On Wednesday frombabieswithlove.org went live and I can't help but reflect that starting my social enterprise has been rather like motherhood!
In the past two years I've had a baby and created from babies with love, an online shop selling beautiful organic baby clothes and donating 100% profits to orphaned and abandoned children.
I began my business plan about a year ago. It was similar to how I felt in planning to become a mum, I knew it was a big deal; that my life would change forever! When I was pregnant I did an awful lot of reading, received great advice from family and friends... how to plan for a child, look after a child, how to look after myself! And in planning my business I found the same thing! Most surprisingly, amazing communities of entrepreneurs that are happy to share advice, give time and provide support. I've even discovered there are networks for 'social entrepreneurs' and 'mumpreneurs' - both labels I now give myself!
I don't think anything is quite the same as the excitement, nervousness, ups and down of pregnancy and motherhood... but I have been, and still am, experiencing all of this in starting my website. Perhaps the only difference is no back pain!
I've learned so much. In both professions! Two years ago I knew nothing about pushchairs, weaning, or what the correct temperature for a human being is! Nor did I know anything about search engine optimisation, trade fairs or writing press releases. And so much of what I've learned in becoming a mum is helping me run from babies with love. I'm lucky because as a mum I know my customers well. Plus without doubt my ability to multi-task has entered a whole new league!
And the big website launch day? Like childbirth? Well not quite! But I certainly went in to overdrive on both occasions! And shouted a lot! At least with from babies with love I've been shouting on twitter rather than at my husband!
And now? I carefully wrap each order to send out to my new customers...Just as I so delicately wrapped my son in his swaddle blankets. I am so proud, so excited.
What next? The new experiences continue! My son is now 18 months...He's learning new words and I'm learning how to deal with tantrums! Frombabieswithlove.org is one day old and I'm learning how to spread the word.
Both my baby boy and my brand new business came from the heart. They both involved my blood, sweat and tears! My gorgeous son has great opportunities in life, which I look forward to nurturing. And through selling organic baby clothes and donating all the profit to orphaned and abandoned babies, I hope from babies with love means that other babies will do too. The shop's open! Come and see!
Follow Cecilia Crossley on Twitter: www.twitter.com/frombabies