Why I'm saying goodbye to Rock It Tots
As many of you will know, I started Rock It Tots over 4 years ago. My youngest of three kids under 4 was just a babe of 8 months and I was coming to the end of my maternity allowance with no job to go back to and about £200 to my name. I saw some second hand equipment on Gumtree, taught myself to use it and the rest, as they say, is history!
Those 4 years have flown by, but they have also been a lifetime in many ways. During that time, I have had many struggles with my mental health - struggles that I would try to keep hidden by putting "the mask" of coping on (something I'm sure many of you will relate to) even though I felt totally empty inside. I could never open up about myself because I felt there was nothing of worth to open up about. The glossy world of social media, so crucial for a small business, was also the most harmful to my state of mind. Oftentimes, it has been hard enough to keep on doing the bare minimum to keep the whole business/family/roof over head show on the road and this has come at the cost of ideas, plans and creativity.
Thankfully, something seems to have clicked in me in the last 6 months or so and for the first time in my life, I am taking a bit of time to focus on myself, things that make me happy (no matter how small) and what I can do to get the most out of life without allowing that rock-bottom self esteem to continue holding me back. I suddenly feel like I understand and accept myself better and I can see things more clearly than I have ever been able to before. I know it's a cliche, but I feel like a new person. A grown woman; flawed but fighting, strong but openhearted, a work in progress but with worth as I am already. I'm better able to tell the negative voices in my head to button it and plough on regardless.
So, what has this to do with anything I hear you say if you have actually managed to read this far? Well, as I was starting to feel like I was growing out of the person I used to be, I was also starting to feel like I was growing out of Rock It Tots. I've never been 100% in love with the name or felt comfortable promoting myself or my work. I have had many half-formed ideas of adding different things to my range, but never the time or the mental energy to get them off the ground. Some of the things I wanted to do just didn't fit in with the name Rock It Tots and I was starting to feel like it was holding me back.
Then, one morning after Christmas, my daughter Cléo burst into the bedroom full of enthusiasm for the day and suddenly the name just hit me and instantly felt right! I had already been toying with the idea of rebranding, but then I knew I just had to do it.
It has not been easy to set about rebuilding a new(ish) business whilst also working full time in the old one, but I am nearly there and all things being well, I am hoping to relaunch on Sunday evening (25th Feb) when all will be revealed!
I will be taking some of the best parts of Rock It Tots with me but adding many new things too with plans to expand even further as the year progresses - I am full of excitement and enthusiasm again and I hope that that will come through in my work.
In the 4 years since I launched Rock It Tots, there have also been many changes to the way Facebook and Instagram allow businesses to operate on their platforms. Algorithm changes restricting how many people are shown our posts have really harmed small businesses who can't always afford to aggressively promote themselves through their paid advertising options and I have seen several fellow business owners admit how much they are struggling at the moment. If you would like to continue to support me and my little business, please do take a moment to like my posts, leave a comment, visit my profile etc. and consider setting your notifications to let you know when I post (which isn't maddeningly often I promise!) This is the only way that Facebook and Instagram are more likely to allow posts to reach you and others and give small businesses like mine a chance to compete with the big high street brands and their deep pockets.
So there you have it. Rock It Tots is coming to an end, but something much better is coming. Think of Rock It Tots as the fuzzy caterpillar that is currently undergoing a metamorphosis to change into an elegant butterfly -the essence of Rock It Tots will still be there, but it is evolving into something with wings!
Anyway, if you have read this far then I truly salute you and thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you don't already, please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram and check in on Sunday evening to cheer me on as I reveal my new business and maybe even shop an item or two while you're at it - it really is true that every time you choose to give your custom to a small business, the owner does a little happy dance!
All the very best to you and yours,