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Online Gift Business

By Darcy Volden Miller

Darcy Volden Miller founder and owner of LDIK is extremely proud and excited over the grand opening of her brand new on-line gift shop and directory of unique keepsakes and gifts for baby, child and mother. What makes this site of particular interest and makes it stand apart from the crowd is that everything in the gift shop and the directory is either handmade or distributed by a stay at home mother.

Darcy had a dream since she was 7 years old to own her own business. She called herself, poignantly, an "Entremanuer". As She grew to become a woman she had never planned on having children. "Well", as Darcy says, "The Big Man Upstairs" had a different plan for me". Little did she know how completely and wonderfully having a new baby would change her life forever. It didn't take 1 second for her to give up an 11 year career with Motorola so that she could stay at home to raise her new baby. And so was born "Little Did I". Darcy felt so fortunate and so thankful that she had the luxury to be able stay at home with her new son that she in turn made it her "soul" purpose in life to help mothers everywhere to be able to stay at home to raise and nurture their children too. Darcy now refers to herself as a M.O.M -that is, a Mother On a Mission.

Little Did I's ultimate mission is to help mothers everywhere to be able to stay at home through the support and encouragement of self-employment. Little Did I acts as a safe haven void of scams and lures for mothers to be able to work from home either by promoting her business and/or products or by matching her with honest and reputable work at home business opportunities.

Little Did I's success is attributed to the cooperative efforts of each of the mother owned and operated businesses that are a part of the site. Together, as one big business, they accomplish what individually they could not do alone. They look to each other for advice, support and encouragement on their ventures to success.

So, if you're looking for some really neat and unique gift items for baby, child and mother or if you too are a M.O.M then you've definitely come to the right place. You'll feel wonderful after you've shopped at Little Did I knowing that your purchases helped a mother to stay at home with her children.

For More Information Contact:

Darcy Volden Miller
6736-A Mountain Tr.
Austin, TX 78732
Tel: 512-266-2506
FAX: 419-831-8481

The Leading Edge Gift Company
By Terri McConnachie

Shortly before my second daughter's first birthday, my husband and I decided that the two of us employed full time combined with two little girls under two years old was just not working! There had to be more to life, and if there was, it had to happen before 8:00 PM because we were exhausted. However, living on one income was going to be tough and my first home-based business was born. I operated a home daycare for over five years and loved every minute of it!

In November of 1996 I realized with mixed joy and sadness that my "baby" was going to start school this Fall of 1997. As well, my daycare children were growing up along with my own. I had to decide whether I was going to look for new daycare families or really search for "what I want to be when I grow up". I read books, made lists and tossed ideas around with family and friends. I finally decided to launch "the Leading Edge Gift Company". My company provides "exquisite gift packages, gorgeous balloon bouquets and hilarious and innovative lawn greetings for all of your gift-giving occasions and special events".

I spent a good six months doing all of the background "stuff" and research that is required to operate my business. It is so important to have all of the details worked out before hand - it will save a lot of time later on! A good business plan is essential, as well. The "business" part was the hardest part for me. I would much rather spend my time doing the fun and creative stuff . As a good friend (who is an Accountant) told me, that unless you really understand all the tedious things like "balance sheets"," income statements" and "gross profit margin" you will never have a successful business - only an expensive hobby. So, I must admit I'm pretty savvy with my bookkeeping!

In British Columbia there are a number of Government funded agencies that are here to help small business, women in business and Entrepreneurs. Take advantage of any information and free professional advice that you can get.

Working from home and running my own business has been a delight! I am at home for my family when they need me and making money doing something I love. It is such a relief knowing that when one of my children are sick I don't have to feel guilty about calling in to work. I can help out at the school and attend field trips. Although there are numerous benefits to working from home, there are pitfalls!

Having a private workspace and adequate storage was essential for me. I have a room in a quiet corner of the house where my computer and business telephone are located and another area for my inventory. My children know that these areas are off-limits unless I am there. My biggest concern was taking business calls with three excited children in the background. I needed to set up some "rules" and create some boundaries where "mom's work" was concerned.

It is so important that you have your family on-board with what you are doing and to have their support. I find this can be accomplished quite easily - by making them a part of it! I sat down with my husband and three children and we discussed my business and how important it was to all of us. They are all great helpers and a vital part of this business. The children can help me wrap, tie bows and come with me during deliveries. My husband is not only good looking, but makes a great secretary when I'm out and helps with my lawn greetings. I guess my point is, instead of looking at your children as obstacles - get them involved. They will be as proud of your accomplishments as your are!

The second hurdle for me, and my personal favorite, it procrastination and an organized schedule. You have to find one that works for you and your family. For instance, between the "after school" cyclone which spins into dinner, bath time, homework, stories and bedtime, it is crazy to get involved in anything too deep where business is concerned. I set my schedule at the beginning of each week according to what's happening at school, etc. I know that between 9:00 AM and 2:30 PM everyday I have free reign to make business calls, keep appointments with clients, answer correspondence, fill orders and do deliveries and banking uninterrupted. I "quit" work at 2:30 PM everyday, other than to answer the phone. Every evening, when the house is quiet again, I spend an hour updating my books - checking invoices, writing checks and ordering inventory, etc. This kind of thing requires uninterrupted thinking and rarely takes more than an hour. Of course, the key is flexibility and balance. It is just as easy to procrastinate when you don't have a boss to answer to or a time clock to punch, as it is to be consumed with your business and holed up in your office night and day.

I love working from home, it has been the best thing for us. It can be done - Go for it!

Terri McConnachie
The Leading Edge Gift Company
3093 Wallace Crescent
Prince George, BC
Canada V2K 3V4

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