A month of Discovery

Reflections from an artisan small business startup

One month and counting since I launched the Etsy Shop now! I have made a few sales which is promising and also had a number of people add my items to their favourites so the future still holds promise for more sales to come. But what are my thoughts about starting a new venture now that I am back in the UK?

Well the startup aspect of it is obviously expensive, but remarkably simple after living with Italian bureaucracy for 12 years! The process of starting the Etsy shop was simple, setting up insurance simple a simple phone call, the process of dealing with local authorities regarding trading standards and hygiene for the chocolate making was also remarkably simple and pain free.

Even the Tax office was an absolute breeze! So I would definitely say that starting a small business in the UK is 1,000,000% easier than trying to get started in Italy, and we are certainly fortunate here to have simple and understandable tax and trading policies in this country. I remember in Italy going to the local tax office and explaining what I wanted to startup and basically being told that they had no idea how to deal with that, the rules are so complex there that even the experts are confused and confounded most of the time!

Marketing and social media is high on the agenda and as a startup there is a steep learning curve! I have done the Social Media stuff before, but I wanted to up my game for the new venture so decided on trying the Tik Tok game! What I have discovered is that I absolutely despise recording myself on camera! 😀 It feel completely unnatural to me, I am not one who likes the limelight to be on me at the best of times, I recoil from the spotlight like a vampire from the sun and being introverted I also don’t like to overshare or talk too much, so blowing my own trumpet just isn’t in my comfort zone. So far, I have only managed to create Tik Tok content around my products and haven’t even managed to do an introduction video. I started one and sounded so unnatural even my 11 year old granddaughter thought it was hysterical! 😉 At some point I will get over the initial process of recording my first video on screen and hopefully it will get easier from there, but the pain is real folks!

On top of starting the business, I have also been applying for some local, suitable employment to bring in some pennies to try to mitigate the rising costs of living, as well as trying to get to grips with and support close family with various cancers, plus dealing with the constant background Armageddon Anxiety of climate change, war and social hardship already hitting home from Brexit and Covid.

Even for a usually calm yoga and meditation teacher like myself, things feel very unstable and scary right now! It’s a lot, but I know I am not alone and I am ,in fact, one of the lucky, privileged minority in this world right now to not be facing heartbreaking, constant threat and adversity. I spend time each day being grateful for the blessings that I was born into and try to take nothing for granted. When we are born into a wealthy society that has virtually free medical care, social welfare, freedom of speech and movement and a relatively peaceful and carefree existence, we tend to forget that we are very privileged; it is not the average or standard state of affairs for the majority of other humans with whom we share this planet.

However, I digress! To summarise, I am really happy with the first month, I know I have a long way to go yet, lots of learning and plenty of hours work to put in yet, but reflecting on this first month, I have some great feedback from people who have received my little creations and I have made a few sales, so it’s time to get back to work and get some creating done! If you enjoyed reading and would like to support me as I continue on this journey, please like, share and follow my social pages on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok or Twitter and have a browse of my Etsy Shop when you have time!

Thanks for reading folks!

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