Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

It’s a new dawn, a new day… and I’m feeling good

Morning all,

I’m not entirely sure where to start today – we’re moving! We’re moving into our proper proper offices, a big suite which houses a cutting room, storage, machine room, packing and QA area, kitchen, my office, an advice centre space, an education space, a social room.. how exciting! How terrifying…

This week has been a good one. We are, as ever, terribly short of cash and the paperwork to get more seems interminable. There’s always one more thing to add, and one more forecast to do, or one more cost to accommodate. How do people ever finish? I *know* that in most business plans the figures are best guesses but that feels.. a bit wrong to me. When I worked in sales I hated forecasting as it felt like hopeful lying, which kind of makes forecasting now hard. Fortunately, I have two very helpful accountants working on the number crunching – hooray for volunteers.

But anyway, back to the good week. Clearly,today is A Good Day for moving – and it’s not raining, so we can move all the stuff easily. In fantastic news I have been contacted by The Big Issue, they want to do a feature on us! The Big Issue was right there at my political awakening when I was 15, that and Amnesty made me see the world quite differently from how I had before. I’d be absolutely thrilled to see our story in the magazine – I’ll keep you posted, but that looks possible to happen in September. We’ll have a great photographer http://fangphotography.carbonmade.com/ taking some shots so they will be on the magazine too.

Big challenges for me at the moment really do revolve around money, and around keeping work and home separate so I can get to sleep! We need what’s called ‘revenue funding’, which means funding to pay ongoing costs like rent and wages for a bit, as opposed to ‘capital funding’ which means buying actual physical things. We only need a little bit as we will generate income, that’s the whole point, but we are viewed, as most start ups area, as high risk. The tricky thing is, we’re sort of too far along to get proof of concept grants now, and not far enough along to get loans. We have no orders yet. We can’t get orders until I have shown samples to potential customers and persuaded them to buy them. We can’t show people samples until we have samples made up. Now, having our machines in means that we can actually make them – but we are still finalising the suppliers of elastics and trims so we don’t have the stuff to make them with. By the time we do have these things, I fear it will be very very very close to the time we need the money in our bank, too close. And so I’m panicking, which is never a good use of time, as I have given my word to 25 women that they will have a paid job in December.

Realistically, the amounts of money we are talking about are tiny – our total wage bill (including all the costs I never knew about like employers National Insurance, which companies pay on top of the wages which employees pay NI from) per month is going to be about £5k, and our rent per quarter is much the same. We’re still waiting to find out if we get a rates reduction due to being a non profit organisation. But I’m in a position of not being able to do much to influence the situation right no – I’m waiting to meet my accountants to work through the forecasts, so that I can submit them with the Business Plan to potential funders. Funding decisions take ages – up to six months or even more in some cases – and so I’m worried that even if we do get a ‘yes’ it won’t be in time for December.

But anyway, let’s think about the fun stuff. As well as moving the furniture in today, I want to make up some signs to hang from the walls and make the place look cheerful and happy so that when the women come in they can see what people have done. I’ve been planning a big poster for ages of all the people who have volunteered – I want the women to know how many people have helped them. So if I have time, I might make that up today.

And now it’s time to pack up the computer and move it downstairs. Bye bye office, and hello suite!

EDIT – what could make the day better? Free tea! I’ve just had a box of lovely speciality teas from http://www.teapigs.co.uk/, an office warming present. Might be time to get the kettle on!


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One Response

  1. Noely Noel says:

    These are brilliant, great big bounds forward. Good work!

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