Angel Wholesale

About Angel Wholesale

Starting a Nappy Cake Business

As one of the leading wholesale suppliers to the Nappy Cake market we have gleaned lots of information on what makes some Nappy Cake businesses more successful than others and how you can be successful.

Why set up a Nappy Cake Business?

  • Start up costs are low
  • It can be done from home
  • Its a rewarding occupation
  • It can be fitted in around children or another part time job

You need to have a creative streak and lots of patience to make nappy cakes as the finished products need to visually appealing and original . You can’t copy another businesses designs – they have to be unique to you. You can use the same basic ‘ingredients’ ie blankets, soft toys etc but its the arrangement and finishing touches that make it your own signature style. Its a good idea to practice your technique and experiment lots before you start selling anything. Many people start off making them as gifts for friends and family and it grows from there. There are lots of online tutorials on Youtube as well as some we have done and practice is key.  Take a look at our tutorials here:

How to Make Nappy Cakes

You also need a dedicated area in the home that is clean, smoke free, dry and away from pets and food smells – it does not have to be a large space but you need to have good storage and everything easily to hand.

Research is very important before you start to invest in your business venture.

You need to ask yourself:

Who am I selling to?

This is an important question as this helps determine where you need to market your products. Nappy Cakes can be bought by all ages – friends, neighbours, work colleagues & relatives so word of mouth is a great way to start. They are usually bought as a gift for a new mother or mum to be as a Baby Shower gift.

What is your product range going to be?

If you limit yourself to just nappy cakes you may be missing out on other opportunities to sell other products. For example think about the other gifts such as Mum to be Hampers, new Dad gifts, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc. If you think about the stages of a baby’s development there are others things the new parent will need over the next 12 months that you could sell on afterwards such as development toys, baby accessories etc. Baby Shower packages, wedding shower cakes & birthday hampers are other options. Making Nappy cakes are very time consuming so it is good to have other products to sell that you don’t have to make yourself that can bring in additional revenue so you are not reliant on just one product. Unless you have someone else to make nappy cakes with you it makes it difficult to scale so its important to have other things to sell.

I often see businesses using inferior products, own brand supermarket items and poor quality ingredients to keep the cost of the cake down. You need to take a step back and think how you would feel receiving one of your products as a gift. Would you use the items yourself, would you be happy with the quality – if not then you need to change it. As a gift people like to receive something original, good quality and with a little touch of luxury that the recipient would not normally buy for themselves. It is better to keep the design simple & using higher quality products than using lots of cheap, inferior products and over embellishing with items the new Mum has no use for.

It is always worth offering a natural organic option in your product range as well as many parents are really concerned about allergies especially if eczema and asthma runs in their family.

I received a baby clothing bouquet  many years ago from my husbands HR dept and the when I unravelled the items the clothing was over stretched and poor quality and my baby never wore any of it but more importantly I did not recommend the company who made it to anyone else nor did I ever buy from them. You want repeat business so quality is so important.

How can I sell/advertise my products ?

If you have Facebook page you can start informally by setting up a business page and asking friends and family to share and once you are more established you can start to advertise. Are you near any large companies that have a high proportion of female employees or friends that work at companies like this as this can be a great source of business. Once established, indoor markets or renting space in a shop can be another great way to sell but you generally need a broad range of products to make this viable. Setting up a website is important as your business grows so you can direct your customers to it. If your plan is just having a website it needs lots of investment in advertising so you need to understand how much it will cost to drive traffic to it.

Other options to sell are www.notonthehighstreet.com, Etsy, Amazon & Ebay. These all have fees associated with them but you get access to their enormous customer base and branding so its worth trialling.

Invest in a a good camera and learn to use photo editing software if you are going to sell online. Take a look at a business you admire and see how they present their products. The quality of your images is vital to your success. If you can’t do it well yourself then see if you can find a friend or family member to help that can do it more professionally – you will be surprised how willing people are to help.

Your descriptions need to be clear and your terms of business must be clearly displayed or provided so that customers understand your cancellation, returns & payment terms. Always as a minimum take a non refundable deposit that will cover your costs especially for custom items.

To help grow your business make sure you have a business card or compliment slip included with the gift and why not add a discount voucher – one for the recipient and one for the person that is gifting it to encourage repeat business.

