After that, I couldn’t leave the idea alone. I had to do it again. So I decided to start creating nappy cakes as a hobby to sell at my local market. And the feedback I received in those early days was very positive and encouraging.
By the time I turned 30, I was married, had moved back to be closer to extended family, and was ready to add to our existing family. I was still creating nappy cakes, and had since added new gift ideas to my range with the plan to earn a steady income once I’d had my new little love.
Despite a further three unsuccessful years of trying for a baby, my passion for my little business only continued to grow.
- When COVID-19 hit, I felt privileged to be able to help people send new baby gifts to loved ones throughout Australia. When people couldn't be there in person, one of my gifts, together with a heartfelt message, meant they could still send their love and support.
I was still getting great feedback, and the dream of starting my own little shop was growing bigger every year.
My search for a local site to rent took time - and plenty of patience. But just when I was starting to think it would never happen, I received an offer to lease a shop front at a rental rate I couldn’t refuse.
Even though the rent was very reasonable, I still knew that opening a shop would be a considerable risk. But with the support of my husband, I decided to go ahead and give it a go for one year. And that was nine months ago.
Initially, when I opened the shop, I continued to work in early childhood education part-time and opened the doors just Wednesday to Saturday. Understandably, it was more than a tad exhausting! Nevertheless, I found the challenge invigorating.
I now work in my shop exclusively. And although the last nine months have been emotional and, at times, scary, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. With the support of my family, community, and other local businesses, I look forward to continuing this journey.
The shop is now looking nice and full of beautiful stock that is proudly focused on handmade Tasmanian and Australian designed products! With lots of time and work, I will continue to upgrade as my business grows.
If you’re keen to keep up-to-date with my business journey, or for great information and resources for parents, follow my blog.