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Welcome to this blog...

 

It's about running a small buisness; the trials and errors and challenges. And about life and environmental issues, coz that's a lot of what we're about. So, go on, have a read and leave us feedback...

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By gardnerandhill123, Feb 27 2017 02:35PM

So, thinking of starting your own on-line business? Get fired up and do it…learn as you go and, oh boy, will there be learning?! I’ve learned so much since starting G&H but I still feel like I have so, so much more to learn! I’ve got pretty up to scratch with Twitter, Face book & Instagram and run 6 accounts on these but I still haven’t got to grips with Facebook Ads or Facebook Pixel (annoyingly, the site we use to build our website Webeden doesn’t support Facebook Pixel). I’ve delved a little into Pinterest but this needs a whole new look and there just aren’t enough hours in my day to get my head round this one too! Then there’s building the website, who do you use? Where do you sell? Etsy, Shopify, your own website or somewhere else? How do you keep up your SEO (search engine optimization)? Do you need to write a blog? Do email campaigns? Do you use Hootsuite or Mailchimp? Use both! But, you’ll quickly find that all this takes time, but it is a necessity as it gets your name out there and the more you use these tools, the more you’ll speed up with using them. Alongside all of this, you need to keep up to date with stock, getting orders out, maybe doing fairs, designing new products etc. You do really need to be a jack of all trades and prepared to muck in and learn, learn, learn….

By gardnerandhill123, Feb 6 2017 06:32PM


Vicki’s first Gardner & Hill Blog Post


Gardner & Hill is run by two mums: Vicki, who is mum to 3 girls (aged 14, 11 & 6) and Jane, who is mum of two. It’s hard getting a business off the ground at the best of times, let alone when you’re juggling the role of mum too. I can’t speak for all mums but I’m sure that a lot of us are responsible for pretty much all the cleaning, the shopping, the washing & the cooking. Then there’s the school letters and forms, dinner money payments, social lives, birthday presents, parties, taxi driving to after school clubs and weekend liaisons (you need a PA just to manage all those without mucking up). My working day doesn’t start till at least 8.30am after I’ve got the girls out of the door and it finishes at 3.45pm when I have to meet them off the school bus. Often in that time dinner has to be cooked as there’s more than likely an after school club for at least one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. We chose this life, we chose to have kids and we chose our life style. I’m just saying that it’s hard being a mum and it’s a constant juggling act to keep everyone and everything happy and moving forward. We find it very difficult to have stalls at fairs because our husbands both work full time (mine is often away for at least 2 days a week too) and we don’t have parents on tap to have our children for us so we’re very restricted to what fairs (if any) we can manage to attend, leaving us dependent on our website for sales.

On the other side of the coin is the choice (sometimes there is no choice – it’s getting harder and harder to live off one wage these days) to stay at home and be a homemaker. I’ve done this too off and on, and I end up feeling worthless. The government want us to work and pay taxes, there’s no incentives to stay at home and dedicate your life to your children, something that actually should be lauded, so you end up feeling a bit useless. Times have changed and I think it takes a strong person to stay at home and not go mad or feel insignificant (I have friends who don’t work and they struggle with this feeling, so I know it’s not just me).

Then there’s the question, what job do you get? There are very few term time only 9-3 jobs out there – perhaps just Teaching Assistants and I know that those jobs are pretty sought after for that very reason. Otherwise, what? You can start your own business, like we have. Or of course, there’s breakfast, after school and holiday clubs, but you’ve got be earning a decent wage to make these a viable option. Perhaps there’s something to be said for us mums supporting other mums businesses. Are you a mum in business? Tweet me at Gardner&Hill and I’ll retweet you…come and find us on Facebook, send us a link to your website and we’ll share it. If you’ve got any other ideas for mutually supporting each other, let me know.

So, where am I going with this blog post? I’m not sure…I guess I’m just trying to say it’s hard being a mum and juggling all the responsibilities that go with it, whether you work or not. So mums, keep up the good work…you all rock…and multi task while you rock!