xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Hammers and Stammers

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hammers and Stammers

It’s interesting to note the precise moment a business was conceived.  In my case it was at a folk festival in the middle of Oxfordshire.  With my high-powered Blackberry wielding PR guru of a friend, Ms Adrenalin.  Surrounded by fluttering bunting, marquees, real ale, melodeons and fiddles and fresh from erecting tents.
Very similar to how most businesses are born, no?
I call my friend an Enabler.
Only days previously I had been sitting with The Husb in the car on a journey to a wedding and I’d said, after a moment of shattering honesty with myself “You know I could list ten business ideas I’ve had since the children were born and every single one I have chickened out of doing.”
“Why?” he said
“Because I am a chicken.” I said.  And it’s true.  Cluck cluck.  “I feel almost as if I don’t have the right to try “ I said.  All true.
Ms Adrenalin, who does not allow herself any such rubbish, armed herself with a large mallet with which to quash my objections.  And bash in tent pegs too, of course.
“You should start a business with your products, you know, you really should” she said “I just loved Daughter No 2’s pencil roll and so did everyone else.”
“No,” I said “I know myself, you see; I can’t do the same thing twice.  Dreadful at it.  I get bored.  So it’d be no good, I just wouldn’t be able to make enough to sell any.”
“No, you don't do that business model,” she walloped, “You select the fabrics, you design the prototypes and you get others to make them for you.”
"Well, ok, but I'm not really a pattern designer..."
"Rubbish" she bashed.
"But...but...you see I'd have to design patterns from scratch and I'm not sure they're good enough..." I faltered.
"But that's the bit you enjoy, isn't it, and you could always go on a course, or get your mum to help you, or learn from books; you love learning from books and you know it..." Hit hit hit.
“Well, but I don’t know anything about transactional websites,” I whined.
“Simple, you just link to Paypal, or even use etsy or something.  I’ll find out for you,” she batted.
“But how do you post things out?” I whinged “I don’t know how the parcel delivery networks operate or anything...”
“You set up an account with a delivery network of some kind” she whacked, “I know someone to ask, I'll look into it for you.”
“But the blog name’s no good” I desperately countered “It doesn’t trip off the tongue...”
“You need a good one that’s easy to type into Google” she banged, “You can just think up a new one.  The Husb will help you with that, he's very creative and good with names.”
“But I wouldn’t have time for the marketing and PR...” I mumbled.
“I’ll do that for you” she whacked, and voila, one tent proudly erected and one business seed sown.
An Enabler. Every time I uttered an objection (and these were really just fears, rather than true obstacles) she found a way round them.  And more importantly, and somewhat mystifyingly, she had total and utter faith in me, which is more than I could say for myself.
And suddenly a path lay ahead of me which I thought maybe, just maybe, I could walk down.
In a slightly chicken-like way, sure.  A bit flappy perhaps, here and there.  Bit scared to cross roads maybe, but better able to cross bridges when I come to them, instead of refusing even to leave the coop.
Next thing I know I'm sending her a panicky email saying "Look what you made me do!  You, you twisted business-starter!  I've signed up for two Christmas Fayres!  I haven't got a stitch to sell!"
"Ooh goody," she said "Right, you'll need your website and your logo and business cards and marketing ready for that then.  Must dash, bye..."
Cluck cluck.


whitemorn said...

Well good for you. We all need a good kick up the arse to get us going sometimes. Best of luck and may you always enjoy it. Love Pam

Mairi said...

I think most of the best business ideas are the ones which have sort of been thrust upon you. I think, if anyone thought too long about it they'd never go into business, far too scary. Then again, a mallet wielding loony is scary too!

Kath said...

Hello Catherine, thankyou for your kind comments on my Blog. I saw Silv today, her shoulder is getting slowly better although she still can't drive, but she is looking forward to seeing what you make.

Liz of Wool Boutique said...

How fantastic to have that sort of a person in your life, that one who gives you a right kick up the bum and says "you can do it"! Most importantly, they see something in you that you're often blind to yourself.

Ooh i've come across all a bit dewy eyed!

Liz x

P.S. Today's word verification is "blacchug". Just thought you might like to know that.