Life Behind The Scenes With The Ironing Diva
Stories about how me and my partner, Victor Pleshev, created a new life out of the ashes of Paul Keating’s 1992 ‘recession we had to have’.
How did we design 7 products? And get them to market?
How did we build a worldwide business from broke?
How did we carve out a rural lifestyle that is the envy of our friends? And our customers?
How did we create a beautiful hectare of garden out of a barren paddock sitting atop an infertile rock shelf?
It wasn’t easy. But this is the business and the lifestyle that we built from scratch. The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies.
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
What Happens When Governments Change The Rules
In today’s bag of parcels that we took to Australia Post. There were two parcels to the United Kingdom. One to a man very dear to my heart. He’s the son of my oldest friend in Australia. I knew him before he was born. And have kept in touch with him. And his gorgeous wife. Over many years. They love their Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover!
The other parcel was to a fashion designer who lives in beautiful Airlie Gardens. In the Kensington part of London. It was a first order.
There was a time when I sent hundreds of parcels to the UK every year. Because the UK is the last bastion of men and women who iron everything! My parcels were mailed to some of the best houses and estates in the UK.
That all changed in 2015.
When it was deemed that industries in the EU needed to be protected. And all parcels to the UK, which are from countries that are not part of the EU, will now attract VAT. Customs duty. And if they so deem it, a Customs surcharge.
All of which must be paid by the recipient of the parcel at the post office. Before their parcel will be released.
That killed my export business to the UK overnight. Those charges can be as much as the cost of postage to the UK. Which is about $50 per parcel for a 1 kilo parcel. Which is the average weight of my parcels.
How did I find out about this change?
From a customer. Who has been ordering from me since 2008.
I send every customer everywhere in the world an email to advise them when their parcel was despatched. When to expect it. With the tracking number on the parcel. As well as a link to the tracking site for their respective post office in their country.
My customer replied to this email with the news that she had to pay an additional $42 in British Royal Mail charges because of these changes.
And why didn’t I know about this?
We now have a caveat on our website that it is the responsibility of the purchaser to be informed about whatever extra import charges they may have to pay for parcels arriving from Australia.
Every decree by a government aids someone. And hinders someone. In my case, it cost me thousands of dollars in export sales per year. And closed off a market segment that was made for me.
I had to find other avenues to replace that revenue stream.
Which took me longer than overnight.
Business is always a tough gig. And nothing in business is ever secure. Or a sure thing. The only given is that change is always on the cards. We just don’t know when we will be dealt that hand. And the ability to be flexible. And pivot quickly. Is what makes a business great. And sustainable.
To be otherwise breaks a business. ~Carol❤
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