How can I have got this far in a short space of time?
Hi everyone, I am so sorry for the delay in writing this blog, however, I have been really busy sorting things out for my amazing Tv Debut in my Fifties with my New Business.
This is me on Hochanda on Wednesday, September 16th at 9.00am. It was amazing, me a Barnsley girl on telly. The viewers were brilliant and rang in saying it was lovely to see me on there, I was like a breathe of fresh air and I get to do it all again in December.
This is all unbelievable for me, a normal Barnsley girl (well, I suppose my friends would question that) going on Tv, ever since I was in my early twenties (quite a while ago), I wanted to be on TV, thinking maybe weather girl.
So here I am now, appearing on Tv promoting my fabulous knitting kits and of course I was able to launch my new craft product, which is my 3 in 1 Pom Pom Maker (see my shop for more details). This was an amazing experience, from getting ready with my kits for the show to travelling to the studio. All of the presenters and staff were absolutely amazing and so helpful. It was really busy as the orders kept coming in and I kept getting lovely comments from the viewers.
What an amazing experience and get to keep on doing it!
Things I needed to sort when turning my hobby into a business
There is a lot to think about when setting up a business:-
- Sorting the name of your business, making sure no-one else has it.
- learning about techy things (this has been a challenge on its own), including having a website set up.
However, it’s one of the best things I’ve done (did I say how proud I was of myself!).
This is one of my biggest achievements, from designing the product on paper, then having prototypes made and changing it and making sure it does what it says it does on the box, to have a graphic designer make the box and designing it.
There was a lot of things to think about:-
- Testing the product
- Promoting it
Now a Techy Geek (haha!)
I feel I can call myself this as I have learnt loads about IT, not saying I’m brilliant at it, but I am getting there.
I have managed to set up a channel which is called Knitaway for all my tutorials, making it easier for people to follow my patterns, they prefer watching someone doing the actual pattern. I have tried to make sure my branding follows everything I do as it makes it look more recognisable for my company.
It’s amazing what you can play around with on YouTube, from editing on IMovie and I feel I am getting better at it, the more I download my tutorials on there. I can also link my channel with my Website (which again, a bit proud).
Look at this! I have also worked out, after watching a YouTube tutorial on how to put downloadable patterns onto my website. Once, I worked it all out and tested it with my friends, from purchasing the pattern, right through to the downloading of the pattern for the customer, it worked! and people are loving it.
This is something I am looking at doing as I want people to be able to follow me with my journey and show everyone the new knitting kits which are coming out and other exciting things.
So why not subscribe to my newsletter!
Why not follow me on my journey and you can do that on my Instagram account, which is knit.away and I will keep posting new and exciting things.
There’s a lot more I need to do, like looking at Pinterest and twitter in more detail and working out how they can work for my business.
If you would like any help and you have any questions on how I have done everything, then please send me a message through my website in the contact section and I will try to help you wherever I can.
Bye for now!
Michelle – Knitaway
Where am I at?
I have been designing a new product for my crafting business – very exciting, but a little scary.
- Having the prototypes done from pen to paper, to see it made up and trying to use local companies, that was very exciting.
- Playing with it and making sure it does what it says on the box, to taking photographs of it and writing the instructions to go with the product, bear in mind this is all new to me.
- Working with a great graphic designer, called Nathaniel, who he is busy, busy, busy designing the packaging for my product. I will tell you more about him in my next blog once the packaging is all complete and we start shouting about it. My friend Janet is my tester of the product and she is brilliant, coming up with her own ideas for the product as well.
- In the next month, I will be able to tell you more about what I’m doing as this is my ongoing project until all the different elements of actually getting it into a box ready for selling.
Oh, my word! This has been the scariest part for me as when I had my website done, the lady who made it for me Alex made a video training session so I was able to go back on bits, as you know what it is like we forget everything 5 minutes after. Then she was gone! Letting me get on with it and have a play, well not literally gone but she thought I would be ok with the training.
