City Woman: Crafts are a family affairBy Sally Bryant
March 06, 2012
A mother and daughter team has run with the trend for all things homespun and set up their own business.
Mum Angie, 52, works with elderly people and teams up with 28-year-old Rachel Murphy, who has a five-month-old son, in her spare time. Angie’s home in Hawkedon Way in Lower Earley is the workshop for Billy Button Gifts.
The ‘mumpreneurs’ are making and selling handmade wooden plaques, gifts and decorations – and the future looks rosy, says Sally Bryant
Instead of just wallowing in the joys of being a new mummy, Rachel Murphy has harnessed all that energy and enthusiasm in a new venture.
Better still for advocates of girl power, she is forging ahead with her mother.
Rachel, whose son Billy gave the company its name, explained: “We both come from a social care background: me working with disabled children and Mum working with the elderly.
“We have always been very creative, and so whilst on maternity leave with my gorgeous son Billy, Mum and I decided to try to set up a business doing something we love – and so Billy Button Gifts was born!
“It is lovely being able to work with Mum, and it means that I can have Billy with me whilst doing something I enjoy. Billy even joins in with a bit of painting every now and then! It really is fantastic being able to put all of our care and attention into creating something and seeing the beautiful end result.
“The dream is to build a family business, which enables me to work from home and look after my son. My husband is very supportive and proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time.”
The deft pair only started making bits and pieces for friends and family in November.
They then moved to selling through a Facebook page and were immediately busy with Christmas orders. They attended a couple of Christmas fairs, where their plaques and decorations were very popular, and everything has snowballed from there.
Rachel said: “It was such a busy time, we were looking forward to having a break over Christmas, and expecting it to be a lot quieter throughout January, but how wrong we were. We have been very busy already this year, making birthday, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day items, to name just a few.
“Setting up a successful business during a recession was daunting, even more so while looking after a young baby, but we decided that it was the right time for us so we went for it and it was the best decision we ever made. We sell our items through two local shops, and are in discussions with others.
"We have grown rapidly and now have a website, supply advertising and display materials to other local businesses, work with managers to provide alternative incentives/rewards for their employees and are also moving into the wedding market, providing wedding favours.
“We receive regular requests to attend and sell at various events and venues, and have lots booked in already for this year.”