Article by Sarah, Angelhorizons
I have four smiling faces covered in cookie dough and multi coloured blobs of icing adorn children and surfaces alike. It’s the middle of the half term holidays and believe it or not I am working.
I started my business as a way to keep my children’s growing feet covered and although we are a very small home run company it’s great to be able to afford their activities and be there for them – I haven’t looked back since.
Like everything in my life my business has to be compatible with my children. As a mother of four, this isn’t always easy but I think we are getting there.
My business has enabled me to work around school times and school holidays without the hefty childcare costs that going out to work can mean. The only problem is, being self employed I cannot take time off. When my children are off school they have to work with me.
So when half term hit I had it all planned out. Bang on time a huge order of party bake ware arrived at our door. I stock the fun stuff. Football pitch shaped cake moulds and cutters in every shape and design imaginable. Holidays with the children are quality control time! Out comes the bowls and spoons, out comes the flour and butter and sugar, out come my brand new range of cookie cutters and suddenly my work is all fun.
I know the items I sell are good quality, but I am a mum – I can’t sell these goods to other mums until I know they work just fine. As my children stir and mix, roll and cut I dance around them with the camera. I take those all important photos that prove these cutters do what I say they do and my children are happy and supervised (if a little sticky!).
And it’s not just the party cookery they help out with. Children are amazingly perceptive. I can trust that my children will tell me exactly what they think of a potential new range or product. My sons are Doctor Who experts and I can trust them to proof read my descriptions for selling the Doctor Who cut outs. They have a huge life size Cyberman in their bed room. I stock Manchester United footballers and Formula One racing drivers and my children’s insights are priceless – how else would I know the popular trends in the playground? My little girls pick out which fancy dress costumes to buy like little fashionistas in the making and when Christmas comes around the toy section of my online store is always well advised. The only real concern is how much stock I end up buying from my business!
I save the boring stuff for when they are asleep and those quiet days when they are back in school. It is hard work being a self employed mother of four. It is difficult to fit it all in. I am so lucky that my children can be active participants in my work. My children are an integral part of the success of my business, my children are my life.
Here’s our cookie cutter quality control recipe, you can have the cookie cutters too if you like!
250g Plain flour
25g Corn Flour
75g Caster Sugar
175g Unsalted butter
A few drops of milk (maybe 5-10ml)
Preheat the oven to 180c. Mix the flour, corn flour and caster sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with your hands (make as much mess as you like). Stir in a titchy bit of milk but not so much that it goes sticky. Squidge it all together and roll it out with a rolling pin so that it is about ¾ of a cm thick. Choose your favourite cookie cutters (and we have lots) and carefully lift them out onto some baking paper. Pop them into the oven (and make sure your grown up does this bit) and doesn’t forget to take them out again in about 10-12 minutes. Make sure they have all cooled down properly before you decorate them – you can use your rolling pin and cookie cutters for the sugar dough too!
Have a look on our Angelhorizons Facebook page to see some of the things we sell www.facebook.com/pages/Angelhorizons/189675524424583
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