This week lets meet the lovely Sarah from Toadstools & Tails :
Tell us about your business:
Predominately my business is about providing high quality, handmade, organic bamboo baby products, hence my tagline ‘Organic luxury for little people’.
Through doing my initial research and learning of all the amazing qualities the bamboo fibre offers our little ones, it was a no brainer that I had to make use of it and make it available to other Mums. I also felt strongly about making the products unique and affordable. I design, handmake and hand embroider all the products in my home on the Mornington Peninsula.
What inspired you to start your business?
I have always had a creative side and have been embroidering for many years. After having my first son, like many Mum’s, I developed a great interest in baby and children’s products but struggled to find products that were really unique. I also had new found confidence in myself and thought how great it would be to design my own products and run my own business.
Is there an interesting anecdote behind your business name?
The thought of fairies and gnomes living under a toadstool at the bottom of my garden puts a huge smile on my face! I wanted to incorporate this theme in a simplistic way and so it all began with the toadstool. I designed my logo first and so the business name naturally developed from that.
What is the most satisfying part of what you do?
Buying a gift for a baby can be an exercise that people put a lot of thought into. For many, it is a very special time whether it’s a new grandchild, niece/nephew or their own baby. Every time I sell a product I am so flattered that it is seen to be special enough to give to a little baby.
Have you tried something in business that didn’t work as planned, or on the flip side – worked out better than expected?
I’m always looking at different types of markets that I could attend and there have been some that haven’t worked so well and others that work really well. It’s certainly a process of elimination and finding which are the best areas for your target market.
I do a market every Wednesday at Main Street Mornington and I just love it, there is such great camaraderie between stallholders. I have a second family there.
What would be your best tip for someone thinking about selling their handcrafted goods?
I’m still very much in the learning process myself but what I did learn early is to make use of social media, in particular Facebook. It’s a great way to start to get your name out there and best of all it’s free!! Follow and interact with as many relevant organisations and businesses as you can, it’s a great form of networking and there is amazing support for small business out there.
I’m finding markets are also fantastic, great networking and once you start chatting to others you will learn a lot.
What is your favourite item you make?
I can’t go past my blankets, I’m seriously considering making one for my bed! There are a few different designs but my favourite is one that features my logo where I appliqué a toadstool (using bamboo velour) and hand stitch a mouse behind it. It definitely catches people’s eye and is my best seller.
Any personal or business highlights in the last year:
I think making the decision to leave my job to concentrate on my own business was definitely a highlight. I don’t think I’ve ever been as motivated as I was then.
3 things about you that people might not know:
- I help a charity called Mummies and Babes in Need, they collect children’s and women’s clothing, nursery items, toys etc to donate to mothers and their families in need. I was so moved by what these women were doing, I had to help out.
- I love everything French! especially when it comes to decorating and food.
- I have two beautiful little boys, Jack and Harry and an amazing husband….I found him when I was living in the UK and dragged him back here!