Angel Wholesale

Business Ideas

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

The Business of Weddings – Inspiration for crafts, gifts & decorations

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Modern Weddings are a chance for the Bride & Groom to really express their personal style and so there has been a boom in personalised stationary, gifts &  venue decorations . There are also pre-wedding celebrations such as Bridal Showers where friends can give more informal gifts and help calm pre-wedding nerves.

Angel stocks a wide range of wholesale wedding themed items including craft items, venue decorations & gifts. Although we only sell to the trade for larger DIY weddings we are happy to sell to individuals who are happy to purchase our pack sizes where appropriate.

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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! 

Get all loved up with our wholesale Valentines Gifts!

Love is in the air at Angel Wholesale with our great selection of wholesale Valentines gifts,  hamper, floristry and craft supplies. We have some of the cutest Valentines Bears  , gorgeous gifts and great ideas to create original hampers. Take a look at our Valentines category and make sure your business is ready for all those loved up customers coming your way.

 

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Santa Paws is coming too! Take a look at our pet themed products!

Us Brits’ are set to spend £7b this year on their pets accordingly to this article in The Telegraph . Pet products are big business so why not include some in your customer offering? We stock a wide range of quality products including bowls, blankets, Xmas treat stockings, toys and pet accessories & clothing. Why not add pet gift hampers to your product range? For the animal lover we also have a lovely range of pet themed mugs, wall plaques and gifts. Take a look and stock up now before Santa Claws or Paws comes around!

 

santapaws

 

 

 

Get ready for the next big film release ‘The Good Dinosaur’!

Get your business ready for the next big kids film release ‘The Good Dinosaur’! We have lots of fabulous dinosaur themed wholesale products to suit all budgets. My favourite has to be the dinosaur dressing gowns and onesies and the baby dressing up outfit from In Character! Popular with my kids are the dinosaur excavation kits.  Suki Gifts have just introduced the cutest dinosaur plushes which sold out with their first shipment but now back in stock!

Take a look at our Dinosaur themed products

 

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Our Luxury Gift Boxes Now in Stock!

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Our luxury folding gift boxes are now in stock! We have designed these to have a removable ribbon so you can customise these for your business or your client. The white and ivory you could add wedding ribbon or confirmation and the pink and blue could be customised with gingham, polka dot or baby ribbon. If you have a ribbon printer you can add personalisation and add your clients name.  The possibilities are endless! If you want to secure the ribbon to the box just cut a length and use white square labels to secure to the inside of the flaps or you can just thread through the slots and tie its your choice!

Available in 2 sizes . They have magnetic closures on the front flap and sticky pads on each corner to secure the box and a high quality length of grosgrain ribbon to complete the look. This is a luxury box suitable for gifts, hampers and keepsakes. The external surface is also suitable for printing.

Remember we have no minimum order quantity and low shipping charges so you can buy as many as you want as often as you need them. These are available to purchase in singles and for a lower price any quantity above 3 boxes.

Orders over £200 shipping is free within the UK and there are automatic discounts for orders over £500 and £1000 for customers who want these in volume.

Luxury Folding Gift Boxes

 

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The Art of Gifting – add value to your business with hampers & gift wrapping

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One thing my husband hates is wrapping presents and I think that is true of a lot of men and with our ever increasingly busier lives gift wrapping has become a chore for some so why not add some value to your business by offering a hamper or gift wrapping service?

As well as lots of fabulous products to put in hampers we also stock hamper baskets and gift wrapping supplies including baskets, tissue shred, cellophane wrap and heat shrink bags, curling ribbon and bows. We also stock a wide selection of gift bags & boxes and luxury seasonal and plain ribbons to add that finishing touch.

We have added this year hamper kits which you can stock for your customers to DIY Hamper their purchase. If you are an online business and time poor considering stocking Christmas gift bags which you tie with curling ribbon and seal with a simple clear tab as a quick professional gift wrapping add on.

Hamper & Gift Wrap Supplies

Take a look at this Youtube tutorial to see how the pro’s do it!

The Art of Gift Wrap

 

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