Business Update

It’s hard to go from contemplating the words of John Paul II to writing about business matters. But, when I remind myself that our business will be helping to support my family, then, it’s as if a circuit is connected which allows the spiritual principles continue to flow into the material needs.

The Etsy shop is set to open on January 1st – if I make it to midnight on New Year’s Eve, then I’ll open the shop then with a few clicks. The 1st of January is a great Feast day, dedicated to the Mother of God, and I like to attend Mass on that day, to dedicate the whole year to Our Lady, and through her, to God. Opening the shop on that day is my way of dedicating the entire business venture to the Lord.

I’m also working on a Facebook page for the shop; there’s not much there yet, but I should be able to post some photos today.

Here are some of the resources that I’ve been gleaning information from:

How to Start a Home-based Online Retail Business by Jeremy Shepherd

http://www.createhype.com
http://www.MyWifeQuitHerJob.com
http://www.christianpf.com

Etsy posts a number of really helpful tutorials about all facets of starting and growing a craft-related business. Some of the topics I have looked at are: costing, designing a shop banner, photographing shop items.

I’m always interested in finding out more about running a small business, so fell free to leave some links that you have found helpful.

We are also going to be moving house in the New Year, so pray for me that I will be able to keep it all together.
God’s blessings to you all.

A Beautiful Idea.

I thought I would continue today with the story of how I came up with my business idea. You must remember, that I haven’t yet opened my shop or made a single sale, so it’s possible that I should be writing this twenty years in the future, when Bill Gates is asking me for advice.

Any way, someone asked me how I blend being a Catholic with running a business, so maybe my thoughts will be of some interest.

A few days ago, I wrote about the struggle I had had with the concept of supplementing my husband’s income. This is not meant to be a criticism of those mothers who work outside the home – it’s just a personal obstacle that I had about my own situation. So, I first went to Book of Proverbs for some illumination.

Then I came across a helpful little book at the library – about using the biblical principles found in “Proverbs” to assist in running a business. It was a Protestant book, and had a lot of useful ideas, as well as case-studies. It mentioned the company, “Chick-Fil-A” which we don’t have in Australia, but I was familiar with the name, because I had read about their opposition to Obama’s HHS. Anyway, Chick-Fil-A chooses not to open on the Sabbath, and, despite that, has grown into a very successful business. The owner said that he had been thanked by some of his competitors, who said that they would never have gotten off the ground if he had opened on Sundays, so it just goes to show how God’s providence takes into account those without faith, as well as the faithful.

Around this time, I did some brainstorming in my trusty journal – I knew there was an idea in there somewhere, waiting to see the light of day. I wrote down my skill set (craft/logistics/business, knows what its like to be tired/frustrated/having limited resources) and some markets I could see weren’t being catered to (home-educators/ busy mothers/semi crafty people who need some help to get started/people who love beautiful things but can’t afford them). And so my idea was born – put together kits for homewares that people can make themselves. Sort of like a cross between Martha Stewart and Ikea. It was easy to come up with some simple projects inspired by my favourite textile artists, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. I can envisage more projects to come, with a specifically Catholic theme, inspired by the work of Pugin, and which revolve around the Liturgical Year.

“The Most Beautiful Thing this side of Heaven.”

I know that I’m not a great artist who can transform a lump of silver into a beautiful ring, or a blank canvas into something that will inspire generations, but I think that I possess the sort of creativity that John Paul II called the ‘genius of woman.’ (One of my sons has suggested that this ‘genius’ refers to our ability to remove layers of make-up from our faces.)

I can see the business staying very small, more like a hobby, or growing into something bigger. It’s like a blog, in that regard – we never quite know where it will take us.