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Reality Beneath the Ritz

By September 10, 2015 My Posts 4 Comments

It’s time to get real. The glamorous and surreal veil of my awards weekend has been stripped back… and the reality underneath is a little harrowing.

But I will get to that in a minute.

It seems fitting we should start with the good news! I came second (yay!). I was secretly quite happy that I did not win, as second place meant the trophy without the speech (or the prize money… hmm, I’m starting to rethink this). I was, and still am, incredibly blown away by all your support. I wholeheartedly believe that I have the best customers in the world!

From the moment I entered the Ausmumpreneur conference, the female energy was palpable. Most impressive though, was the absence of any competitiveness. Over a hundred ambitious and driven women, many of whom were competing for the same award, were lifting each other up and sharing advice. Have you ever seen that many women in one place, with no bitchiness? Then you get why I was impressed.

That part was extraordinary. So where does it get harrowing you ask? I’m getting to that.

The biggest gift I got from the weekend (and it’s not the shiny silver trophy on my bedside table – although that’s pretty spesh!), was this message: value your brand or no one else will.

IMG_6787Now don’t get me wrong, I love Monkey & Mum. It’s an extension of me, just like my children, and that’s the problem. I have a history of burning out. I will run a marathon without water to keep someone else happy, fuelling myself only on the contentment I get from their happiness. I’ve run this race many times, and it ain’t pretty. Nobody wins.

My children, Monkey & Mum, and me, are all an unfortunate leg in this poorly planned race. So who am I running it for? You of course.

My customers have always, from day dot, been the driving force for all my creations. I know without each and every one of you, there is no Monkey & Mum, and I am so grateful to all of you for that… but I have forgotten that I’m kind of important too.

So with the encouragement of many supportive and accomplished women, I let all my emotions and ideals fall away on the weekend, and looked at the raw bones of my life, and that of Monkey & Mum. The skeleton I saw was not capable of supporting the weight on it’s shoulders.

The harsh reality is, I don’t make an income. Any income. I work damn hard (day and night!), put my kids into daycare, and am missing out on valuable family time which I can never get back, and for what? The happiness it gives me to create beautiful jewellery? That’s not enough anymore.

Your happiness is vital to the success of my business, and it really does make me happy! It’s the cornerstone of Monkey & Mum, and has fuelled me for so long, but I won’t win this race unless I add a few more elements to my diet.

This is not a post to announce any crazy new ideas for Monkey & Mum, just a heads up that there will be some changes happening soon. While the obvious change will be price rises, I do also come armed with other strategies (thank you Ausmumpreneur conference!) which will include even more delicious pieces for you to choose from, available (hopefully) from even more outlets.

I am taking the time now to talk with you, my customers. I want to know what you like about my work, what you don’t like, and how you’d like to see me grow – it’s very important to me that Monkey & Mum is transparent, and that my customers play an integral part in the growth and direction of the business.

So please drop me a line or comment below, and together we can hopefully take Monkey & Mum into the future!

Much love,
Tess x