Posted on June 9, 2011

Mumpreneur Feature – Joanne Dewberry

Mum in Business

The lovely Joanne Dewberry from Charlie Moo’s is on the blog this morning. Thanks for your time Joanne 🙂 You can also find Joanne on Twitter @CharlieMoos

Who are you?
My name is Joanne Dewberry and I live in rural Dorset with my partner David and our three children Charlie 4, Megan 2 and newborn Olive.

What do you do?
Charlie Moo’s is named after my son who we have called Moo since birth. Specialising in Award winning Handmade Fabric Party Bags, wooden and  traditional fillers and this year 2010 we have started to add a range of Moo branded products including cake toppers and wrapping paper. In 2009 I met Laura Morris ( at our local toddler group we discuss the lacking in facilities geared at Mums in business and thus Networking Mummies was born.  2 years later we have 5 branches and have further plans in the pipeline

When did you establish your business?
I started my first business back in 2008 weeks before I gave birth to Megan,

What made you start your own business?
I was disheartened by the rubbish party bags, Charlie, had received at parties. Not only did it break straight away, it was either very age inappropriate or made of plastic. One party he received near enough a whole bag of chocolate. It became a slightly stressful experience. Charlie would wonder out of the party tightly clutching a plastic bag in his hand and we would either fight with him to get rid off the bits he could not have or have him hand us stuff as we said no, in most cases he would be left with a balloon and some bubbles. I took the plunge to build and start up my website after Megan was born in August 2008. I became very adapt at typing with one finger whilst breast feeding at 2am

Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?

It can be lonely from time to time working at home by yourself. You keep rather unconventional hours – I’ve been known to be sewing at midnight.   I find I need to make lists and manage my time effectively or I’ll be easily distracted by online activities non-business related. 
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could? 
There are plenty of mistakes I have made along the way so far but I wouldn;t change that, I think you need to do this is order to grow and develop.  I good friend of my Darren Toms ( always says what works for you today won’t be right for tommorrow and he’s right.  In business you need to be constantly evolving and developing.
What do you love about working for yourself?
I love being a full time mummy to my children, being able to ditch working for a day at the beach or park.  I love feeling like I have/am achieveing something exciting.   I enjoy networking with small business owners especially business mums.

What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
  1. research – make sure you look into everything, including how you will market your business once its set up. I’ve known lots of people to flounder once their shiny website is up and running …. sadly a website doesn’t equal orders. 
  2. network – on and offline other people in business whether that be established or start up will be invaluable resources to you.
  3. barter – especially in the early stages find people with the skills you need and swap with them something you have be it products or skills.
  4. blog – keep a blog of what you have been up to, how the business is developing, what you have learnt, things you have tried which may have worked or not …. this online diary will help with website SEO, make you human (people buy from people) and in later life if you want to develop an expert status then you will have the crucial backing – you can see my blog here

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