The day after I looked at my laptop and thought, dare I go on and do something with my website. One of the biggest problem for me was, what if I mess it up and press the wrong buttons?
Well, I brought my training video up on my iPad while working on the laptop so that I could get on with it. My first job was to put on my products and I had a few blips, but I did it!
I am at the stage that I can use a lot of it now, however, still, a lot to learn about the SEO part (search optimization engine), that sounds good. Neil Maycock from Digital Impact Solutions has given me some training on this as it’s not easy knowing what to do.
Each time I post I am getting better as I have some training from Danni at Xpand Marketing, who was brilliant. I still need some more as each time you start to play with your account others questions starts to arise.
My story on Instagram is a new one for me, I even have my 13-year-old daughter helping me to post things on here as this helps people get to know a bit about your personality and saving them on to my highlights for people to see (yes I know what highlights are, not the ones in your hair!).
The other week I was scrolling through my Instagram and came across a guy called Jack, now when I went into his account, he had 29,000 followers and he had just put something on his story about Hyacinth (Mrs Bucket to us) and it was really funny.
So, I made a comment and did not expect him to reply, but he did and oh my word I was so giddy like I was 21 again thinking that what I would call a “Biggy” on Instagram replying to me.
He’s so funny and he’s started following me, just a normal Barnsley girl (well not sure about normal, ha-ha).
If you get the chance go and have a look at his account on Instagram @jackdmarch.!
I have a son, who is 20 in September and he has set up his own business and if you get a chance go and have a look at him on eBay, his business is called seewhatyoulike, he has inspired me as he set his business up in September and is now an eBay business seller.
Oliver sells old things (no not me!) from things like the polaroid camera’s, bakerlight phones and loads of different old phones, the other month he brought home a teasmade, which brought back loads of memories for me and his dad.
I must admit when he brings home new stock, we do get excited looking through them and when Oliver can’t get them working that’s when dad jumps in and most of the time gets things working, however people still want them if they don’t work. So proud of him as has done well for himself.
I have a daughter called Lille who is 13 years old going on 16 (ha-ha!), but she’s doing well in this lockdown and making sure her homework is done, mostly on time.
She has been doing a bit of modelling for me and yes I have to pay her, Oliver also pays her to put some of his items on eBay, so what she does is look at the clothes she wants to buy and this is what inspires her do it, otherwise she wouldn’t do it, which is fine.
I have been teaching her to do arm knitting and when I ask if she is enjoying it, the answer is it is alright but I can tell she is enjoying it as it grows quickly and does look lovely.
She has been teaching me how to use Snapchat with all the filters for your photographs.
My husband, Steve just helps us all out when we have various issues, like Oliver’s stuff he gets for eBay, to playing with the hamster with Lillie, as she is a little scared of it biting her. To helping me with designing my new product or if I’m not sure how something fits together, he’s our man.
I would love you to follow me on my journey
I have some exciting things happening towards the end of the year, but I can’t tell you about it yet, but I am a bit giddy about it and of course the launch of my new product.
I hope what I’m doing with my blog is letting people know what sort of things you need to consider when starting up a business and helping them wherever I can.
Again, if there is anyone that wants to help me with my journey, that would be greatly appreciate it.
If there is anything you would like me to cover in my blog, please let me know and any comments to what you think to my blog will be appreciated.
About Me setting up my own business.
Hello everyone, my name is Michelle Jackson, the creator of my own business Knitaway. I have decided to share my experience through this new exciting, new journey in my life.
I am proud to say I am a woman in my 50’s and I am raring to go with loads of energy.
As I enter this new phase in my life, which is quite exciting, yet scary and a few doubts in setting up my knitting business and asking myself, “am I good enough”?
So the aim of my blog is for you to follow me through my journey and hopefully encourage people that whatever age you are, it’s not too late, just go for it!
I consider myself a really outgoing person and love to have fun, which includes a bit of Soul and Motown dancing.
Where Do I Start?
The things I needed to think about when setting up my business.
