My name is Laura, I'm a single disabled mother of one. I've been coming up with some business ideas what are financially viable to get myself back to work to be able to provide for my family independently as well as help the environment.
For a long time I have had hobby of turning waste into reusable beautiful furniture and decoration. It has now got to the point where people who have been my work have been commissioning me to make them things to the point now where it is possible for me to turn this hobby into a full time business and get me away from benefits.
The inital outlay is so low and I'm chomping at the bit to get this going.
The whole beauty of this project is that the product that I upcycle I get for free, I have never paid for any of the items and never intend too as not only is something beautiful being created but I am also playing my part in saving the environment too by reducing bulkier waste either going to landfill, flytipped or worse.
How do I get these items for free I hear you ask........ Well I have many ways.
1. I have advertised locally for free collection of unwanted household items, this has been a great sucsess as the local tip will not allow vans in without a permit and the council charges £30 a pop to collect waste.
2. I am a member of all the freecycle groups within my local area and upto 15 miles, on average I am offered 3 pieces a day through this site. Because I live in an affluent area and people do not have the time to do otherwise with the items, I have collected some very high value items from here, most recently I have collected an antique pine settle valued at £200 pre upcycle.
3. Facebook freebie groups, gumtree and other online advert sites
4. Friends of friends and word of mouth
5. Mentioning it to everyone I meet
6. Charity furniture shops locally have my details and contact me if a donation is too damaged for them to sell or they are over stocked.
7. The dump and local skip company
There are many other ways but these are my main sources that serve me very well.
My needs to turn this from hobby to business are very low. These are listed below
1. Being able to pay someone to collect my products in a van. With this I'd be able to collect also from further afield. I would propose to need a collector 3 hours on a Wednesday daytime to follow the collection route and pick different items up along the way. 2 hours on a Saturday day to collect of those who work midweek and also 2 hours on a Sunday day, so I don't miss any items due to not being able to pick up to suit.
2. Better quality sander and saw for more work
3. Stock of paint, glue, filler and fabric
4. One major problem I'm facing is due to all the extra items coming in I'm fast running out of space to store and to work. I did recently visit a local lockup which would have been ideal space wise but at a cost of £210 a month, although this was a great space and ideal it was pointed out that due to family commitments etc and travel time, to make the most of the time I have to work, why not utilise what I already have eg massive land at the back of my house ..... Invest in a workshop shed, this would ill image travel time, have more opportunity to get in a do some work throughout the day evening and also save money. The cheapest one I found that would suit was less than 3 months rent at the lockup. Making this a no brainier all round.
5. Bank fees for use of the card machine
6. Once a month fee for the local market ( perfect venue as the local area are prime buyers for these items) as a hobby I have been selling via eBay and will continue to.
i am so extremely keen on this product and am itching for it to take off, I already have 3 back orders and word is spreading fast.
Please help me live this dream and get me into work whilst helping the environment.
Any questions please ask.