Jo Fazel-Owner Of Best Baby Shower
UK's Best Baby Shower, Party Supplies, Decorations & New Baby Gifts
It was in 2007 whilst on maternity leave with my first daughter that I first thought seriously about setting up my own business. Sure, in the past I’d often wondered what it must be like to work for yourself but the usual day to day responsibilities like paying the mortgage and the bills made it seem impossible to leave my job as an HR manager.
However, as I had already financially planned for the year’s maternity leave I thought ‘Why not? It’s now or never’. I also knew that there were major changes happening at my work as well and that there was a possibility that I might be able to negotiate an exit from the business on mutually agreeable terms. After some discussion with my manager I left on great terms and with some much needed extra cash in my pocket.
Now I just had to figure out what I could do as a business! I knew it would have to be something I felt passionate and knowledgeable about. Since I was pretty much immersed in the world of all that was ‘baby’ with a 10 month old, it made perfect sense to create a business that was baby-related.
It was during a conversation with my sister-in-law Heidi, that I decided to focus on the area of baby showers. She had planned to throw me a baby shower during my pregnancy, although I didn’t know much about them, and I was looking forward to seeing what they were all about. However, I didn’t get the chance as my daughter decided she didn’t fancy being left out and timed her arrival two weeks early on the day of the baby shower! But afterwards whilst talking to Heidi and finding out more about what she had planned, I realised that the idea of baby showers was so lovely but that it was a fairly new phenomenon here in the UK.
After some research it became clear that although baby showers were huge business over in the US, and also popular in South America & Australia, that there weren’t many places in the UK that had picked up on the trend. Certainly you couldn’t find baby shower themed partyware on the high street. I’d also noticed whilst researching that there seemed to be a trend taking off for nappy cakes and baby bouquets – lovely new baby gifts that were made from baby clothing and other baby items. These gifts also weren’t often found on the high street but would make fantastic baby shower centrepieces and gifts. I had a go at making my own nappy cakes & baby bouquets and found that not only could I make really beautiful ones but I enjoyed the creativity – something that had been lacking from my usual, somewhat routine days with my baby.
Then came some serious hard graft – months researching products, setting up the company, finding an accountant, writing a business plan and generally learning everything I needed to know to get going. I started out with a basic website, a friend of a friend did my logo and I invested the money I had into buying stock.
The next year was all about trying to increase my product lines, both items that I made myself and those that I bought from suppliers. I had realised at that point that handmade and personalised gifts sold really well as customers often wanted something a bit different. If people can find an item on the high street easily why would they order it from the internet? What they wanted was something more unique. I came up with a line of new unusual gifts such as baby clothes ‘smoothies’, baby sock cupcakes and candy box socks. I also found that many of the handmade and quirky gifts I was sourcing externally were made by other work-from-home mums and it felt totally natural to champion these very talented women.
All the profits went straight back into the business so that by 2009 I was ready to invest in a completely new design website. By this time I had built up a huge range of products – over 20 party themes and literally hundreds and hundreds of different gifts – not just for baby, but for mums, dads, siblings and grandparents too. I continually strive to stand out from competitors and so a couple of months ago I also launched my own exclusive range of baby shower games. I wanted a range of fun but also classy games that party hosts would be proud to run at the baby shower.
Now in 2010 I continue to champion other talented mums (& dads!) and strive to grow the business into a household name.
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