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Am I be mad for wanting to start my own craft party business?

(14 Posts)
bluegaloo Mon 29-Apr-13 14:04:23


I'm a nurse and a mother of 2 girls, but have always been very aware, that alot of the art and craft products they use have no information on the packaging or very little. Often it says "Non Toxic" and that is all, giving parents little idea of its origins or ingredients.

As my girls get older (7 & 13) I have become more annoyed by this and have endeavoured to search out and purchase craft supplies that live up to the expectations I have of other products such as detergents, meat, clothing, furniture, all of which I purchase from ethical, sustainable sources with lowest impact on the environment as is feasible.

I am wanting to start my own business, doing craft parties using only products which would also meet any high standard definition of "eco friendly, sustainable sourced, natural/ organic".

It would be more expensive than other craft parties though.

The activities would be high quality, geared to individual ages BUT would also use (or not)
- plastic should not be used and I have found specialised, organic fabric splash mats and aprons (because I didn't want my kids to use plastic ones at home),
- fairtrade sustainable cotton, bamboo paint brushes and paint trays;
- paints should be made from vegetables or plant dyes and not contain awful things;
- glue should be all natural including that on stickers etc;
- wood should be from FSC forests;
- paper, card and paper mache products should be made from recycled sources;
- everything should be suitable for vegetarians and nothing should have been tested on animals;
- no VOC's or bisophenal A;

Please let me know what you think even if it's negative, as I am unsure if its a sensible idea, as this type of craft party would have a higher cost.

Thanks for reading, Louise

InMySpareTime Tue 30-Apr-13 16:27:04

It depends on the area, if you target the more bohemian demographic you could be onto a winner.
People aren't always looking for the cheapest solution, often they will pay more for quality or a good USP.
Research your target market, toddler groups, playgroups, school playgrounds and gauge the budgets people are working within to see if your parties fit within the range.

HettyWainthropp Tue 30-Apr-13 16:55:39

It's a lovely idea but I think at the moment most of the kiddies parties I go to have been done with budget at the top of the list of priorities. For example, more have been in peoples own homes than I've noticed previously.

I'm not sure it is the right time to be launching a more expensive version of what most people get in Asda, Tesco or Poundland for much cheaper.

bluegaloo Tue 30-Apr-13 19:02:54

Thanks very much for the input.

HettyWainthropp - I know what you mean! Maybe birthday parties are one of those things people can cut back on at the moment, with the way the economy is.

InMySpareTime- I agree with you that I need to undertake some extensive market research and pinpointing a particular market, like you say, would be helpful.

It's good to hear from other people and not just family, who are all biased- in the nicest possible way, lol. I was not sure if it was even worth pursuing because I have thought about it for ages but there never seems to be a good time, in this economy, to start up a business.

Joining mumsnet and reading other peoples experiences has helped me to see its not all doom and gloom, and that amazing things are possible with hard work (which all of us with children are no strangers to!).

Thanks again Louise

NotYouNaanBread Wed 01-May-13 06:48:25

It sounds lovely, but I'm not sure enough parents would care enough to want to pay extra for what is already an expensive enough enterprise.

What about ecommerce though? And putting together party kits. Have a look at Shopify and hire a photographer to style and photograph your kits/products properly & get marketing?

mummybare Wed 01-May-13 07:02:37

I think the kits sound like a lovely idea. It might be the sort of thing people might want but not have the time to source. You could look at sellers such as Not on the High Street who have a catalogue and a website? Plus, of course, your local area. The party idea could also work round my way (affluent South East), I reckon, but yes, I second lots if market research.

Good luck!

NotYouNaanBread Wed 01-May-13 12:27:40

Bear in mind that NOTHS takes up to 40% of each sale and charges a £500 joining fee.

InMySpareTime Wed 01-May-13 12:29:52

I'm sure someone on Freelancers topic had a website selling ethical toys for children. I'll see if I can find their username...

InMySpareTime Wed 01-May-13 12:36:51

It was Ineedanewusername and the website was tread lightly toys
Hope that helps, I also hope she didn't name change since then, it was a while ago!

InMySpareTime Wed 01-May-13 12:43:12

She's now under the name "Fiddlemethis" (I'd make a good stalker networking expert if I had the brainsgrin)

bluegaloo Wed 01-May-13 19:56:58

Thanks for your fab ideas.

Kits could be a good idea, as I am sure lots of us are very busy juggling 101 things with good intentions but no time to actually implement them (I swear i will learn Spanish this year!) but who knew NOTHS took such a large percentage! I do love their website though, everything looks so nice.

Having a look at some afluent areas, like u say, sounds like an excellant idea,I live near. (unfortunately not in) some areas such as Wilmslow etc in Cheshire so I may look to carry out some market research around there as well.

Are you sure your not a private investigator InMySpareTime because that was scarily quick! Hahaha. I will have a look at the website once the kids are asleep thanks very much and high five to your memory :-)

InMySpareTime Wed 01-May-13 20:08:26

If you're in Cheshire try areas like Hale, Congleton etc.
I am a self employed storyteller, I find it pays to have a good memory for people, especially people who sell stuffgrin.
Redshift Radio (south Cheshire local radio) often has local businesses on air plugging their wares (I've been on for my illustrated framed stories), and I know a few networking groups in Trafford if you're in that neck of the woods.

bluegaloo Fri 03-May-13 17:47:37

Illustrated framed stories sound really unusual and cool- hope it's going well :-) Are they aimed at kids or adults?

I will try all those areas in Cheshire thanks.

I am not far from Trafford and if I new what a networking group was, I am sure I would be interested! lol. (obviously I can surmise the general principle).

Not sure if the networking group is a good idea yet as I wouldn't want to waste anyone's time because I haven't done any market research yet. What do you think?

InMySpareTime Fri 03-May-13 20:21:49

Framed stories are largely aimed at children, especially the fully personalised stories, though they work well as pieces of art.
Check out Arriba Business Group, it's free to go to, it's a new group, meeting at Serendipitea cafe on Washway in Sale Thursday 10-12. There were a few MNers at the last one (one wore the MN scarf!), and a couple of people were at the "thinking about starting" stage. I think there's someone at Thursday's meeting talking about using social media to publicise businesses.

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