For years small business owners have been working hard in their spare time to create, promote and run their fledgling business. Most can't afford to take the risk of quitting their day jobs and so are left with no option but to work evenings and weekends. I'm certainly one of them.
I dreamt up From Rags to Bags four years ago (time certainly flies!) when I was off work following an operation and had nothing better to do. I suddenly realised I could turn a lifetime of collecting fabric and a love of sewing into a small business. Whilst the business has grown year on year, I am still not in a position to give up the day job.
Whilst I do get the odd morning or few hours off in the afternoon, most of my free time is in the evenings and weekends. Having said that, by the time I can cleaned the house, done the laundry, gone food shopping, done the garden (you get the picture) even most of the weekend is taken up with everyday living.
I try to sew for a couple of hours every evening. Often I come home, have a cup of tea and then hit the sewing machine. With a break to cook and eat dinner, I can be sewing through the evening. I do try to have a cut off at 9pm but sometimes it ends up 10pm or later.
There is so much more to running a small business though than just manufacturing the product. It is amazing how long it takes to photograph new stock, list it on the website and other websites such as Etsy and Folksy, as well as promoting the business on Facebook and Twitter. Then there is writing articles for the blog. Even packing orders and going to the post office takes time. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. Sometimes though, I spend so much time promoting, I don't actually have any time left to make the stock I am supposed to be promoting!
Running a small business is certainly a tough juggling act.
Support for the 5-9'er is growing though with articles appearing in magazines, books being written offering advice and websites offering support. One website well worth bookmarking is http://www.working5to9.co.uk.
I have a head full of ideas for new stock. I am constantly plotting new handbags as well as new items to stock. The list is truly endless and the fabric stash is ever growing. All I need is a few more hours in the day. But then who doesn't?