Bumpstart  Feb 2018 blog

It’s the month of love, and we’re certainly feeling lots of that here at Coddimoor Farm!  We’re celebrating our 25th birthday; we’ve just been awarded Brand Ambassador status for iCandy and Farmer Bumpstart is expecting somewhere in the region of 1000 lambs in the not too distant few weeks!  Life is certainly wonderful and hectic.

As a woman running her own business, I’ve a strong message for any female entrepreneurs out there, and it’s this: You don’t need to be Superwoman.  You simply need a vision and the perseverance to keep that vision within your sight. 

The basic ups and downs of business are mostly unchanged in my 25 years’ experience.  There are highs and lows, learning curves and curve balls (if you get my drift!) but you CAN do it if you really want to.

So what has changed?  My hair colour, my waistline (!) and, more significantly, the use of internet and social media in business.  It’s a far cry from hand delivering leaflets to the wonders of Instagram and Facebook, I can tell you.  A lot less tough on the legs, but far more tough on the brain.

You’ll forgive me for taking the occasional 5 minutes to do a bit of reminiscing lately, and I wanted to share some thoughts with you about what else has changed over the last 25 years. 

In 1993 and the early days…

  • The shop was a former tractor shed – romantic, no? Well, no, not really! 
  • We sold second-hand toys and baby goods, including car seats and prams.
  • I had 5 different prams on the shop floor

In 2018…

  • I’m happy to say that our shop is warm, cosy and welcoming and there is no longer the lingering whiff of tractor oil!
  • We are no longer permitted to sell second-hand car seats, nor would we want to! Car safety is our top priority, and we’re constantly training and updating our skills so you can try our car seats before you buy.  Plus, we won’t let you leave until we’re all sure you can fit them yourself confidently.
  • We stock 40-50 different models of high-quality prams to give customers a huge choice. (Rose gold and glitter are big this year, but not compulsory!)  Full training in assembling and dismantling buggies comes as standard.

Things that have caused me a sharp intake of breath…

  • The couple who drove to us all the way from London about 10 years ago, in a soft-top sports car, with their baby in the mother’s arms in the passenger seat! I was truly horrified!
  • The couple who “secured” their pushchair in the back of their van with rope – with their child still in it, before buying a car seat from us.

Things that make me smile now, to think that…

  • My first manageress is now my sister-in-law.
  • One former customer is now a valued colleague and has worked with me for 7 years.
  • My “gold watch” staff who have been with me for 23 and 19 years respectively. What they don’t know isn’t worth knowing.
  • My “young blood” staff who are already proving to be so brilliant and knowledgeable.
  • Babies who now come back to the shop as parents-to-be to get their baby essentials.
  • Getting invited to christenings and weddings (often in that order!)
  • My friends, who I relied on to support my shop when it first opened are now customers again, as they become grandparents.
  • Account managers of our suppliers look so young! (like police officers!)
  • I occasionally dream that the yard outside the shop is full of every pram I’ve ever sold!
  • iCandy’s recognition of our quality service and their confidence in our ability to portray their products. I’m utterly delighted to be a Brand Ambassador.  For further information - read ICandy's Blog at ttps://www.icandyworld.com/iclife/introducing-brand-ambassadors-bumpstart/

So how are we celebrating our success?  Well, over the weekend of our birthday (2nd – 4th February, we’re having a big celebration at the shop.  And you’re all warmly invited to come in and say “hello”.  Every customer will receive a goody-bag and have the chance to enter a competition to win some truly amazing equipment.  Oh, and did I mention the cupcakes?  There will be cupcakes a-go-go!  Happy Birthday to us!

Until next time, this is a very happy Helen, wishing you all the very best!