2004 seems like just yesterday, when I was wanting to make nappies and found there was not one single bit of Nappy Specific fabric available from NZ. I posted on our nappy forum, wondering if anyone would buy it if I brought it in myself.
When my business graduated from stock leaning on the dining room walls and processing on the dinner table, to having an office in the spare room, the stock in the wardrobe and packing orders on the ironing board – that was pretty exciting!
And then when business took over the whole of the spare bedroom, I’d made it!
As amazing and such a gift as it has been, it’s also been hard, hard work. I’ve spent many days bawling my eyes out, wanting to quit, while packing orders with a baby on my back – and most people who know me have at some stage or other been forced to listen to me tell how I was having contractions all day while packing orders, would pack the order, crouch and rock through contraction, attach address label, crouch and rock through contraction, stick on post ticket, crouch and rock through contraction, move to next order…
My sister Michelle & I finally finished packing orders in the spare room at 1.20pm and we were holding the baby in my bedroom at 3.45pm. That’s one way to take your mind off labour! 😆 And bright and early next morning I was back on the computer printing off orders when the midwife popped round to see how our first night had been. Yep, he was a GreenBeans baby from the word go.
Moving from the spare room to taking over our garage with the business was mindblowing. Who would have thought that my little idea would have gone so far!? Not me.
We used to have trucks backing down our tiny wee cul-de-sac and dropping stock all over the driveway for us to lug into the house late into the night… oh how our neighbours must have loved us.
Then came the day that we packed the garage into a couple of trailer loads and took it all to a warehouse. My baby left home… a milestone in any mother’s book!
And so I started working out of our Tauranga warehouse. Until we packed up and moved to a teeny tiny little town in the middle of nowhere that I HATED. But where we could afford to build a big enough garage to house the business while having the kids back home with me again. Working fulltime, with no childcare, in a teeny town you hate, living in a garage, in the middle of nowhere? Hard. But, still awesomely lucky. Our kids have grown up surrounded by talk of fabric and snaps.
Then when my sister was dying in 2008, everything shipped back over to the Tauranga warehouse and we got a staffmember who took over all the dispatching from me & freed me up to spend time with my sister. Wow!
And Mr Bean was by then doing all the sourcing. And I was home, with my wee boys, and only doing computer work, no dispatching, and after two years of grudgingly enduring it, the tiny town had totally grown on me! Bliss!!
But, who stays with bliss for long? Nope, we jumped back off the deep end, and started all over again. In Australia!
The volume and percentage of our sales that we were posting over to Australian customers, made the idea of starting up a warehouse in Brisbane, just common sense.
Our staffmember carried on dispatching from Tauranga, and for the first year Mr Bean stayed in NZ to make sure things carry on running smoothly in NZ while I moved with our five and three year olds to live in Brisbane. Eventually he was able to move to Australia too, and we were able to reunite to run our Brisbane warehouse together.
It was a family affair 😉
These days Hamish runs the show – he’s based in Brisbane but spends his time between here, NZ, and abroad overseeing production.