It’s Small Business Update time – hooray (and for a little while, you’re going to see bonus ones on every other Monday, as everyone suddenly got in touch with their updates after Christmas – I do have a lot of crafters on the list, like today’s interviewee, so that’s completely fair enough!). Today it’s the turn of Jennifer Woracker who was from Twinkleballs last time but now also has a new venture! We first met Jennifer in December 2012 and caught up with her most recently in January 2014. When I asked her then where she wanted to be in a year’s time, she replied “I hope to be running cake decorating classes locally and to be on my way to having a tutorial book published. However, this might take more than a year, as I think the new baby will slow things down. I am also working on a new range of clay characters that will make extra special keepsake gifts for special occasions”. With a new baby on the way, who knew what was going to happen … in fact there’s a baby and a new line of business in the picture now! Read on to find out more …
Hi, Jen! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
No, things have moved in a different direction and I am busier than I ever imagined I would be.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I no longer work with fondant, I only make polymer clay products now and I have moved away from cakes. I still make cake toppers, but my most popular product is my award-winning ‘Forever Family’ Baubles. They are so popular I have opened a new Facebook page and website just for them. The TwinkleBalls Big Bauble Boutique offers one of a kind keepsake gifts for all occasions: hand-sculpted polymer clay caricatures, displayed in acrylic balls, finished with a decorative ribbon.
My most popular design is the award-winning classic ‘Forever Family’ Christmas Baubles, tiny models of your own family wearing festive jumpers and playing in the snow. I am also working on a New Home bauble, a Baby Shower bauble and an Engagement bauble, I have a waiting list of over 40 people already!!
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I wish I had kept updating my website whilst on Maternity leave, it has lost its place on the Google ranking and I am struggling to be seen again. I need to start work on Christmas orders a lot earlier – last Christmas was crazy busy and I only just managed to keep up!
Any more hints and tips for people?
It has become a lot harder to be seen on Facebook, so I recommend spreading yourself a little wider with a website and use other social platforms such as Twitter and Etsy. I myself need to put a lot more effort in to these areas!
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Hopefully having two very successful websites selling my unique products all over the globe. My younger son will start full time school so it will free up a bit more time for me to take on new orders, with my baby girl by my side!
If I get really popular I might even have to take on an assistant, but success scares me, so I will just concentrate on the here and now at the moment.
It can be scary working out what to do when your business really starts to take off (I have a series of blog posts on the topic if you’re interested in reading about the options – one of which is, indeed, taking on staff). It’s interesting how many of my interviewees end up going in a different direction to the one they’d planned – but it’s always good to be flexible and to see where your business takes you. I salute Jen for managing to develop this lovely new line of products while looking after a new baby – and I’m sure she’ll find a way to get back up those Google rankings and build her business over the next year!
If 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.