It’s update time with Stevie Maiden from Maidens Fayre. When we first met Stevie in June 2013, she ran a small business Facebook group and was building up her jams, chutneys and pickles business. Updates in July 2014 , 2015 and 2016 she shared the ups and downs of life at fairs and shows while she tried to achieve that delicate work-life balance. In 2016, this was her plan for this year: “I hope to be selling into more retail outlets and doing less standing in fields in the rain,” but unfortunately life had something different in store.
Hello, Stevie! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Sadly not. I had a nasty fall after I completed last years answers. It’s meant I’ve had to cut back considerably.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I’m still working, but I’ve lost heart in it. I’m considering putting the business up for sale. My deteriorating health has meant that I can’t work as hard as I did. It’s still my only source of income, so I have to stick at it
What have you learned and what do you wish you’d known a year ago?
Well, I’ve learned that if you advertise your ideas on Facebook, your competitors WILL copy them.
What hints and tips do you have for people?
I’d say have a back-up plan. I loved this business so much and I never thought I would stop. Be prepared that it might happen to you.
Where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I really hope I get my enthusiasm back and if not, I really hope to sell the business as a going concern
I’m so sorry that Stevie’s had a hard time this year and has lost enthusiasm as a result. I am grateful for her honesty in sharing this with us – it’s good to remember times can be hard and scary as well as easy and fun, and it is indeed important to have a back-up plan. I hope there’s no selling of the business and lots of selling of jam and chutney involved this year!
You can find Stevie online on the Maidens Fayre Facebook page and get in touch with her there.
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.