How do I cost my products?

This is probably the most important element of your new business and one of the reasons many businesses fail to make money. You need to cost every element of your ‘creation’ not just the raw materials. You need to include your time, petrol, postage,advertising, insurance and the little elements like glues, packaging and ribbons. The national minimum wage is £7.50 per hour and you should be paying yourself at least this and this includes your time ordering /sourcing products etc so be realistic. You need to keep records of all your purchases and sundries to keep track of costs.

There will always be people selling an inferior product cheaper and those that do not cost their products realistically do not last long so don’t get hung up on what other people are charging and don’t try to compete at the lowest price. The most important element to your business is to be unique, do not copy but offer something others are not whether it be unique designs, better customer service, follow up marketing and best of all a combination of all of this!

Try to offer a set range of products so that you have repeatable designs where you know the exact cost. If you offer customisation you must price it accordingly. One of the most common reasons I see for Nappy Cakes businesses failing is due to offering too many customisable options or in some cases every nappy cake is bespoke which is almost impossible to cost and to estimate your time.

What is my break even point?

This is important – this means what is the lowest price that I need to sell the product for to recover all my costs. You need to know this to set your prices at the right level to make money.

How much do I need to earn?

This is also a very important as you need to be realistic as to how much you want to earn from the business, your initial investment needed and how long it will take to start earning an income from it.

Other considerations:

If you are selling products to the general public you will need Public Liability Insurance to protect you in the event that some thing goes wrong. There are lots of companies that offer this and a quick check on a comparison website will help you choose or you can call a specialist broker for advice.

You will need to check with HMRC regarding tax and your business and whether you need to register. Citizens Advice & Trading Standards are also very helpful regarding any regulations regarding the product range you are selling. There are strict safety standards in place for baby products so if you physically alter a baby product in anyway it may invalidate the safety certification it has – for example decorating a soother, adding ribbons or embellishments to baby products or adding embroidery etc – you may have to get it re-certified. A simple check with Trading Standards will ensure you are covered.

Be careful not to infringe copyright laws. Do not use brand names to advertise a product you have put together ie ‘Famous Brand X’ Nappy Cake, do not use other businesses images/products to advertise or promote your products unless you have permission and do not copy other peoples designs. It is illegal and could land you in hot water.

If you are adding food products to your nappy cakes or gifts you need check with trading standards regarding regulations for labelling and packaging and for alcohol you will need a licence.

Packaging is an important consideration as you will need to make sure that your items arrive clean, dry and in one piece to the final recipient so sending one of your products to yourself is a great way to test it plus try a few delivery companies – the cheapest is not always the best!

Best of all you must enjoy what you do as this reflects on your business and success. Don’t give up at the first hurdle – keep experimenting until you find something that works for you! If you ever need advice please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will try and help or point you in the right direction.

Your success is our success!

If you want to get started we offer a low cost way to practice your designs with our Nappy Cake Starter Kits. They have everything you need to make a nappy cake apart from adhesives and nappies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan your products for 2017 with our quick guide

To maximise your sales take a look at our quick guide to when to stock up for key events.

Valentines – February 14th – Buy products NOW
Mother’s Day – March 26th – Buy Products NOW
Easter – 18th April – Buy products February onwards. Craft makes start advertising and planning now
Confirmation – late Spring
Father’s Day – 18th June – Start planning ranges from March and buy stock from April
Graduation – Summer and Autumn
Teacher Gifts – buy from April – they also sell at Christmas too so don’t worry if you have stock left over
Halloween – from September
Christmas – buy stock from July.

Peak season for weddings & christenings is late Spring & Summer but offering gift lines & venue decoration etc all year is a good option. Baby Showers are all year round also.

Free Business Start Up Guide

portait of small business owner: proud woman opening her baby store

If you are just starting out in business or looking for ideas to refresh your current business take a look at our Business Start Up Guide. First written by me over 10 years ago and and kept updated to keep up with current trends it has proved an invaluable guide to many of our successful Angel customers.

 

Click here to get your FREE copy!

Pets Appeal!

Pets Appeal!

