As a lot of you may know, I moved to Australia in December of last year with my husband and 4 boys. We had been planning it for over 4 years – in fact Jude (my 4 year old) was just a ‘twinkle in my eye’ when we first starting applying for our Visas!
Little did we know back then that Tracy and I would have a sudden brainwave and invent the Dribble Stop Top. Neither did we know that we would be so passionate about it that we would actually get our tops to market.
But like most things in this life we had no control over the timing of everything. And it was ‘Sod’s Law’ that after 3- ½ years of working on our Dribble Stop Tops and over 4 years of planning to move to Australia, that everything happened at the same time. Our visas came through in March 2013 and our flights were booked for December. At this time we still had almost a year before we left, and with things moving along steadily with our Dribble Stop Tops, they would be in the shops before we knew it right? – we had plenty of time. WRONG! We embarked on our mammoth plane journey to Adelaide in Mid December and our Dribble Stop Tops finally hit the shelves in the UK in January.
And my thoughts – ‘How could the Gods be so cruel’. After all that hard work with Tracy, all that determination and excitement and I wasn’t even going to see our tops finally finished and on sale.
Torn does not even come close – I knew I had to carry on with the move to Australia for my family’s sake, but at the same time I felt crippled that I could not be back in the UK to share the workload (and the limelight if truth be known!) with Tracy.
Tracy was brilliant – and the launch went fantastically well – with the Press involved, balloons, banners and lots and lots of interest. Trace sent me photos and emailed me every step of the way, telling me who she had spoken to, what the reaction had been and photos of our tops on the shelves. After a very stressful few weeks leading up the launch, I know Tracy was shattered – both physically and emotionally exhausted and I will always be eternally grateful to her.
But that night I cried!
Life can be so unfair. To invent a product and get it on the shop floor of a major UK store is a dream that not many people accomplish – it will probably be my biggest work related achievement of my life and I was not there to see it. I wasn’t there to say hello to people and answer all their questions and stand there proud as punch to say ‘we invented this’. I wasn’t there to have my photo taken standing next to Tracy whilst holding up our tops with massive grins on our faces and I wasn’t there to share a glass of champagne with her and say ‘we did it!’
I know it’s been hard for Tracy too, as this has been a joint venture right from the start – 2mums Ltd. We both know in hearts, that without each other to lean on, we probably would never have even contemplated going ahead with our idea. It was always the two of us – we did things together and together we could achieve anything we put our minds to. And now we were on separate sides of the world.
6 months on – I know I have to count my blessings – Australia is a fantastic Country to bring my boys up in. The weather is beautiful and the view of the sea from my window is amazing. Yeah, I still have bad days when I want to come home and sit around that kitchen table in Tracy’s house, whilst we chat and talk over our next move. Whilst we giggle and laugh – but still get the work done.
Luckily, with IPads, laptops and the internet, running the business together is still pretty simple. We email each other constantly and Facetime at least once or twice a week. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is turn on my IPhone to check my emails from Tracy and I know she does the same (saddos!). We have also discovered What’s App, so it is so easy to still text each other with ideas. Although it is not the same as sitting down face to face – it is a pretty good second.
We also now have the opportunity to go Global and introduce the Dribble Stop Tops to the Australian market. We have already gained a lot of interest from people and I am determined to get the Dribble Stop brand established in Australia for us. I know it is going to seem weird going to meetings solo – but that is exactly how Tracy must feel back in the UK.
I plan to come back to the UK in October for a couple of weeks and I am so excited about visiting Kiddicare to see our tops on the shelves. We will have a lot to fit in whilst I am over, but one thing is for sure – we will definitely have to have that glass of celebratory champagne that is still on ice!