Boss Blog: The Bon Maxie Story - Part 1
The blog is back. Can you say that when there's been just 1 post? :)
In any case, I'm here to answer one of the most common questions I get asked: 'how/why did you start Bon Maxie?'. And because I'm great at a waffle, I'm bullet pointing. Why I started is very different to why I've kept going.
- Relatively happy new mum of a gorgeous blonde baby boy, Max. On (unpaid) leave from my work-from-home marketing consultancy position.
- Got bored of not feeling useful or exercising my brain. Felt like the daily repetitiveness of new motherhood would do my head in.
- Went onto Instagram looking for a community. Noticed heaps of small businesses and thought - hey, I can paint. I've sold paintings before. I could do that.
- All I really wanted was $100 a month to go towards household costs. Feel like I was contributing. I'd noticed gender neutral baby stuff wasn't too common.
- Went out to dinner with friends to a Mexican restaurant. Noticed artwork on walls and saw an elephant in a hat. That sparked my 'animals wearing human accessory' nursery art print + wooden decor range.
- I painted some nursery paintings, found a printer, set a start date and worked every night trying to work out how a business operates, the info I needed on my site, how on earth to navigate postage.
- I launched. Crickets. Like 6-12 weeks of crickets (my brain has actually shut off how many weeks I sat hopefully looking at my Big Cartel store!).
- Realised that PRE-marketing a release of new products would have been smart. Kicked myself that I didn't clue on to this, despite being in marketing myself.
- Starting hustling with listening to podcasts, emailing interiors blogs - asking if they'd feature. Sending freebies to people to use in photos. Commenting, interacting, following and supporting other businesses.
- The orders started to trickle in. Maybe $100/month was possible.
- Started painting custom portraits of babies - this took up most of my spare time!
- Started making incredible relationships with strangers over Instagram.
- Went back to work. Reluctantly.
- Daydreamed about working on the business. Quitting my job. Being able to work from home with my baby. Bringing in an income that wasn't reliant on someone else.
- Kept thinking how if I could just think of a product that solved a problem, the business would change as I felt like artwork prints were a luxury, not a necessity.
- One day, I'd been angrily searching for matching earrings in my 5 jewellery dishes and was frustrated I couldn't see my entire collection. A thought hit me.
November 13, 2015
- After about a month of research, a month of searching to find something similar, a month of testing and changing and testing, I showed an earring holder concept to my Instagram followers. Something that wasn't plastic. Held studs vs jewellery trees that held hooks only. Something that had personality. Colour. Things changed from there.
Dec 2, 2015
- Life changed.
- I was having a shower, Max was at the doorway on him tummy on a mat, and his head lowered. I called his name. I called Joe. I ran out and turned him over.
- Clare Spelta