Well to be honest, I had to really think about a lot of things:-
- Where do I source my yarn from? Loads of researching on the internet helped me to achieve this.
- Who will deal with a small company that has just set up? This was a worry to me, however all the companies I have contacted have been really good and allowed me to set up wholesale accounts with them.
- How much will it cost me? This can vary on how much stock you want to start with and the cost of a website if I wanted to have one and other little things that I wanted to look at, like printing costs and packaging etc.
- What do I call my company? After hours and hours of checking on Instagram, Facebook and domain names to make sure no-one else had it, I finally found one.
- I had an idea of how I wanted my logo to look – I was very lucky here (that’s not happened much), as my friend Julie Tyler is an Art teacher and she has designed my logo for me.
A Little bit proud of myself setting up my own business.
However, I am really proud of myself as I’ve been learning loads about social media, (not quite there yet), I’ve watched loads and loads of “How to set up Instagram, Facebook, do YouTube tutorials and write a blog”.
My word, looking at this I have had alot to think about, not to mention Twitter, Pinterest and Ravelry, I am gradually working through them. I know they might be a little basic at first but as I learn more they will get better.
Ideally, what I would really like is for someone to come and sit with me, who knows how to do all this and say “Michelle, you need to do it this way”, ( I would supply them with chocolate and cakes) If only!
A little bit about my family
Not only do I have all this going on, I have a 13 Year old daughter, going on 16, which I am home schooling through this lockdown.
Well, let’s just say guiding her where I can, like asking her “Have you done your school work”? However, setting up my business was a little easier than trying to help and support my daughter with her school work, particularly maths.
We are lucky as school are sending her lots of help for the work she needs to do.
Then, there is my 19 year old son who has set his own business up, which I am really proud of him as he is doing really well and it’s an interesting business as he buys old radios and camera’s, various other items as well.
When he comes back with new stock, we love to look through it with him as it brings back loads of memories.
I must admit that he has inspired me to set up my business as well.
The other dilemma I had was I needed to have my hair coloured during lock down, so I had to let my husband colour my hair.
This was a very nerve racking experience, as you will know ladies we like our hair to look good, not that I’m going anywhere at the moment.
However, he did a really good job and it came out fine and I’m still blonde.
Where am I at?
I feel I need to have tick boxes here:-
- Set up Instagram – basic and requires improvement.
- Make a Facebook Business page – not sure how I did this in the end.
- Create a Website – This is still a work in progress, it is live and I am really proud of myself as I had someone set it up for me but I knew what I wanted it to look like for my business.
- YouTube – Well, try to video yourself and then watch it back and oh my word! New questions came to me, should I lose weight? As I don’t look good on that video, cameras are not always kind.
So at the moment the other dilemma is do I start and cut down, I’ve done it before so I know I can do it again.
This lockdown has not helped. My son and daughter are good, saying “Mum go on the Fitness Pal App” good encouragement from them.
I can hear you say you should be happy as you are, but really I’m not so I need to sort it.
Another thing I am having problems with, is which tripod do I buy? Enabling me to do better video shots from close ups.
Well not too close at the moment and filming from a distance. , especially when there are so many to choose from and I don’t want to spend too much at first.
Every time I come to do something, there is another thing I need to sort, yet I keep on going and I’m loving it.
Why Not follow me with my new journey!
I hope you have enjoyed reading my first blog and found it informative and maybe some of you can relate to it. I am just a normal person (well some of my friends would question that) who is trying to do something I’ve always wanted to do, instead of saying I’m going to for the last 20 years.
I would love you to follow me on my new journey and let me know what you think to my website and have a browse through my shop, looking at all the kits I have designed for everyone to make.
If you would like to drop me a line from any of you that are thinking of setting up a business and I will try to help.
Have you set up a new business and found different problems?
Have you any tips that you may have which could help me develop my business?
Maybe I have just motivated you to go and achieve your goals and make those dreams become a reality for you.
I am working on my tutorials on “How to Knit” for when I go live with my YouTube Channel – So watch this space!