Life, the day to day events involved with our working lives, our social lives and a little downtime. Well.. If you are like Susan and I and have children it’s working lives, family lives with a sprinkle of a social life and very little downtime! While it often feels like ground hog day we have so much to be thankful for. Especially living in Australia, where so much opportunity is out there if you have the motivation and persistence to work for it.
Like many Aussie parents unfortunately Susan and I both have to work day jobs to make ends meet, mortgages, bills and all those delightful modern society expenses. I work fulltime in the IT Industry and Susan is in the ticketing and event management industry. We are blessed with two gorgeous kids who are now 5 and 4. Our day to day lives involve the usual school and day care drop-offs, day jobs, home learning, playing with the kids, bath time, cooking, cleaning and hopefully some binge worthy TV at the end of the day!
I guess this is where our small business story begins, watching American Shark Tank one night and coming to the realisation that everyday normal people can have an idea and turn that idea into a successful business. Many of these entrepreneurs had very little experience but it doesn’t matter! This truly amazed us and gave us a real sense of hope that it may actually be possible to escape the shackles of normal office jobs and venture out there into the business world. We love the idea of working from home and having more time with our family and hopefully more downtime for ourselves one day.
I have always been an Ideas man, yes one of those guys who gets overly excited about an idea or invention. As the most important part of our lives is our family, the majority of my bright ideas have been centered on our children. Time goes by so fast and we are forever thinking we have not taken enough photos or captured enough of the special moments of their young lives. Idea’s to help us capture our family’s special moments, these were the ideas we wanted to share with the world. Thus ‘In These Moments’ was born.
While we have many ideas for products I had recently made an over-sized wooden ruler type Growth Chart. The sheer beauty of the expressions on our kid’s faces when they were getting measured and seeing they had grown taller really resonated with us. There was some clear problems with our home made Growth chart too, overall it was expensive, hard to hang, prone to bowing, not easily transported or kept out of reach from prying toddler hands. We learnt this last one the hard way when our little boy pulled our large wooden ruler off the wall which almost landed on him. Eeeek! Thus the idea was born to make a Growth Chart Scroll! To make it stylish, a centrepiece of functional family art! It had to be easily transportable to assist families on the move and it also had to have its own marker holder. We spent what felt like an eternity on prototyping and eventually the first Growscroll was made! It was perfect, an heirloom that can be handed down generations for fun height comparisons.
We started using our own Growscroll prototype to measure our kids and showed it to friends and family, we were almost shocked to see they truly loved it as much as we did! This was the last confirmation we needed, we took out a top up loan on our mortgage and started the large task of starting a small business! We registered the design and trademarked the name then hand made an initial 200 Growscrolls! It’s now been 18 months since we released the Growscroll to the world and we have sold over 600 with a steady growth in sales.
The road is very long and we have spent countless hours on our venture with no wages, our margins are low so everyday families can afford a Growscroll and all profits have been reinvested into growing the business. Our social lives reduced and the stress of keeping up with orders is often hard to contend with. However there is a sense of purpose, it’s a creative outlet and our creations are in Family homes getting marked with children’s heights. It’s such a wonderful thought that we are helping families capture their children’s growth that it keeps us going day in and day out, it’s something we have endless passion for. There were so many hurdles along the way, however along the road something changed and we could jump higher, or if the hurdle is too high we duck underneath it if there’s room. We just keep on going with the dream of one day becoming profitable enough to work for ourselves full time. It’s a dream that would support our family running the business from where ever we may roam in this world! If we can offer one piece of advice for anyone starting a small business, it would be to ensure you have an endless passion for your product or service. It’s what will drive you to success! At least that’s what we are hoping! :)
Nathan & Susan
In These Moments.