Name: Madeleine Nicholls Company: Send A Teddy
Please tell us about your business: I have had this idea for Send A Teddy for many years. It came to me when my cousin Ted sadly past away and left behind a gorgeous little daughter only 3 years old.
I started Send A Teddy last year after I tried the Swedish handmade Bukowski Teddy Bears in our Gift Gallery. People just loved them. The designer makes new characters every year and therefore some of them become collectibles.
Online customers can`t touch and feel the Teddy Bears but they are adorable to look at as well. Another huge benefit is the safety of them. They are 100% free from chemicals and flame retardants.
I believe people are getting more concerned about all the chemicals our children are surrounded with and a Teddy Bear is something they cuddle with and have close to their skin. Having said that, so far I have sold most Teddy Bears and chocolate to grown ups. From one lover to another is one of the most common.
The cute grey little bear Tatty Teddy is one of the most sold teddy bears in the world. In Europe they are called Me To You and you can buy all kinds of products with Tatty Teddy on, from flip flops to cellphone covers.
Do you work from home full time or part time? Part time
How do you stay connected with colleagues in your field? There are not many Teddy colleagues around here but I meet and talk to them at fairs and when ordering.
How do you deal with the isolating nature of working from home?
Skype is always open and since I am an immigrant to Canada I keep contact with family and friends over Skype a lot.
This is not the only business I work with. Imagine Gift Gallery is a seasonal store in Sauble Beach and we are open every day during the tourist season and then weekends until Christmas. We also print photos on canvas and photo prints and that is a year round business.
How do you stay motivated without the accountability of a "time clock"? Motivation is not a problem. I could use a Time-Clock to know when to stop though. Usually I sit late with this, but that's how it is when you start a new business. You have to wear many "hats". Working with Send A Teddy is so much fun. To deliver love, caring, missing, longing messages together with a Teddy Bear from Send A Teddy feels like a privilege.
There are so many occasions people can use a Teddy Bear for a message. More than I could have thought of!
What are the biggest challenges you face when working from home? That must be the house duties. I always put work first and can feel stressed over the chores I "should take care of". My husband helps out a lot so it always works out.
What is the one item that you find vital to have in your home office? My DSL router.
What is the one piece of advice that you can give to those just starting out working from home? Organize your time!
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