Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to open your own wool shop when you don't have a clue!

As the title suggests, I would love to run my very own wool shop. Not just to satisfy my obsession with the stuff, but to provide a funky, welcoming environment to all knitters and crocheters, both experienced and newbies. I have a vision of a light, bright area where the walls are taken up by rows of colour and texture, with a central work/relaxation area. I would love to offer coffee and snacks as well. I'd offer lessons, knit group venue, charity knitting, guest speakers etc etc.

This is all very nice, but I've never come close to running a business in my life, unless you count some eBay selling off and on over the years. I am doing a small business course to build some skills in that area and am waiting to get accepted on a Government funded program so I can take advantage of the mentoring and support that they offer. Whilst I'd love to spend all my time for the next 12 months getting this dream into reality, there are a couple of life issues to be dealt with first.

Firstly, I'm boarding with my daughter, her fiance and their 3 month old baby. This is fine at the moment but it can't last forever. I left my job in the Public Service earlier this year due to extreme stress and finally accepted a redundancy. This, combined with selling my house in Canberra at a really good price (for the buyer!) means that I have a little cash to play with...or do I?

I've been living off this money since June this year, and I am fast approaching my bottom line. I can't get Centrelink until I've served the waiting period imposed after a redundancy. Combine this with the problem of my 17yo son, who I left back in Canberra to finish Year 12 and is taking up valuable real estate at my eldest daughter's house and I have a dilemma!

I've looked into buying a house here in Perth and even if I was working as a full time wage slave I would only be able to manage a very small mortgage, say, under 200k. I would be looking at a purchase price of no more than 250k which is almost impossible to achieve. If I was to rent I would still be paying around the same as a mortgage payment, so buying would be a better economic option....as well as not having to endure 3 monthly rental inspections!

I've been studying various online real estate sites and found that I could pretty much afford a 3 bedroom house a *little* way out of Perth....4 - 5 hours drive! Err, no thanks. I'm a city girl, or at least a coastal town girl. Living in the middle of nowhere on my own (or with a 17yo metalhead son who needs a job) isn't my idea of a good solution.

The other option I've looked at is park home living. I've seen a few places for sale on the net and am taking a drive to Rockingham/Mandurah later in the week after the dreaded inspection, to check out some parks and see if this is a lifestyle that I could handle. I've heard good and bad about living in van parks and am a bit nervous about the whole prospect. Economically, it would allow me to live cheaply once I've bought a place and work part time while I build up my business. I think that part of Perth could sustain a wool shop too.

What if I can't go down the van park route? I have no idea! I really don't want to put aside my dream. I've spent many years as a single parent working my arse off to try and get ahead but I feel like I haven't made a dent. Sure, I have a smallish lump of cash to call my own, but that won't go far and I can't stay with my daughter forever. I'm not old enough to retire but I'm pretty nervous about going back to being an employee....the stress I was under and some of the things that happened at work are still weighing on my mind...in a nutshell, I'm not sure I'm ready to put up with bullying behaviour again, or ever for that matter.

So, I did say earlier that I'd post some pics and patterns here to get myself started in business mode. As you can see it's all words and no piccies just yet! If you are really desperate to see some of the stuff I've been doing, here I am on Ravelry.

Back to the scrubbing!

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