Sarah from Colour Me Happy Crayons is a 41 year old mum of two boys, 10 and 4. She lives with her boys, husband and cat in Martlesham in Suffolk. Sarah crafts novelty crayons in different shapes and colours for children’s party bags and gifts. Her perosnalised children name crayons are her most popular product.
When and why did you start out?
I started in March 2016. I’ve always been quite crafty and I enjoyed doing craft projects for the home and with my children.
Sadly my mum passed away in February this year and it was very much a case of life is short, make sure you follow your dreams and so I just sort of ‘did it’. I started making the crayons and posting them on Instagram and within two weeks I had my first order. It felt fantastic and I haven’t looked back. I have had so many kind and supporting comments from my Instagram followers and it drives me on to keep going.
Do you have any formal training?
How do you fit in running a business with having a family?
With difficulty! I work full time as does my husband which means the children have to go to breakfast and after school clubs and then when I get home I fit in the crayon making around everything else. I often work late into the night whist the children are asleep but if I can make a success of the business I can hopefully reduce my hours with my full time job and get to spend more time with the children. At the moment they don’t see that and often complain that Mummy is always busy making crayons!
What has been the biggest challenge since starting your business?
Time and getting people to hear about what I do. Instagram has been amazing but now I want to reach a larger market. That is easy to do if you can spend money on advertising but at the moment I can’t afford that and the only way to get my product seen by people is by literally putting it in front of them and that takes time.
And the best reward/achievement?
Simply the lovely comments I receive from customers or other mums starting out in business. And of course my first order!
What are your business goals for 2017?
To improve my website. I am not particularly good with technology so that has been a challenge. Also to plan things better. I didn’t start out with a plan and things have taken off faster than I could have imagined so in 2017 (hopefully after the Christmas rush) I would like to spend some time on becoming more organized. I have also started making crayons for children at weddings and these are starting to prove popular so I would like to be able to expand on that.
Are there any barriers to achieving your goals?
The only real barrier I have come up against is finding the time to fit it all in.
Have you built a support network of other mums/women in business?
I have met some lovely people through Instagram and I have also started selling in a local craft shop where they have their own Facebook page and everyone there is incredibly helpful in giving advice on any problem you may have.
Any tips for mum’s just starting out in business?
Start simply. When I first started I had so many ideas and things that I wanted to make and that showed in the quality of the product. Have a clear idea of what you want your product to be and where you want it to go and let everything else follow. If the product is good enough people will hopefully want to buy it.
You can find Colour Me Happy Crayons at colourmehappycrayons.co.uk