I write this with so much gratitude in my heart for how the past few weeks have gone with regards to our business. As a solo mompreneur, working from home I don’t think I could have imagined this reality.
We have seen the store sellout for the first time and that meant there was no pause button on my end for two weeks straight packing orders and making. These are good problems to have of course! Being that I am designer, maker, photographer, fabric sourcing, marketing department, administration, packing, and customer service you can only imagine the madness.
Once things slowed down though I had a moment to think about how I can work more efficiently, maintaining the standard of our Imibongo dolls while making sure our little customers are receiving their orders in good time- not to mention preserving my sanity.
Here’s what went on in my head ;
TURNAROUND. Our turnaround times had to change, making a single doll takes up a good day if I push but that means doing little else but making that doll. It also means that I’m a less present parent / partner in my home, sleeping late trying to catch up on emails, DMs and wholesale orders. As the business grows a 1-2 day turnaround per order is no longer workable and we’ve had to push that up so that each order is made similarly with love and care, the same attention to detail as we had started out with.
INVESTMENTS IN EFFICIENCY . For me this meant that sitting with a pair of scissors and cutting 20 dolls at once, resulting in a swollen thumb and index finger was a sign I could do better. So we’re looking at ways to cut down on labor, invest in resources to make this process less time consuming and taxing on my body in the long run. Apart from better equipment, getting some assistance would be amazing and we are considering this in the very near future once we figure out the where, who and how!
VOLUME. It’s become obvious our lovable black dolls can no longer be one-off or as limited as before as our customer love increases. Additionally, COVID has put a lot of pressure on fabric supplies so I have to be more mindful about the volume of fabric purchased at any given time, buying a little more than I need, this should cut down on trips to the shops and that makes my pockets happy.
LIFE BALANCE. Our tiny home office environment has proved to be such a gem, a multifunctional space where we’re constantly making changes for efficiency and family friendliness. It’s not business as usual at all around here.
This is the reality of running a small business, it’s an exciting journey, one always with lessons along the way.