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Yes they really do! Did you know that people spend more on their pets than they do on children? With more and more people delaying having children or not at all this market is booming. Adding a range of pet themed gift products or bespoke pet hampers is a great way to extend your product offering. New puppy/kitten hampers, pet gift hampers or personalised pet blankets are some ideas but also adding animal themed mugs, photo frames and other gifts is a great way to appeal to this market.Some people even have puppy showers now to welcome the new arrival and our paw print cupcake stand is perfect for this! You could also consider adding home baked dog treats to your product offering.

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The biggest increase we have seen is the market for pet clothing and now Angel stock a range of themed outfits that are proving very popular!

This is an enormous market and one to consider as an add on to your business.

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SHOP Pets Now!

Business Marketing Tips from Angel Wholesale

Business Marketing Tips from Angel Wholesale

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Linking your product marketing to current affairs and upcoming events is a great way to promote your business. It is always a good idea to have a basic marketing plan for at least 6 mths ahead so you can plan your products and purchasing. ie Father’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentines or you could even look at slightly less well known events. Religious events are always an additional one you could use – Spring and early summer are popular for Christenings & Communion, you have Diwali, International events such as Thanks giving so you can appeal to a wider audience. Sport is another interest you could appeal to. Its a great way to stimulate your customers to take another look and consider other gifts or products that they would not usually think about. Also think about other family members they might buy for siblings, cousins, Father’s, Mother’s etc so you do not limit your market too much and you are not competing against other businesses for the exactly the same market. Consider adds on ie Nappy Cake + Mum to be + Sibling Gift

At the moment we have the Olympics and here is an example of how we have linked our products to the event:

Go for Gold and support our Olympic team!

Did you know you can use our search facility on our website to find what you want more quickly?

Enter Gold and it will bring everything up with Gold in the title. You can also search by filter and select by gender, size and colour. Select All Words for the most relevant results.

https://angelwholesale.co.uk/ItemAdvancedSearch

Your success is our success!

 

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Get Ready for Back to School

sch01016-minnie-mouse-arch-backpackDid you know we stock lots of Back to School products!

School bags, lunch sets, drinking bottles, hairband sets, school socks, book bags, plain swimsuits, stationary and lots more. Take a look at our great selection and add value to your business offering. If your customers are buying for children then this will be a great add on too . Character school items are always popular – Paw Patrol, Dory & Secret Life of Pets is big at the moment & classics like Thomas , Frozen & Minnie are great lines to stock too.

Remember many of your customers from a few years ago buying for babies are now pre-schoolers starting nursery so you can sell through all the milestones and widen your market.

SHOP Back to School

Champagne

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Happy International Women’s Day!

To all our amazing angels out there – Happy International Women’s Day. I was once one of those little girls who was made to feel not equal at school and then later in the workplace. I was one of only two girls studying all 3 sciences, because I was in the bottom half of set 1 for maths I was not allowed to do Computer Club. When I went into a technical sales job and did well it was apparently because of the way I looked or the boss fancied me not because I worked hard. I then had a baby and my life changed and I decided to stay at home due to my little boy being very ill. I set up a small retail business but was appalled at how I was treated by a predominantly male wholesale industry so I decided to set up Angel Wholesale where women could feel comfortable calling us up when their baby was crying or they were having one of those juggling days knowing that we would be patient because we are one of those Mum’s too. Luckily times are changing and most of my suppliers are superstars but so our Angel’s customers. So thank you for being the amazing women you are and keep up the good work but lets remember you support and encourage each other as we are stronger together!

 

 

It’s International Zebra Day!

Believe it or not 31st January is International Zebra Day. Zebra’s are one of our best selling wholesale plush toys and many of our most popular baby accessories and clothing feature cute Zebra appliques & designs. Take a look at our Zooma Zebra range from Suki Gifts which is a lovely neutral alternatibe for nappy cakes and gift baskets.

 

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What is the strangest thing we sell?

Angel Wholesale Q& A

 

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What is the strangest thing we sell?

Egg Boxes!

What do our customers use them for?

Sock eggs and personalised Easter Egg boxes

What are sock eggs?

Our customers roll up pairs of socks in an egg shape, baby hats and bibs can also fit and then put them in a personalised and decorated egg box!

……and if you have chickens you can even put real eggs in them!

Buy your egg boxes here! 

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