How Silke created her care cards (and a whole new income stream!) by working with Chipmunk Coach

Last year, I worked with Silke Thistlewood, Nourish to Thrive, on making her idea for self care cards a reality.  I’m so happy and proud to have helped her get this amazing and unique product into the world! Today, she’s going to share how she found the process, plus share her top tips for other product creators.

If you’ve been thinking about creating your own product, or considering working with me in any capacity, this is one you definitely don’t want to miss.

Tell us a little about you and your business

I’m Silke and I’m mum to two little girls, aged 2 and 6. They’re very much the inspiration (as well as the reason!) behind my business, which centers around realistic self care and resilience tools for mums. I struggled with postnatal depression and anxiety after both births and found very little wellbeing advice that was actually practical and realistic for Mums of young children. So I decided to create what I couldn’t find and have been running ‘Self Care for Mums’ workshops and online courses ever since. I also run a free Facebook community, Nourished Mums, where I share tips and tools to enable Mums to care for themselves as well as everyone else.

What’s the product you wanted to create?

I was keen to develop a physical product for people to purchase – something tangible. I had the idea for a pack of cards that would give a short self care or mindset prompt on one side, then bite sized information and some motherhood solidarity on the other. Like affirmation cards with a little extra. Every card was to be thoroughly realistic, to achieve within a mothering day, and would give a boost and encouragement whenever needed. I just didn’t know where to start!

What were your fears and concerns were before starting the project?

That no one would buy them! Then that I wouldn’t finish getting them done, or that I’d miss something important, like not costing things properly or keeping my margins too small. That’s why I decided to work with Vicki!

What were the benefits of working with me, rather than going alone?

Working with you, and the structure you provided, was an absolute lifesaver for keeping me on track and focused. I would have wasted so much time on unnecessary things, and procrastinated over others, if it hadn’t been for the weekly tasks and prompts.

I also wouldn’t have done as much research into similar products if I’d been working alone. I think I would have just hoped for the best and just gone for it. With your help, I spent a lot of time researching similar products, their cost and their reviews – which was by far the most useful thing I did. It meant I became very clear on how I wanted to position myself in the market, how much I was going to charge and how I was going to be different to similar products.

Was there anything you particularly enjoyed about the process?

The structure! I tend to just start things on a whim and then wing my way through them, so to have an actual structure and guidance to follow was actually really freeing and a huge time saver. I got everything done so much quicker!

How did you find my teaching style?

Very approachable, friendly and clear. Never patronising, but never assuming that I knew anything at all!

Briefly talk us through the process you went through

Research came first, which gave me clarity on the size and packaging of the cards, as well as the number of cards in the box. (I went for 50.) I briefly toyed with the idea of getting the cards printed in China, but because I didn’t know anything about the printing process, I went with a very local printer who were super helpful when I rang them for a quote. I actually went to see them at various stages to decide on card stock and it meant I could collect them for free too and save on shipping costs. It was very simple – just how I like it! If you’re local to Tonbridge in Kent, I can’t recommend VR Print highly enough.

Once I knew that the cost of the printing would make the product viable, and potentially profitable, I asked another Mum in business, who I met through networking, to help with the design and packaging. I was incredibly lucky that she immediately ‘got’ what I wanted in terms of design and that she was able to create the box for the cards as well.

What are your top tip(s) for anyone else looking to create a product?

Don’t be scared or embarrassed about how little you know!  Vicki has a real knack for understanding just where you are in the process and what you need to tackle next to move on.

When I rang around printers for quotes I was astounded how many of them were impatient with me for not knowing the specifics of the product I was hoping to get printed.

The printers I chose to work with were nothing but nice and took the time to explain everything. It’s their job, surely, to explain what they do to paying customers. Don’t worry if you encounter some rudeness along the way (although I hope you don’t!) – they’re probably just not the right fit for you.

Secondly, done is always better than perfect! As much as I love my Nourished Mums Care Cards, there are things I’d like to tweak going forward. But I would have never gotten them printed, and out into the world, if I’d faffed around any longer.

Is there anything you’d do differently for your next order?

I’ll look at sourcing boxes from a different supplier, as I’m not 100% happy with the current packaging.

How are things going now that your cards are here and on sale?

Sales have been steady since the cards launched in late November and it’s been amazing to send packs off into the world to people I’ve never even met! I’ve sold around half of my first print run and am looking forward to placing another order again soon!

What’s next for 2019?

I’m scheduling in meetings with local boutique gift shops and will also look at selling on Etsy, as well as my own website. I’ll definitely look at creating decks of cards for various seasons in life but whether that will be this year or next I don’t know yet.

Finally, where can we buy them?!

You can buy your Nourished Mums Care Cards here.  If you live local to Tonbridge, you can collect from me to save on postage.  Just enter COLLECT at checkout and get in touch about when to pick them up from me.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Silke.  If you’d like to create your own product, you can apply to join the FREE beta version of my new online course by applying below, before the deadline of 18 January 2019.

 

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Links mentioned in this interview