Thursday, October 1, 2009

In The Begining

Ok so I am new to all this blogging stuff but I want to get myself out onto the world stage and people keep saying 'Do a Blog, just write about it....' so after resisting and dreading the thought that this could all turn into some kind of self-help therapy session here I am.

First thing you should know about me is I hate proof reading so there will be typos - especially since my typing never keeps up with my brain, and I have as yet to perfect the art of looking at the screen whilst typing - oh mother I should have taken you up on the typing course....or at least taken the typing course at school seriously. So many regrets when it comes to looking back at school especially now as I traipse around secondary schools with my eldest child getting all excited by new science blocks and enthusiastic Maths teachers with eldest hiding behind me in case I expect her to actually engage with another human being. Yes here I am now an adult and fully fledged Mother making those important decisions that could help my child to soar or just scar her for life - and believe me living in Hackney it is probably going to be the latter! Having said that though it looks like Hackney is dragging itself up a few further rungs with outstanding results from its new academy....... people will be beating there way here soon trying to shoehorn their child into a school where before they would not have entered without a body guard. Oh how times change.

It is really funny though as I moved to Hackney for the first time in 1996 and fell in love with the place, warts and all. For the first time since moving to London in the early nineties I truly felt at home, and what is funnier ten years later whilst trawling through ancestry websites tracking down my matriarchal family guess where they all came from.... Oh yes Hackney! But not the hard bitten, flik knife carrying, Channel 4 bashed one of today. Nope it was the beautiful countryside, highly aspirational one of the late Georgian/Victorian era. Then, when chatting to my wonderful Nanna it turns out that this is also where my Grandfather (or Dampy as he was known to all whom loved him!) has his rubber factory. Tales of which had first reached my ears at the tender age of 5 imagining him in his working glory making rubber balls for perky puppies to play with, only to have all that shattered when I later found out he made condoms! My wonderful Damps who was so Victorian he would not take his tie of at the beach made all his wonga from Condoms! Oh and the occasional rubber dog ball..............

But I am digressing hugely. I wanted to start this blog to tell you about the business that I am setting up so that I can carry on being a working Mother - and keep my career sanity - but still actually be there for my kids. Yes I want it all and being a single mum that is nigh on pretty much impossible. I have tried doing the 9-5 that Gordon and his pals want us single mums to do but it is soul destroying, and I admire hugely anyone who can do it. For my sanity, and I do not say that lightly as I suffer from depression, I cannot do it. 20 days holiday a year when your kids are only in school for a total of 135 is quiet frankly ridiculous! My son, my beautiful son was growing up to be able to tell me what a cuboid was at the age of 3 but never have longer that 10 days off from being in someone else's care. I was dropping him at 8am and then collecting at 6pm. By the weekend he was knackered - we all were - and interacting was hard work. When he started school properly something had to give, and it was my career of 20 years standing.

For 20 years I have had the pleasure of doing a job that I loved - I am one of the lucky ones and I know it. Before I even left school I knew what I wanted to do and when due to drink, drugs and men my A levels fell to the wayside I still managed to do the job I wanted. One lucky bugger, that's me. Even taking small breaks to have kiddies and just because sometimes life throws a curve ball I always managed to go back, find a position and enjoy fully whatever I was doing. But now the crunch has come - or rather it came!

I got a medical problem that had me signed of for a few weeks which gave me time to think, a dangerous thing I know, and the think that I began thinking was 'why the hell am I in this rat race? What am I and my family getting from this?' The result of all this was I left my job and set up two separate businesses. Well they are kind of similar in so far as they deal with fabric.

Firstly you have Homespun - the one that really ticks all my creative, aspirational boxes - and Kidscost469 - the practical one that is actually bringing in the money and keeping me afloat.

Kidscost469 is an eBay business selling what a lot of people like to call gentle used or previously loved Childrens clothes and items. I really enjoy the washing and preparing, trying to take a half decent picture and describing things as accturately and attractively as possible. It gives me a real sense of achievement when I see something posted and even more so when it sells and I get another positive feedback. I am even setting myself goals and harassing friends to give me things to sell on. I had to buy my son a new dressing gown at the weekend as I realised I had actually sold the one of his back! Oh yes once you realise what sells on eBay it can become addictive and you will sell it if you have it. My son however see's it as a bonus as instead of the lovely, stylish one from Zara Home he now has a cheap and cheerful Ben 10 one - boys, so easy to please in a lot of ways!

It is also bringing me down a peg or two in regards to the way I look at clothes. Yes I do go to car boots, jumbles and get things. I always ask where possible about the item but seeing what people will just throw away is incredible. I found a pair of Deisel jeans the other day in a hedge! Nothing wrong with them - still years left in them - washed them up and sold them onto a friend for £20, not bad for a stroll through my estate. Another friend has given me a Dior outfit that her daughter wore once - Jesus £197 for a one time outfit - my jaw just hit the floor, but if I sell it that is my gas bill for the month covered. Yippeee

So back to Homespun - this is where my heart truly is on so many levels. It is my shop on Folksy and where I really want to be everyday. Locked into a love affair with my sewing machine. Rummaging through my jars, drawers and boxes of vintage buttons, lace and fabrics. Throwing together something frivolous to decorate a home. But there are even bigger ambitions here - something that I would have loved to do with my mother but never got the chance. I am going to set up a children's clothing label for tweenies. My lovely Eldest has the legs of a giraffe and is starting to curve - if I say anymore she will kill me! She has just turned 11 - yesterday - and whilst she wants to be trendy, I don't want her to look like a hooker, and this is where we have met our Waterloo......

There is nothing out there that is stylish, practical, a little English exccentric and for her pre-teen age group. It is either all pink and terribly pre double figures or she is going to look like a young hooker. Even the expensive labels seem to still make the kids of this age look like a Lolita. So with the helps of Eldest we are going to sort this out. Think Saville Row classic lines with a huge bit of Cyndi Lauper...... I'll have to show you some pics of what Eldest looks like and then you'll get it......

So we are thinking of ideas - and I am hoping to have something ready for Spring, but first we need a name........

Suggestions on a postcard please..........

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