Going into business, it may be a crazy thing to do but I have decided to do it anyway.
I never thought I would be a small business owner. I never thought I would leave the workforce for long. When I was pregnant with Caspar I toured all the child care centres in our area. There were twelve. They all fell short of my expectations. I didn't and couldn't sign up to any of them. A month after Caspar was born I resigned from my job and essentially my career. I don't know if I will ever go back to that profession. It just doesn't seem important to me any more.
So after almost six years of being a stay at home parent I've been thinking of what I can do, how I can contribute in the few hours I have available. I am very aware of Otis starting school next year, it will only be three hours a day but I know I can make those three hours productive.
My inital thoughts were that I could use the time Otis is at school to study, perhaps to work towards a new profession, something that I would find meaningful. I just didn't feel inspired, I couldn't find my calling. I had considered teaching and perhaps studying Montessori. But after spending time in the classroom I came to the realisation that I am not teacher material.
Earlier in the year I discussed one particular idea with a friend. We were just catching up, the kids were playing. I mentioned a very specific product that I would like to produce, a product that I thought was much needed and would help a lot of people. Her advice was along the lines of 'you can't just sell one product, you need to open a store'. By the end of our catch up I had in my mind a very good idea of what my store would look like and I didn't want to wait.
Fast forward to today and I'm very close to opening. It will be a small online shop, featuring some of our favourite products. I don't want to duplicate any existing services. I hope you will find our shop unique. I hope that I have something new and meaningful to offer to the Montessori community. I'm on schedule to open in the first week of October and I will provide a link in the side bar soon.
The shop will have a similar feel to the blog. After building up some experience with the blog I have designed (using a basic template) the shop myself. However I don't want to make it sound like starting a business is as simple as that. I've had to recognise my strengths as well as my weaknesses. Publicly I'd like to thank my Small Business Advisor, Carly who really made the store possible, Ayu who has worked on numerous photography projects, Darcy who has listened to me on a daily basis talk about all my ideas and thoughts, Meghan who is one of the most brilliant people I know, and to my other friends and family who have talked, listened, advised and theorised! And readers of this blog have had a big role to play. After years of discussion about products, the ones we can find, the ones we can't, the products that work and how we use them. You have given me advice that only other Montessori parents can. I thank you sincerely.
I also need to thank the numerous suppliers who have met my at times strange and demanding requests. Many suppliers hadn't heard of Montessori before and other suppliers are Montessori mothers who have designed and produced their own products. I have a wonderful local broom company that for the very time has produced toddler brooms - just for us. We have organic training pants designed by a Montessori guide wanting only the finest product for her family. I don't want to give too much away, I want there to be some surprises on opening day.
Julia, just for you, here is a sneak peak of Otis using one of our hard to find products. For a bit of fun (we don't take ourselves too seriously!) we will be selling these really cute strawberry slicers. We might be making strawberry jam really soon. If you are looking for child sized kitchen tools I know you will love our selection.