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An Honest Update

Okay how do I actually start this blog? 

I've not done this for a while so here is a bit of an update on my life! Some high-lights, low-lights and a big old thankyou to you all!

I was going to start this off with the highlights but you know what, lets get the not so good out first...

There is always going to be bad patches. Like I say in my talks, business is like a big roller coaster. Just when you are riding high, you hit a speed bump and down down you go!! I am sure I don't need to explain the difficult hustle small businesses are facing right now but we are really feeling the pinch like never before.

We are currently trying to keep all pricing competitive but struggling to cope with all the huge cost increases ourselves. In fact, I have recently taken a new side hustle myself just because the 'boss' isn't paying quite what she used to anymore!  I have gone back to my roots and am currently doing some private investigation work consulting for a New Zealand Government agency. I cannot say too much but I am very busy and the work is super satisfying.   

Right now we are currently juggling to keep our current warehouse. We are praying to the warehouse Gods that we can stay here. PLEASE!  We love it in our little space. Unfortunately when we moved here a few years back, sales were great and the business was on a huge high. But like I said, those lows come and they come FAST. It seems like a backwards step to be taking but for us, moving out of our beloved warehouse and back into a smaller space may be the only way to go 😔

I'm still learning life lessons about over-ordering. My passion for shopping is real, and thankfully I now have a daughter on board that has taken over our ordering and stops me getting into too much trouble. She should have been part of the business years ago! 

Even though it can be very easy to get down in the dumps about things, I do have to remind myself that my little business is now over 10 years old and I am still here telling the story! From starting in our home garage then expanding into 2 different warehouses, every day I have had to pinch myself to see how far I have come and how much I have achieved over the years.

Right, now time for some highlights! 

I felt very honoured to be asked to be a guest speaker at the Retail Fest in my home town Christchurch in October last year. Jeez how nervous was I? I had never really done any public speaking before, although I do love a good yarn. My topic was the advantages of using third party marketplaces such Trade Me, Buy Kiwi, The Warehouse to enhance your business.  Well once I got my nerves out the way, I felt I was on a real role, and could have spoken for hours.    

Following on from this, I spoke at the She Means Business Conference in Christchurch in March. I did probably over-speak in this role haha sorry ladies for making you run late!  

A flow on effect from this was being asked to speak at the much bigger Retail Fest on the Gold Coast earlier this year. What a massive opportunity. Georgia and I decided that we would have a wee girls holiday and booked a couple of days extra to begin with so we could soak up the sun and enjoy the scenery and fine food the Gold Coast had to offer. Of course, we told Marc my husband that the conference was 5 days and not 3! 

We got off to a rocky start after a 5 hour delay in Auckland with plane issues (awesome I am a nervous flyer). Georgia and I could not stop thinking about the time we were losing laying by the pool reading our books, and sipping cocktails. When we finally arrived at our accommodation we were in for an amazing treat, staying at a beautiful 5 star hotel. We really made the most of the next few days doing all the site seeing we could, lots of walks on the beach, enjoying the beautiful food and of course shopping! But alas, finally it was time to work, and the conference started which proved to be very full on days. 

What an incredible experience learning from the most inspirational and motivated speakers. We couldn't get enough and came away with so much drive and passion for the business.

On the last day, I gave my talk with two other lovely Australian business owners.  I was slightly nervous that no one would turn up, as it was the last talk of the day, and there had been a big night organised the evening before and most people were very hungover. But this wasn't the case, and we had a room full of very engaging business owners asking loads of great questions and getting into the nitty gritty of running small businesses.

I would totally recommend heading to a Retail Fest if you ever have the opportunity to attend one. Although inspiring, it can be difficult when you attend these amazing events and hear such inspiration talks to then come home and implement everything you hear with limited resources! It sure did give us a big motivation boost though!

We also received some amazing news late last year that one of the brands we distribute, Solar Buddies gained huge traction in the UK by appearing on Dragons Den! Not only that, THREE Dragons wanted to invest in them. As a result, they have now gone completely viral and are in the top 17th fastest growing companies in the UK. How exciting? It was perfect timing heading into our Summer and we are so happy that thousands of kiwis get to experience the amazing product with a record breaking sales period for us.

Another huge high for us was the Christchurch Expo. Now, we have done Expos for a very long time, and this was the most successful one by far for us. There was just Georgia and I there and I swear we didn't speak to one another until around 2pm except for 'pass the eftpos machine please' haha!  It was manic but in the best way ever. We were quite shocked to be frank!

To wrap up my yapping...

I want to take this opportunity to thank every single customer that chooses to stay loyal to us. We can honestly say that we have made so many good friends as part of this journey. We love seeing you and your little ones in store, and watching your babies grow into toddlers and beyond. Hearing all of your stories, giving you a shoulder to cry on when needed, or just a box of tissues and an ear to listen to. Or just advice as to which product would suit your little one best in whichever stage of life they are at.

We are hoping that the next few months will start to improve for small businesses within New Zealand. Feel free to leave a comment, or message. Our small team would love some feedback on anything we can do to help make your experience with Sleepytot better.

Ohhh and one last thing. This should actually be a huge HIGHLIGHT! Voting for the OhBaby Awards starts tomorrow. We are shortlisted for 8 nominations. 8! What the... 

We would be super grateful if you could take the time to vote for us in the following categories:  

✨ Best Baby Products Online Store - Sleepytot NZ

✨ Most Recommended Product - Rockit Rocker

✨ Best Sleep Aid - Sleepytot Comforter

Best Portable Product Rockit Rocker

Best Vaporiser/Humidifier - Sleepytot Ultimate Sleep Aid

Best Solids/Feeding Product - Doddl Cutlery

✨ Best Eco-Friendly Product - Solar Buddies

✨ Best New Product - SavviSand

Wishing you all the best with school holidays! It felt nice to come on here again and share my highs and lows from the last wee bit. Must do it more often!

If you have made it this far, thankyou 😅

- Fee (Owner of Sleepytot NZ) xx

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