The time has come for me to share my story!
It is not easy to bare your soul to over 700 signed up subscribers. Perhaps right now you are even clicking on over to the next page, thinking ‘boring’ but for those who are electing to read on…..I thank you.
For 3 years I lived, ate, breathed Ladybug Crossing. I was synonymous with it. People saw me or my logo and knew who I was, what I sold, they knew who they were dealing with. I had built this teeny tiny interest into a pretty much solid work at home business.
My logo and business name was everywhere! Facebook, website, flyers, market advertising and the 1000’s of business cards I had given out.
But why? Why would I take the risk? People wont know me. They will look for Ladybug Crossing and not find her. I will lose my gorgeous repeat customers. What on earth am I thinking?
Here’s what happened in the beginning…….
I have always loved wooden toys….always…..I would find derelict treasures of wooden toys in secondhand shops and buy them. There is just something about a wooden toy and the way it looks when it is battered with age, as if it could tell a story or two about it’s previous owner!
I found a supplier, just one. I found a market, just one. I attended. It was outside in 40 degrees. I bought an umbrella for shade on the way there.
I loved it!!
I made $25. However, from the reaction I received from nearly all of the people who walked past my tiny, heat baked stall inspired me to create Ladybug Crossing. There was a niche out there for quality wooden toys and it needed to be filled. People WERE fed up with the mass produced, expensive plastic toys that chewed through batteries and most often than not, ended up at St Vinnies or broken. There was no love in those toys.
I found another supplier, then another. I found a graphic designer. Branding of Ladybug Crossing was done but very quickly as I needed to get back out there!
The business grew to an extent I had never anticipated or expected. It was time for a color re brand and then the website was launched.
It was all working!
….and I LOVED it!
Business was still growing but now I was beginning to separate myself from what seemed a childhood dream of playing ‘shop’. It no longer felt professional. There was this widening gap and when that happened it was time to do some serious rethinking. It is almost impossible to work on, let alone grow a business when you lose that mojo.
I loved wooden toys, I loved the market scene, I loved filling customer orders knowing I was selling them a quality product so what was going on here?
I took a long look at my name and logo. Hmmmmm…nowhere did it give the indication of what my business was about, unless the tagline was there too. I was bored with it too.
Ok, so that was the awsome first revelation but oh oh… I need a new name! One that had wood and toys in it and one that had not already been assigned to other wooden toy businesses across the globe. Ohhhhhhhh shit…………….I was stuck. So the whole fandangled rebranding thingy was shelved for 3 months as the new name was the MOST important part of the entire process.
As fate would have it, a lass who sells succulents inspired me and the new name just rolled into my mind….
I couldn’t help but feel so awfully proud and I knew I was then on the right track.
There was never going to be the perfect time to launch a re brand. The graphic design and admin side of things were scooting along beautifully behind the scenes. When Carmen from InkPink Design sent through the final logo proofs and I opened them I just about levitated out of the chair! Amazing! Carmen had hit it spot on. Just between you, me and the other 703 subscribers I thought the first proof looked like it had a dead rabbit stretched out around it! However, Carmen adjusted a few things and presto, the logo was born along with the whole rebranding theme. I fell in love and I realised then how much I had fallen out of love with my old logo and branding.
Now for Facebook…..the biggie. It takes almost two weeks for Facebook to approve a business name change and as I found out they give you absolutely no warning when the name will change.
At 3.12pm on a Thursday afternoon, up popped Wild Woodland Toys. Oh, goodbye Ladybug Crossing. Then, the emails and comments started, the mobile was bleeping out texts. Um, that was bad timing. i need to do the school run and I have a rather cantankerous 3 year old by my side. So, I did what I do when it all gets too much. I removed myself from all social media and communications and had a day of down time.
You see, not only was I rejoicing in the launch I was also grieving. Ladybug Crossing and I had been partners for so long. I had spent many many hours, many many dollars and so much love building it up……and I dumped it for a new and better model.
It has been the hardest and most rewarding business project I have ever undertaken and the journey is not over yet.