Feature article of the week….Sarah from Thingamajigs!
Welcome to Baby Life Magazine Sarah! It is lovely to have you here with us.
Sarah has had a very interesting life, even before she became a Mum! How many other Mums do you know who were Crime Scene Examiners or rubbed shoulders with famous people such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and designer Matthew Williamson?
Tell us about yourself and your family
I am Sarah Jansen. I’m originally from London, where I met my Kiwi husband Pete. We have a three year old son, Luke, and made the move to the North Shore, Auckland just after Luke was born.
How long have you been a WAHM?
I’ve been a work at home mum for just over a year, Thingamajigs was officially launched and registered as a business in August 2012.
What made you decide to be a WAHM?
After my son was born I knew I didn’t want to go back to full time work. But I also wanted to keep ‘the little grey cells’ working and contribute to the family income, and then the idea of Thingamajigs came and it all fitted in place.
What did you do before becoming a WAHM?
I had a varied working life in the UK. For a number of years I was in the hardworking but glamorous world of Public Relations. I remember going to top British designer Matthew Williamson’s Show at London Fashion Week, stood between Simon and Jasmin Le Bon and Jude Law, while Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss strutted their stuff on the catwalk. I always get an extra special thrill when a parent sends me Matthew Williamson’s Butterfly label clothes to sell.
I then made a complete career change and trained as a Crime Scene Examiner with the Metropolitan Police. 3am at a serious crime incident might not have the glamour, but it was a very interesting and rewarding career. In between the two, I also waitressed in Greece, for a bit of fun.
My job title is…..
Owner, Client Liaison, Sales, Marketing, Accounts, IT, Secretary and Tea/Coffee Maker at Thingamajigs Ltd.
Tell us about your business
Thingamajigs specialises in new and mostly pre-loved UK, European, American, Canadian and Australian clothes for pre-schoolers.
When I first arrived in New Zealand, people frequently commented on my sons clothes, not just about the designs but also the quality “I bet they’re from the UK”. I also met a lot of expats that had clothes from the UK, Europe and the US that their children had outgrown or had been sent by family ‘back home’ but were the wrong size or sent for the wrong season. Good quality clothing, if looked after, looks as good as new, keeping its colour, shape and design for longer than any one child will wear it for. These clothes are what we call pre-loved. All clothes sold by Thingamajigs are rigorously quality controlled before being made available for sale, as pre-loved.
I sell clothes on behalf of busy parents and make the process as easy as possible for them. I organise collection of the clothing and we have a Letter of Agreement, which confirms agreed retail pricing.
You can buy our collection of clothes either at www.thingamajigs.co.nz or at family friendly markets, including a regular spot at Coatesville Market. Markets give people the opportunity to see seasonal products in person. The website is updated weekly with new items, so it’s a good idea to check back regularly. We also have an active Facebook page for updates and special offers www.facebook.com/Thingamajigs.Page and can also be found on Pinterest and Google+.
What does a normal day for you involve?
I usually try and get up earlier than my 3 year old, so that I can have a cup of coffee in peace and check through any emails and orders.
Luke goes to childcare three afternoons a week, so if it’s one of those days, we’ll go to the park, playdate or little outing in the morning and get back home for an early lunch. I’ll then drop Luke off and get back for an afternoon of work, which could be sending out orders, photographing new products, paying sellers, organising items for market, monthly accounts and keeping up with social media.
After collecting Luke, it’s usually time to get dinner started and the evening routine. Most evenings I spend an hour or two back at the computer catching up on emails and Admin.
What are your biggest challenges?
Getting word out there of Thingamajigs is a big challenge, being a small business, with a miniscule marketing budget.
What are your WAHM goals for 2014?
I’m going to be working on a new website for 2014, which I’m really looking forward to. I also want to spread the word out there about Thingamajigs, for both buyers and sellers. I’m really excited about the possibilities for 2014.
What has been the best experience of being a work at home Mum?
I’ve met a couple of friends of friends, who on meeting have realised we have met before as they’ve shopped at Thingamajigs at a market.
What do you like the most about being a WAHM?
I love the flexibility being a WAHM. If I feel bogged down by accounts, I can take a break and go bake a cake, or go pick some veg in the garden to clear my head. The flipside is thinking, I’ve got a spare 5 minutes and running to the computer rather than sticking my head in a book, or doing the weeding.
How has being a WAHM changed your life?
Becoming a mum has been transformative on so many levels. Being able to work whilst hanging out with my son has been amazing.
I’m inspired by…
Other WAHMs. I love meeting other small business owners at Markets and through networking groups. There is some great support and information out there and most businesses are happy to help each other out.
If you gave me a day off I’d…
Be at the beach. I’m an active relaxer, but something to do with the feel of the sand and the sound of the sea that truly relaxes me.
Get in touch with Sarah from Thingamajigs at her: