As a Poler,mum, a wife and a part time bank worker i never gave much thought as to the faces behind the website/shops that i purchased from.
I just saw something that i liked and made the purchase.
In the past i have used small businesses as well as large well known retailers and never gave a second thought to the people behind the business/brand.
This now becomes more apparent when i think back to times when the transactions that i may have made with these companies may not have gone as smoothly as i would have liked and my reaction towards this.
I have to say i feel slightly ashamed of some of these reactions especially when they were directed at the smaller businesses (like me!) when things did not go the way i wanted or expected them to.
Its safe to say that i did not think of the person/s behind that brand/business and neither did i care because all i knew was that i did not get what i wanted when i wanted it.
Its not until stepping into the role of a small business owner that you fully understand just how hard it is, and how much owning and running a business takes over your life.
Don’t get me wrong, its a wonderful thing to have an idea, run with it and watch it grow and develop into a thriving business.
It can be the thing that makes your day full of absolute pleasure and joy but it can also be the thing that turns your day into a nightmare and makes you feel completely inadequate and awful!
It is the constant battles and struggles that go on behind the scenes that as a customer you do not see, and actually should not have to see, as at the end of the day you just want to buy and receive the awesome goodies.
However, the reality is this, i am just a 41 year old woman, a wife of 1 mother of 2 trying her very best.
Not only do i run a full time business by myself (although i am incredibly lucky and thankful that my marvelous mum, son and hubby do help out on occasions), but i also have the role of a wife, a mother, a cleaner, a financier, a teacher, a chef, a gardener and pretty much everything else that falls under the parent/wife umbrella!
This is not me whingeing or complaining as this is the life that i have chosen and the choices that i have made.
I am happy with these, this is merely an insight into the life of a small business owner that has other responsibilities and to show that things may not always be as we assume or as they seem.
Being a small business owner is not all glamorous lunches and buying lots of lovely stock all the time, although that is not to say that there are definitely perks to being your own boss, getting to travel and getting to meet some truly amazing and wonderful people.
The side that people do not see or understand is that unless you have a large team behind you (i don’t) being the boss means that not only do you have to make all the big decisions, which is really quite scary, but you have to be an administrator, a buyer, a packer, a negotiator, an accountant, a designer, a customer service adviser, an it technician etc…..
With only 24 hours in a day, fitting this all in can be challenging to say the least and occasionally i do crack…i am only human after all!
Throw in a few other issues like computer problems, lost postage and customs and excise and its game over!
Life as a small business owner is a constant juggle of keeping everyone happy on both sides of the fence (home and work)
So please spare a thought if it takes a little longer than expected to get a response to that email or to receive the goods that you ordered as there could be many reasons for this!
Please remember, we are all human, mistakes are sometimes made, we are not all perfect, we are not a huge company made up of lots of staff, but we do love and appreciate our customers and they are at the very heart of everything we do.
We understand that without you we would cease to exist and so we try our very best to make sure we provide you with the best we can be.
Granted, sometimes we do get grumpy and very very rarely this might show, but we don’t mean it, we may just have been up late the night before trying to get all our orders packed and ready to be shipped so you get your goods as quickly as possible, as we know and understand that no one wants to wait ages for their lovely pole goodies!
We might sometimes get sick/poorly which may slow us up a bit, but we may just need some rest and relaxation with our families/friends because we are all human and all need this from time to time.
Understanding and compassion from everyone (me included) goes a long way <3
Being a small business owner has made me rethink and re look at life.
The journey so far has been incredibly trying but also rather amazing!
Onward and upwards and big love to all our amazing customers
Thank you as always for your continued support
Colleen (Boss, mum and general dogs body :-D) x