Tell us about your business and the type of products you sell?
The Crazy Bee is a retail website selling a carefully curated collection of gifts for children aged between 4 to 10. We work hard to find products we know have a good reason for being there and that children will love and use. We have designed the website up in a way that makes searching for the perfect gift as easy as possible with options to search by age, sex, gift type, personality and budget.
How did you come up with the idea and what motivated you to go for it?
The Crazy Bee started with a couple of friends eating a lot of chocolate biscuits around the coffee table. We were at the same stage with both children at school, husbands working long hours with a substantial commute, wanting a new challenge that could be completely flexible around our family commitments. Starting our own business together seemed like a great idea and we started looking for ideas of what to do. The Crazy Bee came about because we were both passionate about hunting down the perfect presents for our children and their friends and family. It was something we knew well.
What is your best selling product?
One of our best selling products is one of our favourites too. A Digger Tea Set. Tea sets are ‘traditionally’ a great gift for girls, but boys love this kind of role-play too. It’s also great for girls that love diggers. Tea sets overall are a best seller for us and there are so many reasons. They are beautifully designed, portable, sustainable, great fun and a fairly robust but light gift that we’ve sold to many customers wanting to send abroad.
What do you love about running your own business and what do you find hard?
We have very much paced ourselves with the business to suit our family commitments and lifestyle and that’s suited us well. It’s been an enormous opportunity for learning and sometimes the main frustration is not getting enough time or headspace to absorb everything and exploit all the opportunities out there.
What kind of BossMum are you and how do you manage the juggle?
I can only cope by organising my organising. I’m very visual and struggle with everything on my phone so keeping a paper diary (as well) and writing many, many, many notes and lists, helps me.
What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
Just where to start …. I have learnt a lot about myself, my strengths and weaknesses. But one of my most favourite parts of having my own business is getting out and about to events and meeting the most interesting people with so many ideas, stories and insights into business and into life.
Do you have a favourite app or work tool you think everyone should know about?
How do you define success?
What is a normal day in your life like?
On a school day, family life is condensed into the hour before school and after school until bedtime and it’s hectic! With after school clubs, homework, cooking dinner, emotional support and coaching, taking care of the practical logistics and my constant objective to be a good parent, it can feel like a bit of a hamster wheel!! I try to fit in some 1 on 1 time with each of my girls, whether it’s just chatting, playing a game or looking at a book together. I work at home during the day so it’s just me and the dog, working in chores around work and taking care of the household life admin. I exercise when I can and fit in catch-ups with friends to keep me, and them, sane!
What has been a particular highlight for you since starting your business?
There have been a few. My girls excitement at seeing and being involved with the business has been lovely. Every time people buy or place an order with us is definitely a highlight. It validates our business and our products – and that’s all based on the choices we have made. That’s definitely a good feeling.
What’s next for your business?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t overthink it. Which of course I always do! I like to know everything and understand the full picture before zoning in on the details. But that takes up a lot of time and means I’m not always the fastest on my feet. 40+ and still learning!!
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about setting up their own business?
Who inspires you?
For personal inspiration, it’s not one person in particular. It’s my friends, family, people in my local community, who are dealing with all kinds of everyday adversity and just get through it. Day by day, step by step. For business inspiration, I feel privileged, through my business, to have met some great women who are doing it for themselves. I love watching what they’re up to, their businesses growing and learning from them. Cathryn @ Wild Like Her – it’s been great watching her grow and develop her business over the last year and she was the one who introduced me to Mama Tribe too.
What was your dream job growing up?
Tell us 3 facts about you…
- We have just purchased a caravan … part of my plan to ease my lockdown travel restlessness. Most people have laughed at me when I told them but we’ll have the last laugh with years of family fun… I hope …
- The canine love of my life is my 14 and a half year old Border Terrier, Freddie. He doesn’t smell so great these days and snores very loudly but that doesn’t matter. He was my first baby.
- “How am I going to fit in all the girls football matches around our caravanning weekends?” – top of the list of things I never thought I’d say …
What do you enjoy most about being a part of Mama Tribe?
The sense of community and finding a like minded tribe!
Thanks for giving us an insight into life behind The Crazy Bee Vicky, we love having you as a Member of the Tribe.