Who doesn’t love a bit of Eurythmics for an empowering ballad?!
So it’s been nearly two weeks since my lovely friend Laura and I launched our new business venture. Welcoming Pudding & Chops. We design and sell alternative milestone cards, basically we are trying to bring a little humour to some of the crappy times we all go through as parents.
Looks great – So where did this all come from?
Having spent the last year or so surviving the days with two little monsters in tow it was a sense of relief when I befriended other mums who had more than one child. Having one child can be hard work but having more than one makes having single offspring look like a doddle, seriously those of you with one child who complain at me about how tiring it is or the tantrums you’re dealing with – puh sorry you’ve got it easy 😉
So in the deep dark moments there were a couple of us that collided together in multiple offspring mayhem….and then along came Laura.
We had known of each other before our friendship blossomed but it was the arrival of little Nessa chops that brought us closer together. Our morning/daily/hourly rants at what had just unfolded in front of us gave us solace that we weren’t alone, we shared tales of poonamis and vomit, we cried over the lack of sleep, we existed in each others company sometimes barely able to hold a conversation for our brains had truly been rotted by the demands of our monsters.
Soon it became a running joke of sharing yet another poonami story and one day in our sleep deprived ranting moments we cursed the world and its perfect instagrammed moments where everything is perfect, other peoples kids were perfect, their outfits are perfect, the activities are put together in pinterest perfect style and the mummies themselves were perfectly put together not a hair out of place, no stain upon their clothes nor a bag under their eyes.
“Where’s reality? F#%* the perfect moments what about the real moments!”
“Yeah like ‘Today I poonamied all over my nice clean outfit and now I have to wear the emergency one size too small babygro’, where’s that in your milestone moments?”
And that’s where the idea started, over messages we joked about “Today I…..(insert real life drama with children here)…” until it was finally said “wouldn’t it be great if there were some funny alternative milestone cards?”
And this is where I come in… “we should do it, I can design them!” I would just like to add at this point that I am not a designer in any sense of the word, so why I volunteered myself escapes me but I’m so glad I did.
I’m not a complete amateur as I have dabbled in the past and being a teacher and liking things all pretty I have spent many a night redesigning worksheets and revision guides so they look more appealing but I am far from a pro, previously I have worked my magic all in powerpoint.
I made our wedding invitations and all the signs and props for the tables,
I’ve done some party invitations for the boys:
and for Ben:
Designed a flyer for my cake business:
The list goes on, if I’ve had the opportunity to design something I will give it a go, it’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing, but it’s always been on powerpoint.
The same started with Pudding and Chops, first we needed a name – after a couple of uninspiring ideas I asked if there was something she always called Nessa, a nickname perhaps as I always call Myles my little pudding, when she came back with chops we put it together and we liked it. It’s us, it’s what has united us in friendship, it’s different – it’s Pudding & Chops.
So I started playing around on powerpoint and tinkered away but I soon realised if this was going to become something real and a product we were going to sell, I needed to do it properly. So in between organising Christmas and Myles’ first birthday, dealing with the day to day drama and life, running and blogging I have been teaching myself how to use a basic design package. I know our cards are not anything extraordinary in their design but to do something properly, have it correctly sized etc etc it has taken a long time to learn, make mistakes and re-edit, a lot of laundry folding has been sacrificed in pursuing this idea.
In the meantime Laura was sourcing information on printers in the area, costings etc. Finally it came to a point where I had done 20 designs, Laura had sourced a number of quotes….now what?? Well we actually had to do something with it, take the first step, take a leap of faith, so we did. We approached a local printer who I have used a number of times for some of my smaller prints and photos and we negotiated a price, we sent across the designs and they were pinged back….not saved in the correct format, not the correct size, needed a bleed of 3mm, need to increase dpi blah blah (insert more technical jargon).
Well that was it I thought, I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing, this is not going to work! But with the patience and kindness from Tamsin at Johnsons Printers we finally got to a point where we had a file, a file that could be sent to print, that had all the correct information, was at a high enough resolution that it didn’t resemble something from a Minecraft creation. We went to test print and we nervously awaited the final result but it was worth the wait, they actually looked good. I was half expecting them to look naff and that would be the end to our dream but it took me by surprise. Ok to be fair there were still some tweaks to be made, but after all that I had learnt it was nothing I couldn’t do in a jiffy.
So here we are stock flying in and swiftly flying out. We spend our evenings processing orders, wrapping the packs in tissue paper and adorning them in stickers (obviously created by myself) and we send them on their merry way to their happy new homes.
What’s in store for Pudding & Chops? Well you will have to keep an eye out, we have many ideas in the pipeline and we are constantly evolving. What was a flippant comment made in jest over sleepless nights and more vomit and shite than you can imagine has now turned into something.
We can’t wait to see where this goes.
If you like what you see you can find us on: