Archive for the ‘Mumpreneur’ Category

Happy New Year… here’s to a joyful 2016!

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Happy New Year to you all!

There was a celebration in December as the 15th was the 10th Birthday for Chiggs, marking the day 10 years ago that I took delivery of the very first print run of Baby Feed Wheels. I can scarcely believe I have been running my business for 10 years, and I’m very much looking forward to the next 10!

Rewind to 10 years ago this January, and I was approaching local shops to see if they wanted to sell the Baby Feed Wheels. I had a great reaction to the cards, and was also offered some very useful advice… of course, I was completely new to business, so any help was very very welcome! On the advice of a local card shop I put the cards in cellophane wrappers… I’d been so involved with the design of the Wheels, it was something I hadn’t thought of!

The very first shop I approached was Magpie Greetings, which at the time was based in the Westminster Arcade in Harrogate. They bought a stock of Baby Feed Wheels to sell in their shop, and I’m delighted to say that 10 years down the line, many re-orders (and a premises move to Beulah Street) Magpie are still selling Chiggs Wheels! They now also sell the Get Well Wheels in their ‘get well soon’ card section.

Here is a #ThrowbackThursday photo of me and Chiglet at our exhibition stand at the Harrogate Card and Wrap Trade Fair, taken in January 2009. I must point out that my little helper is now 13 and as tall as me!







Books galore

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Yesterday I received a very exciting delivery through the post. A big brown-paper-wrapped parcel that was so heavy, the Postman asked me how many gold ingots were in there (I wish!).

Enclosed was a selection of business books dealing with various aspects of online marketing and trading. Absolutely perfect material for me to get stuck into, covering all sorts of different topics, so will hopefully give me some great ideas for the business and inspiration for ways to improve the Chiggs website.

One of the books specifically deals with blogging- “for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community” reads the blurb, so once I’ve read that one I’m hoping for great(er!) things here at the Chiggs blog! 🙂

So how did this treasure trove of information come to be resting on my coffee table? The best news of all is that I won the whole package!

A while ago Mumsnet (a parenting website that I have been a member of since 2005 when I was seeking help with potty training Chiglet!) started a business section on the forums in association with Barclays Bank, and together they ran a ‘Barclays on Mumsnet’ Online Business Fortnight. I took part, tweeted a few tweets, and lo and behold a few weeks ago received a message to say that I had won their book giveaway.

I shall report back with book reviews shortly!

From empty slots to pop-up shops

Friday, June 28th, 2013

No-one can miss the increasing number of empty, shuttered-up shops on our High Streets. Even here in Harrogate- a town previously renowned as being ‘recession proof’ we have the largest number of empty shops around town that I have seen since moving here 12 years ago, with both Independent and household name businesses closing.

Are people spending less on the High Street and more online?

Are business rents and rates too high for the smaller independent shops to afford?

Are parking costs putting people off, driving people to drive to out-of-town shopping malls where parking is free?

Here at Chiggs we practice what we preach, and really try to shop at our local independent retailers- buying meat from the butcher; fruit and veg from an excellent, knowledgeable greengrocers right in the centre of Harrogate; cards and presents from the gorgeous Magpie Greetings  (where Baby Feed Wheels and Get Well Wheels are also available!); and last December we held Holly’s birthday party at Pots 2 Go ceramic cafe in town (also a Chiggs stockist!)

Various initiatives have been started to try to help independent businesses. Mary Portas was appointed by the Government to lead a review into the future of Britain’s high streets (as mentioned previously on the Chiggs blog )- her recommendations generated many column inches in the newspapers- and the annual Independent Retailer Month will again be running throughout the month of July.

Pop-up shops have also started, well, popping up- taking over empty retail units on short term leases. While providing some rent for the landlord and filling an empty shop, albeit temporarily, pop up shops also give entrepreneurs an opportunity to try out their business model without  a huge outlay and tying themselves into the financial commitment of a long lease agreement.

Pop Up Britain (part of Start Up Britain) has recently opened a flagship pop-up shop on London’s famous King’s Road.  The outlet will offer short-term opportunities to start-ups and micro businesses from all over the country over a 12 month period. The fabulous news is that Chiggs stockist Hello Baby Gifts has been selected from over 800 applicants to have a shop, and will be taking their gorgeous baby gifts, hampers and nappy cakes (and of course Baby Feed Wheels!) to Kings’ Road in the first 2 weeks of August.

Wahm bam- ‘Mumpreneur’ is in the dictionary

Friday, October 7th, 2011

In the early years of running Chiggs there were a handful of forums where ladies, often Mums, running their own businesses could chat online, swap advice etc in what were known as WaHM (Work at Home Mum) areas of the forum.

Wahm was the watchword- a neat way of defining a group of ladies- Mums- who understood the challenges of running a business from home whilst parenting. At the time, my daughter Holly hadn’t started school, and it was great to be able to ‘chat’ to others who could empathise with the experience of trying to answer the ‘phone to a business client at precisely the time your toddler threw the most enormously noisy tantrum because they had posted their favourite teddy behind the radiator.

But now there is a new word in town, and this one is official!

For the last couple of years, the word ‘Mumpreneur’ has been gaining favour. It’s describing the same demographic group; Mums -entrepeneurs- running their own businesses, often in the baby/children sector. Often it’s a business that has come about as a result of becoming a Mum. It’s a description I’m happy to have applied to me. It was my experience as a mum that made me realise, when I had the idea for the Baby Feed Wheel, how useful it would be to have something to keep a note of baby’s feed times. I remembered writing down all Holly’s feed times on scraps of paper!

Developing this into a business has made me an entrepeneur, and, yes, being a Mum is relevant, so “Mumpreneur”- why not?!

And the Mumpreneur movement continues to gain impetus. Despite it being a bit of a ‘Marmite’ term, there is now a Mumpreneur Conference, Mumpreneur Awards, a Mumpreneur Directory…

And now comes the news that the term Mumpreneur is to make it into the new edition of the Collins English Dictionary. Definition:-  “A woman who combines running a business with looking after her children”.

So, now that the word is out, work at home mums don’t have to keep mum about being a mum. Wahms are Fantastic!

(Apologies to George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi and Shirley!)