You might know that in my spare time I make leather wallets. It's really good fun. It's my time to get away from the screen and make something with my hands. Over time I'm getting better at making them while learning ecommerce at the same time, meaning the whole experience is rewarding.

The trouble is, I don't really have the time or capacity to invest into selling these wallets (mainly because of my shiny object syndrome). I still dip in and out of email marketing, paid ads, photography, content - but doing it all at once is a full time job.

So I asked my mum to help out.

Now my mum is no marketer, but she is a hustler with untapped potential. Any single mother that raised 3 kids is gonna be able to make shit happen, so it was worth a shot.

and if I'm being honest, she probably has the same level of knowledge as me about ecommerce.

Since all of her kids moved out, mum has more free time than she's ever had before so I thought getting her to help out just makes sense.

I invited mum round for lunch and bought Wagamama to soften her up (got her the wrong order though - will do better in future, mum). I suggested my proposal and she was up for taking on helping me out.

Armed and ready with mum-hustle, she whipped out her notebook* and got stuck in. She would be helping out with all things from marketing, to fulfilment, to partnerships. I'd focus on creating the wallets and managing the brand.

*the notebook is truly awful and as a thank you I will be upgrading it

More traffic than Black Friday

A few hours later mum called me up with all her suggestions:

  • Create a distinct, unique line of products
  • Upload all the one-off items to the website (so it looks less like a ghost town)
  • Create retail packaging and go to local shops with 'sale or return' offers
  • List on local business directories
  • Post in local Facebook groups

I've not been confident enough with sharing my work on Facebook or with local businesses. It's only really been shared within the indie hacker and Twitter communities, which aren't really my target customer. On Black Friday, I put a blanket 30% off sale and put it on Twitter and Instagram. I made 2 sales (either side of the actual day) during the sale and drove about 100 people to the site. I was fine with that but did feel like I failed a little.

However, I massively underestimated mums and their Facebook groups.

Mum went to work sharing my wallets all over various local Facebook groups and I started to see a nice spike in traffic. We beat my errm... modest traffic numbers from Black Friday after she started sharing and I even got a sale.

It's safe to say I'm pretty happy with my new hire, but she's a little bossy with getting me to do some work ?

How much am I paying mum?

When I say I've 'hired' mum, we haven't actually discussed any form of payment. I was thinking 40% of profits, but what do you think?