I’m starting work on a new website start-up.

I’ll be honest, I was hesitant about this until the election. I conceived this idea back when I was building indie party people, because that’s what I do; new business ideas spawn even more business ideas when I’m in a creative place. Unlike some of my other ideas, this one has remained in my mind for almost two years. Sometimes I’m actively thinking about it, other times it sits in the background, remaining a good idea to be thought about another day. Some of my business ideas start as a burst of energy and fizzle into the worst idea ever. This one began and has remained, always a perfectly practical good idea.

I’m going to build a social network centered around childcare professionals and parents finding each other. It will not be extortionate.

It will be exactly what people actually want and need when they have a space to fill or need childcare. Simple.

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I’m starting asap because the results of the election mean that universal credit plans will go ahead as intended. Maybe even harsher. They will be rolled out in my area at some point between September and February, at which point we will be sanctioned because doing a PhD is not good enough for them. We receive working tax credits only but at that point we will receive nothing. The dream of an academic job and homeschooling our children could be dead in the eleventh hour.

My husband’s PhD will be submitted by then, but there are viva’s, corrections and finding a job will be an uphill battle.

This site needs to happen now and ideally I need to be able to split my energy solely between it and childcare so that the PhD will be finished faster and we might be able to skip the stress of running against the clock in September. However that seems unlikely so we will continue to plug along and get on with life until things change.

I will try to blog through the trials of a getting a start-up going while also caring for children. There will be blood, sweat and tears, I promise!

If you want to sign up for my email list so that I can let you know when it’s ready, go here.

 

 

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Life’s been hard

For weeks now, if not months, I’ve been planning to open a web shop. Partly I’d like it to help support my t-shirt design plans, but also I never wanted to stick with t-shirts anyway. True to form, I don’t dream small, I want to try everything! I’ve been planning this shop, in which I want to have quirky and sometimes trendy items of women’s clothing, I’ve been sourcing suppliers and trying to figure out how to create the website, and all the other plans that go along with putting a web shop business together. There’s a lot to think about.

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I love this stuff though, if I could make a living just helping people with their start up plans I would be a happy lady I think. However I am not a happy lady all the time because I have no time to do this and I find it such a constant stress. I work in an office 24 hours a week, come home to two small girls who need a mum, there’s at least a bare minimum of housework that needs doing of course, a husband and don’t forget my own mental health because sometimes its crying out for a break too. My 15 month old has been terrible about going to bed the past few weeks, she takes from one to two and a half hours and believe me that takes its toll on a persons resilience. It’s hard to come downstairs after that epic ready for a new challenge. Usually I feel down, depressed and exhausted. Last night I realised that quite clearly this is not the time to start an online shop that’s open 24/7.  I’m not sure I could keep up if it went well and I am really quite passionate about customer service. I used to be a restaurant server back home (as well as a restaurant owner for a short time) and my pay depended on good service so its practically in my blood now.

HOWEVER, I now have this stuff I’ve found that I want to share with you so what am I supposed to do?

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do; I’m going to make it available anyway, just not in the way that a shop would. Between now and next Monday, 7 July, if I get enough people to order 15 pieces of the following items (any combination) I’ll get them out to you. If we don’t get that many orders then nothing gets sold, so if you want something make sure you let me know and share this with other people who might want something.

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These three items above I have as I ordered them as a test and in all honesty I love them all. The skull shirt is a wide, oversized, comfy and soft t-shirt. The glitter panel leggings are nice and comfy as well; I’m between a 12 and 14 so ordered a large and I think I could have gotten away with a medium really. The leopard print trousers are like stretchy skinny jeans and I love them.

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Then we have the further selections which I don’t have:

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I don’t have these but I want to so thought some of you might too. If you’re interested see the next post and then my Facebook page to let me know what you want.

I have not been great about keeping up with the challenge, but I’ll get back to it asap and report back to you later.

How bloggers and entrepreneurs can better chase their dreams!

I’m very political; I have lots of opinions about how things should work, and I don’t think they are working right now. However, I’m completely aware that not everyone is interested to read dry political theory. If you wanted to do that you would go looking for it (like I do lol). Instead you are reading a fashion and lifestyle (and opinion!) blog. So, I’m going to keep this sweet and simple.

