Hodgeblog - Where it began!

Have you ever had that conversation with friends or family, where you start off with 'one day I'd love to be doing', follow predominantly by either places you would love to explore or things you would like to buy?

I think we all have at some point or other, and its usually followed by "Would you give up work?". My answer to that question was always "Hell Yes!". But I would still want to do Hodgepodge!

What is Hodgepodge you say? Well its effectively my baby, my dream and what I hope will become my full time reality.

Back when I was 25 in 2014, I gave birth to my first son. I was really lucky in that he was a great sleeper during the day (not so much at night!) and I found myself getting bored. I'd worked pretty much most days since I was 16 and maternity was a huge shock to the system. I also doubted myself loads (which I'm sure most new mothers do) but I am also not afraid to admit I didn't have the immediate bond with my baby (for reasons I won't go into now) so I turned to what always made me feel better, craft.

Through doing so, I kept my sanity, making me the best mum I could be as well as having the opportunity to try new techniques. My first was a photo transfer on wood, and it was this that became my first product. Friends and family loved them, and I thought why not I'll make a few to sell. After a while I needed a name for my venture, Hodgepodge was born. Id love to say that the name came to me after thinking long and hard, but the truth is it was the name of my sons nursery bedding.

After checking the dictionary definition "​a number of things mixed together" it felt perfect and I went with it. It has grown little by little over the last 6 years. Between 2014 and 2018, it grew very slowly as I worked full time and had a further 2 children.

But after 2018 I was given the chance to become a weight loss consultant. I jumped at the chance as by this time I was extremely unhappy in my employed role and this meant I could put more effort into Hodgepodge! I had been doing so well by having broken even in the first year and made profit in the following years. So I took that opportunity to become self employed.I had time to work on Hodgepodge along with my consultant role, and it showed! Sales were up and I was hitting targets, it was amazing! I loved every minute until this year.

COVID has caused nothing but heartache, frustration and headache for everyone, and small businesses as all other have been hit hard. Overnight I lost my main income and out of respect for the postal staff I closed orders to Hodgepodge. Something in hindsight may not have been the best decision for my business, but I still stand by it all the same. The last 23ish weeks have well and truly been a 'Coronacoaster' of emotions and have ultimately resulted in my decision over the past few weeks.

Due to the stability (or lack of) my income, I applied for a part time role, which I was lucky enough to have been successful in, but I was still working full time with Hodgepodge and my consultant role.

Some of my friends joke about how I manage to do it all, and the truth is, not well. I'm burn't out, have massive mood swings and no social life (with what little social life you can have during a pandemic kind of highlights how little I can actually do), well until one week ago. Have you ever got to the point where it really is breaking point? On the 17th August, I had (what I hope to be) my last emotional breakdown and decided something had to give, sadly it was my consultant role. Hodgepodge is my dream, even now and I won't give up on it. I have decided to keep my part time role which requires little emotional input and makes my dream a priority.

So why this blog post?

Have you ever been so excited to tell someone something that you feel you could burst? You pick up your phone to tell your best friend or your mum and you realise the time and think actually, maybe they don't want to hear about this at 3:30am?

That's where you come in! I want to bring you along on this journey with me, and when I get these light bulb moments at 3:30am, I don't need to wait until a reasonable hour to tell someone! The trials and tribulations to come, I hope you'll enjoy listening to them all. I've never written a blog before, but hope in doing so I get to share ideas, stories and ultimately the life behind an indie biz owner!

Until next time remember

"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you're not going to stay where you are" J.P.Morgan

 

Thanks for reading my first blog post ever! As a thank you here is a one use 10% off voucher which you can use on any order with Hodgepodge. Simply put HODGEBLOG in the voucher code section on checkout! This code will expire on the 30th September 2020.

6 comments

Lizz Stanley

I’ve always thought your passion and drive for everything you do was inspirational. You’ve produced some amazing things over the years and I’m proud to say some of them decorate my home. Thank you for sharing this insight into your world, I look forward to seeing what else goes on in the world of Hodgepodge. Xx

Pam Turner

Tara it was a lovely read, to hear how this came about, look forward to see your creations. You’ll be even more successful being able to focus your energies on your “baby” xx

Jackie Holland

It’s so lovely to read how this has all come about.
Having watched you flourish in everything you do in the 8+ years I’ve know you I’m still astounded at your talent in so many creative ways.
And I’m the proud owner of several of your pieces ❤

Wendi dean

Lovely to read and the first step to blogging is beginning…. You’re a natural

Love the name hodgepodge and always wondered so now I know lol 😂

Look forward to reading others x

Tina Watwood

That was lovely to read, and your craft items are amazing, looking forward to purchasing some more items xx

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