Toy business propelled by mummy bloggers

Toy business propelled by mummy bloggers PACKENHAM, VIC December 13, 2011 – SETTING up a retail business outside Australia’s shopping capital Melbourne hasn’t hindered Packenham mumpreneur Sarah Braaksma’s success. It is her deep roots within the world of mummy bloggers which has helped Mrs Braaksma’s online eco-friendly, handmade children’s toy business Mum’s The Word Boutique thrive. Mrs Braaksma said it was the community spirit of mummy bloggers and their influence that was having an impact in an increasingly competitive market during the Christmas period. Research has revealed brand-savvy mum bloggers have twice as much influence as a celebrity endorsement (BlogHer 2011 Social Media Matters Study). “Before opening Mum’s the Word Boutique I had started a blog. Through this I have had the good fortune to meet many lovely fellow mum bloggers online and in real life. The community spirit is huge amongst them and when these bloggers blog people, and especially mums, listen,’’ she said. Posts about her boutique and its products are peppered throughout the blogosphere. “I believe this is the best way to reach my biggest target market which is, of course, stay at home mums.’’ The other key to Mrs Braaksma’s business is the type of products Mum’s The Word Boutique stocks. She decided to start the business after becoming discouraged with the lack of quality children’s toys available. “As I get older I am becoming more aware of the care we need to take of our world. I have focused on stocking quality, eco-friendly, fair-trade certified and handmade wares. I enjoy helping other work at home mums by stocking their gorgeous handmade items.’’ “I believe...

The 12 tips of Christmas

The 12 Tips of Christmas Keeping your home and life organised during the busiest season of the year SYDNEY, NSW, December 12, 2011 – THERE is a mere 12 days until Christmas, yet many to-do lists are still overflowing with things to do. Inner-B director, organising educator and Sydney mum Valerie Petersen said they key was to break things down into smaller tasks. 1.            Start Early. As a busy mum, one way to keep your sanity during the festive season is to start on Christmas shopping early. In fact, if you haven’t already started, now is a great time to do it. Use your diary to schedule in some shopping times  (whether you plan to go out or shop in your PJs, which I highly recommend by the way), and keep a list of what you bought for whom. 2.            Organise Decorations and Miscellany. If you’re new to the idea of organisation or have struggled with it in the past, then it’s time to dig out all those boxes of Christmas decorations and bring some order to the chaos. Separate Christmas tree decorations from the others. Box gift wrap and ribbons together in a separate container, and start storing your presents in additional boxes. 3.            Make a Christmas Tool Box. You’ll need a standard set of tools along with the gift wrap, bows, and decorations as you prepare for Christmas. Fill a box with items including rolls of double-sided tape, Scotch tape, scissors, pliers, wire cutters, permanent markers, smear-proof ink pens, Velcro, spare Christmas light bulbs, extension cords, tissue paper, miscellaneous small cardboard boxes, self-adhesive labels, and a notebook....

Declutter your way to a Christmas bonus

De-clutter your way to a Christmas bonus SYDNEY, NSW, November 30, 2011 – THE days of the boss handing out a big fat Christmas bonus may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself one. Many sink themselves further into debt over the festive season, when decluttering their home – and life – could lead to a tidy Christmas lump sum. Inner-B director, organising educator and Sydney mum Valerie Petersen said it was about deciding the total amount needed to cover your Christmas budget and working towards achieving that. “If $1600 is needed to cover your Christmas costs, then divide that by 11 months – January to November. It becomes more achievable to work towards finding and saving $115 per month for next Christmas. It also means you don’t leave Christmas behind feeling like you owe heaps of money.’’ While this Christmas is just mere weeks away, Valerie said there was still an opportunity to receive a self-made bonus. Here are Valerie’s tips: Don’t pay more than you need to for bills As soon as a bill is late, it is common practise for companies to charge a late fee. By paying an extra $5 on top of bills regularly, you could be paying anywhere up to $50 by Christmas. Give wardrobes and kids cupboards an overhaul This time of year people are in spend mode, so it’s the ideal opportunity to go through that wardrobe or cupboard and sell items you no longer want or need. Try garage sales, eBay and baby and toddler markets. She said eBay success could often be dictated by the...