We’re currently on day 47(ish) of lockdown in the UK due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It feels like about day 700 for most of us though!
For some self employed people, businesses have had to be put on hold, and whilst this has provided difficult for many, there are others who have taken the opportunity to offer something completely different and start a new business during the lockdown period. In some cases it was accidental, just like Kirsty Herriot, who has given me a bit of an insight into her new business which was created from a need of other parents during this challenging time.
Kirsty already had a business when Covid-19 struck, here is what she said about how her new business MEMOMAK came about:
“I was already self-employed but in events. I have been a fairy godmother for the last 3 years, running fairy training events and parties all over Scotland (Fairy Training Parties)
Obviously every bit of work I had in the diary got cancelled.
My partner is self employed too. When Boris announced the first week of Lockdown I was seriously worried. We don’t really have any savings, live week to week most of the time and hadn’t even stockpiled food or loo roll! Obviously quite quickly the government announced packages to furlough and help employees but at the time and for quite a few weeks afterwards there was nothing said about self-employed people. I got myself in a right panic, thinking we probably had enough for basics for about 2 weeks, I voiced my fears to a few good friends and one of them actually put £500 into my bank because she was so worried about us. I calmed down and decided there was no point in getting depressed or panicked and actually it turned out my partner was still able to work – he’s a landscaped gardener, so he was able to keep going and keep the wolf from the door.
I settled in to home schooling and started focusing on the positives. I was enjoying the time at home with my son but in group chats could tell some of my friends were struggling. I used to be a teacher so I though I could help by making everybody some activity packs to do with their kids. I sent them to about 10 friends and the feedback I got was amazing.
My friends started posting thank you’s to me and then other friends commented so I sent them some too. Eventually my friends were all saying, ‘Kirsty you need to be selling these, the kids love them, we love them and others will too.’
Right at the start of lockdown after I had gotten over my panic and was focusing on the positives, it was plain for me to see how many heroes a crisis created. I had actually told my friend I wanted to be one of the heroes too though at the time I wasn’t sure how. Once I decided to start getting proper packs printed I knew as well as help out my family, I wanted to help others too, so it was a no brainer for me to decide to donate 50% of profits to a local fundraiser helping smaller charities. I needed money but I didn’t need it all and it made me feel so happy when orders started coming in. My first day I took 100 orders and that meant £450 to good causes.
I already have so many other ideas that compliment the packs and ways to tweak it for when we aren’t in lockdown. I have actually found lockdown quite inspiring. I’ve had time to think!”
Thanks so much Kirsty for sharing the story of how your new business was born in lockdown, we wish you huge amounts of success, it sounds like it’s already going places!
You can find MEMOMAK by visiting ay of the below links.