I was born and bred in the UK with a very normal, very family orientated upbringing. My dream when I was at school was to become a hairdresser, but I ended up starting my career in the corporate world. Over the years I gained experience and ended up being a sales and marketing manager for a big health club. My husband was in the Royal Airforce and we moved to New Zealand in 2006 on a recruitment drive with the New Zealand Airforce. We now live in West Auckland with our little Boy Phoenix and a baby on the way.
After having Phoenix and being on maternity leave, I was desperate not to have to go back to work full time. I just loved being at home. However, I still wanted to be part of the work force, so I ended up with a 3 days per week part time position with a non-profit organization. However, for as long as I can remember I have been interested in sewing. I used to watch my grandma create the most beautiful jackets and dresses. She had fabric galore, which she ordered from overseas companies. Another inspiration came from my father, who passed away in Sept of 2010. Phoenix was only a few months old and we travelled back to the UK for the funeral. His death was unexpected and when I got back home, I made a list of the goals I wanted to achieve in my life. They were 1) run the Auckland marathon, 2) start a business, 3) buy a house for our family and more. I signed up for the Auckland Marathon (Sept 2010) I completed my first half marathon on March. When you are running for hours and hours, you find lots of ideas coming into your head. My business name came first - Nightowlcreations NZ - in April 2011. When I got back from my big runs, out came the sketch book. The owls were born and they have come such a long way.
Nightowlcreations makes owls which are very unique and original. I created all my owl patterns from scratch. An original owl can take from 4 - 7 hours to make from start to finish. The owls are the best present for any baby or child or even adults. I make them to order and I can help pick out the best colours for people. Most of my owls are personalized. I add names on the back of the owls, or I put initials for the name of a child. I make themed owls such as Pirate owls, Super owls, Xmas owls, etc. I also make other owl items such as wheat bags, hats, counting bags, blankets, but mainly I sell original owls. I think they do so well is because they are personalized and are not your average cuddly toy. You never grow out of an owl as the owl is wise and true and will watch over you forever!
Now, I work 3 days a week since I do have a little boy and husband to take care of. When you work for yourself, every day is a challenge. From the moment you get up, you just never know how your day is going to go.. Working online is very different from having a shop in the city or based in a mall. Everything you do is behind the scenes. No one can see what is really happening and I think that is a huge challenge. Everyone thinks the hard part is getting orders, but... if you are a mum, wife, business owner and more you need to be on the ball all the time. I have been very lucky with my little hobby business which is now one year old. I have over 2000 likers on Facebook which is amazing; I have customers all over the world. I receive amazing feedback which makes me blush and sometimes shed a tear, but my life is full of hard work, emails, admin, page updates on fave books, photos to upload, and orders to make. It’s a big commitment and it does take over sometimes. You have to be good at juggling everything and staying professional. There is a lot involved in an online business and I am just starting to learn. I have a long way to go. You definitely need support at home. I honestly couldn’t do it without my husband because he is so hands on and helps me out a lot. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I did the washing. It’s has been none stop since I opened my page, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
One of my goals for 2012 is to have a famous person BUY one of my owls and have it be featured in a magazine! For the future I want to have an owl empire. I would love to have a website for Night Owl Creations that would let people interactively build an owl. I can see people being able to click through picking your polar fleece, type of material, lettering on the back, and then check out and have your owl delivered to you within a week. I could mass produce the owls, have lots of sewers and take over the world! What a hoot that would be! Seriously, I would just like to be able to do what I am doing and keep enjoying it, keep up the motivation and continue to make beautiful owls for people all over the world. I honestly believe I will be doing this for ever - I just can’t stop!
Beginning a business take organization. You need to sit down and work out your plan, thinking “is there a place for this? What will I you do that’s different? What makes my product stand out?” Be sure you have the time to put into succeeding. Be realistic, and be passionate but don’t lose sight of the fact it takes a good two years to set up your business. You will make mistakes and there will be a learning curve, but if it’s what you are passionate about, do it! Life is short. Take the opportunity! Be prepared for competition. It is a fact of any business. Try to be original and create your own ideas - no one likes a copy cat. Be prepared for long nights. It takes a lot to keep your place in the market including constant updates and interaction with your customers.
I always say people buy from people they like and I think this is true. Be yourself and be honest about what you are doing. Don’t put to much pressure on yourself - just enjoy the ride for as long as possible. Always believe in yourself. I look back at what I have achieved in the last 2 years and I have to say I can’t believe it! I ran the Auckland marathon while working full time, running my owl business, and raising a family. I still don’t know how I did it, but I did and I am so proud! Go out there and get what you want. It won’t come to you!
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