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Most of us writing blogs and starting businesses have to balance these dreams with maintaining a life with a roof over our heads, food, clothes for our ever-growing kids, transportation, etc etc. Cost of living has gone up so much; it’s literally gotten much harder to live a modest life than it was 20 to 30 years ago. Baby boomers that complain about the lazy Millenials are just plain wrong. Stuff is more expensive and jobs are harder to find. Truth.

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Enter Universal Basic Income. As Thomas says in the link, it is “a proposed economic system in which all adults within the economy receive a guaranteed basic income irrespective of whether they have a job or not.” No one starves anymore. No one has to be homeless. Everyone’s basic needs are met and everyone is free to chase whatever dream they want to chase. Just so you know, numerous trials all over the place have shown that small business creation increases quite considerably.

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Small wonder huh!? Entrepreneurs in this system are free to chase their dreams. Yes, this includes bloggers! Many of us who would like nothing more than to plunge every waking moment into our various projects would jump at this opportunity! I don’t have to worry about starving? I don’t have to spend a third of my life bored or stressed out of my mind just to stay afloat? Yes please!

If you want to know more, please please feel free to have a look at the piece I linked to above at Another Angry Voice. It’s a really good explanation in plain English about why it is actually a policy that is good for the economy rather than bad for it. There are lots of people who bristle at any mention of something like this but actually it would increase freedom, help the economy, and help streamline government spending. And apparently only the Green Party will consider it. <—- That link is quite a good piece on the idea too.

I just thought you should be aware.

 

Hate it when people spam your newsfeed?

Recently a colleague said that he unfriends people on Facebook when they “spam” his news feed with posts about their businesses. This is an open letter to him and everyone who agrees.

Dear Colleague,

You say you hate it when your news feed is spammed on Facebook by friends and their businesses. I do understand that you feel inundated by media messages and advertisements everyday telling you to buy this and buy that. Your hard earned money gets spent way too quickly. I understand, and we have all become so cynical and cautious about these messages.

Or have we?

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Vintage cuff by Iridenscence

We see McDonald’s everywhere we go, we don’t even realise how often we look at those golden freaking arches. If it’s not the restaurant itself we’re looking at, there’s a bag of food somewhere that someone is carrying around, or someone has left around littering the streets, or there’s an advertisement on the bus stop, or the billboard, or on TV. It’s EVERYWHERE.

But that doesn’t bother you because you’ve tuned it out. Don’t mistake, it still affects your thinking whether you eat there or not. You’re always aware that McDonalds is a choice.

Many big brands are in your face just like McDonalds day in and day out. They have seeped into your brain and they make up such a big part of it now that you don’t even notice how much you see them. They are just a part of life.

Starbucks. Nike. Primark.

They’re not spamming your life. They’re just a part of your life.

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Petal Collar by House of Handmade

Your friend’s little indie business though. Whoa! That’s different. She better back the fuck up and leave you alone huh? You do not want to know about it. She can find her customers elsewhere.

You’re not even tolerant enough to ignore the posts? You do know you can set it up to not see certain people’s posts on your wall right? Not that I’m for that option.

I’m for being supportive; like the page, like the post, share it every once in a while! Some people are trying to make a living with their business, not an empire. I understand the anti-capitalism sentiment that many people share, but we live in a capitalist economy and if you’re anti-capitalist you should be FOR the little indie business and the self employed.

Because McDonalds and Starbucks, they’re good. They don’t need your support, they have 300 million more supporters. But your friend, she needs it. Self employment is not easy. Cutting through all the other messages and being noticed is hard work. No one is trying to invade your space but your tolerance levels need an attitude adjustment.

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Victorian/Steampunk hat by Betsy Hatter

Our money needs to start going to the little guy instead of the conglomerates. Income inequality has become ridiculous and our spending habits are not helping. They’ve gotten too good at psychological tricks in marketing and advertising and we need to be more aware and vigilant.

Indie businesses don’t have huge marketing budgets; they have networking and social media. That means friends on Facebook and Twitter as well as real life. Someone you know may well want something your friend offers and unfriending her can make that impossible.

You ignore the messages from the largest brands around us, its in your interest, my interest and the interest of the 99% if you help support all  the indie business owners and self employed rather than actively sabotage by cutting yourself off as a networking link.

Sincerely,

 

Tiffany

PS click on the images to buy them!