Growth During a Pandemic
Business Spotlight – Jo’s Craft Boutique
Meet Jo, mum of 2 home-schooled children and owner of Jo’s Craft Boutique. In these unprecedented times, we have seen a rapid acceleration in online retail sales and trading, particularly in sectors such as home improvements, hobbies and food. Jo’s business growth and success during this period highlight a positive story for all small business owners.
Please tell us more about Jo’s Craft Boutique.
I set up the business about a year ago having spent the previous year running a small craft business. When searching for supplies, I spotted a gap in the market and felt that I had the knowledge and confidence to fill it.
We predominantly supply print-on-demand essentials to small craft businesses and an increasing number of hobbyists. We also run a popular and energetic social media group, offering advice and guidance to mothers like myself who would like to set up and run their own craft business.
How did the growth occur?
The lockdown generated a larger interest in home crafting, which enabled me to organically grow the business through social media and our website. I was lucky enough not to have to implement any targeted marketing and relied heavily on word of mouth regarding our service levels. When the growth accelerated the further, I didn’t hesitate in setting up a Limited company. I found an office, emptied my home of all of my stock and equipment, and went for it!
What factors drove you to move to commercial premises instead of your home?
Customer orders had quadrupled and production capacity simply couldn’t meet demand. I had to think on my feet and decide whether to turn my lifestyle business into something bigger, and more rewarding. Finding the office space also meant that I was also able to offer my homeschooled children a dedicated area for their studies, so it was always going to be a win-win situation.
What have been the key benefits of the move?
There have been many positive outcomes:
- Production capacity has increased
- Stock and equipment can be stored
- I’ve been able to separate work from home life – something vitally important for mental health
- Increased space means that we’re now able to start recruiting our first employees – it’s hugely rewarding to be able to support our local economy and help with employment during these uncertain times
- It has allowed me to meet new people and other business owners
Any advice for other small business owners?
If you believe in your business, go for it. If the unfortunate events this year have taught me anything, it’s that we never know what’s around the corner, so when you spot an opportunity, don’t hesitate to explore it. Office spaces and costs are more flexible than you may believe and there are many obvious benefits.