Hello! Get that kettle on and curl up for another update from one of our interviewees, one year on from her first one back in March 2013. Anastasia Bird runs Jellybean Home Decor & Gifts, still a relatively new company, only set up in 2012. Where did Anastasia want to be by now? Her reply was: “We hope to have a fully equipped workshop and continue to grow in terms of products, orders and advertising”, which is a modest but targeted aim. Let’s see how she’s doing now …
Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Not quite, as I had quite a few personal setbacks, including a house move and various family crises, which had to come first. But we’re not far off. I’ve been building up buying equipment, and I’ve just applied for funding to enable me to buy a wood-cutting machine.
In terms of orders, we’re absolutely where we want to be at this point. There’s the task of streamlining things to enable customers to get their orders more quickly by reducing our turnaround time, ensuring that the quality stays the same, of course. It’s more the waiting for stock that is a big, big factor in turnaround time, so we’re working really, really hard to combat that.
Advertising has been great: we stocked in a shop in Essex last year, and this year are stocking in a local shop and have been looking into different advertising areas and finding the one that suits Jellybean.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
My hours have definitely changed. At the time of the last interview, I was working all hours, but I’ve learned to time block so I get more work done in less time, to a higher quality. Less procrastination. I feel this is important on a massive scale, because it enables me to have a much better work/home life and achieve the balance that so many small business owners strive for, and it lets me be a happier person and become better at my job.
The passion I have has definitely stayed the same, if not grown even more … oh and I love Twitter now! Haha!
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learned a ton of new techniques, different ways to photograph things, etc. I wish I’d known that Christmas was going to be insane! I knew it was going to be busy, but it was a totally new experience managing so many orders!
Any more hints and tips for people?
Stick at it! You will have times of doubt and crisis, but you can do it!
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
It’s really hard to say, because I can’t predict what happens in my personal life, but I hope that we’re doing a lot more events like fairs, and I hope we’re stocked in a shop long term, and I hope we’re cutting our own wood!
Well, that sounds like a good set of aims, again, to me. Well done to Anastasia for getting that work-life balance back on track – always a tricky thing, but it is possible to manage it. Time-blocking is, indeed, the key there. And it sounds like orders are going well, and with plenty of orders, she’ll be able to fulfil her other plans more easily. I look forward to hearing how things are going next year!
You can visit Anastasia’s website at www.jellybeanhomegifts.co.uk where you can also sign up to a monthly newsletter, or email the company. The company is on Facebook and Twitter, and you can phone Anastasia on 01623 620 14301623 620 143
f you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.