Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, May 04, 2020

New Business Nerves

Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang, New Business Nerves, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, gardening with kids, gardeners seed kits

Planty Mandy's Gardening gang was launched officially on Friday evening and like every small business, I definitely have new business nerves.  Since 2007, I've run a range of businesses but this is the very first product-based business and only I would choose to launch a business in the middle of a global pandemic and resulting lockdown!!  Nothing ventured nothing gained though and for me, it was the right time.

Lockdown is the first time in over a decade when I've had the chance to sit and had space to think, it was the first time for 2 years when I didn't have to worry about the success of over ten thousand women, for all of the good that happened and the lessons I learnt, it also made me really poorly and I stopped giving the things I needed to, to those who are so important.  I was not present because I carried around the weight of an entire community on my shoulders but if anything, the lockdown has been a lesson that I needed to change my life.

Now I should say that Mandy Charlton Photography isn't going anywhere, it's not a great time for social photographers right now. I will always be a photographer but the market is so much bigger now, the industry is more cutthroat and I want to work to live, not live to work.  There's so much that I still want from my life and given that I'm around halfway through it, I have so many ambitions still to fulfil and passions I truly want to explore, now is the time when I must think of me and my family.

Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang, New Business Nerves, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, gardening with kids, gardeners seed kits


Planty Mandy's gardening gang is not meant to be business of the year, a huge organisation or a world-conquering project, it's a tiny business I'm running from The Planty Garden with my gardening gang, Holly Bobbins, Iris and Mister Wednesday (please note, Iris and Mister Wednesday won't be doing the post office run).  It's borne from my love of being in my small garden, of building a garden myself which would be my haven from the world.  I wanted to create that haven not just for me but for wildlife, and for the bees.  It's worked too, I have so many varieties of fuzzy bumblebees in my garden, they're all completely adorable too, I feed them if they get tired, I accommodate them if they're tired and I provide safe water spaces they can fly into without the fear of drowning.
Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang, New Business Nerves, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, gardening with kids, gardeners seed kits

It's not just about the gardening though, I've worked with kids now for over a decade and without a doubt, it's my favourite part of my job, you know where you are with a 3-year-old.  I think if we can teach our children about gardening we will provide a path to better mental health, we will bring up a nation who nurture and care and we will have small ones who aren't so scared of our friends, the bees and who will truly cherish their presence and in some small way, that means we play our part in saving the world.
Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang, New Business Nerves, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, gardening with kids, gardeners seed kits


Growing your own flowers and vegetables is an adventure, there's nothing more exciting than the propagation of seeds, seeing your plenty babies emerge from their shells knowing they could grow to be giant sunflowers, that's the best thing ever.  Not only that but growing your own vegetables and fruits leads to a more sustainable life, more mindful life and a greener and more eco-friendly life.  Quite simply, love your garden and it will love you back tenfold.

The very first seed kits went on sale on Friday evening, my target for the first week was to sell 10 kits and I'd sold 8 in the first weekend so I feel it's definitely viable and my hope, when I have figured it all out is to have a shop selling gardening things for kids and adults and also to have a monthly seed kit subscription which is aimed at but not solely for children.

In one week, I designed a logo, I built a website, I started a Facebook page and got my first 200 likes and I sold 8 kits, I feel pretty accomplished.  To put this into perspective, if I can sell 12 kits, it equates to half an hour of photography, that may sound like a hard path to take but I know in my heart, this business is about something bigger than me, it's about the future of the world.

If you have enjoyed this article, I'd love your support to keep writing, especially during lockdown, buy me a virtual coffee




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