Three ways to Stay Strong in Business by Emma Watson, Founder and Creative Director of kidswear brand HOTDOG WATSON
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT EMMA AND HER BRILLIANT BRAND HERE
Staying Strong in Business
Recently I listened to Alyson Hogg (owner of Vita Liberata) talk about how she has succeeded in business and one of her biggest lessons was surrounding lack of complacency. That ultimately, staying strong, being tenacious and flexible in challenging times was vital to a business success.
Staying strong in challenging times has been a large part of my business journey at LITTLE HOTDOG WATSON https://www.littlehotdogwatson.com/ sometimes the challenges have been bigger than others, and some days I have felt a little overwhelmed but each major challenge has taught me something in business and has improved how I do things.
Here are three of the biggest challenges I have faced so far and how I stayed strong and fought / flexed through them. You may recognise some of them yourself now or in the future.
Strength comes in all forms but knowing that solutions to the problems we face can actually make better businesses I’ve found super helpful to taking the stress out of the situation.
Emma Watson, is the owner of Little Hotdog Watson. A kidswear brand making sun hat combining style + innovation to get kids away from the screen and out into the fresh air. The sun hat offer triple protection from UV, Mosquitoes and Overheating and are currently stocked in 100 + stores in 7 countries worldwide.
YOU CAN FIND REBECCA OVER ON @CONCIOUSSPACE_REBECCA
Six ways to organise your home when you have small children
By Rebecca Caution, founder of Conscious Space
One of the most common organisation questions I get asked is how to keep on top of clutter and keep a semblance of an organised home when you have small children. It’s certainly not easy, but here’s my ten cents:
Think like a Montessori teacher
When it comes to maintaining an organised home with small children, I take inspiration from the Montessori approach. Montessori is a method of education based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori nurseries and schools, children make choices in their own learning, whilst staff and classroom set-up and guide the process, developing independence and encouraging creativity from a young age. But what does this look like day-to-day in the home?
Designate a place for everyday items and establish daily rituals
Children learn through repetition, so putting in place routines which allow them responsibility for getting themselves ready each day is well worth the effort. Eventually, it becomes second nature and you’ll all reap the rewards of more relaxed mornings. Consider affixing a hook for each child – at their level – in your hallway or by your front door. Coats and bags can live here, so that each morning your children can grab them as they leave, and each afternoon return them there. Likewise, shoes – along with seasonal accessories, like gloves, scarves or sun hats and sunglasses – can be kept in an easily-accessible container under the sofa. My children love having their own hooks and even the 20-month old gets her things and has a stab at getting herself ready when she senses it’s time to leave for the school run.
Easy access kitchen items and mealtime routines
Similarly, child-friendly cutlery, crockery, baking equipment and lunch containers can also be kept in a place where they are easy for the kids to reach. Once there, habits can be established around fetching plates and bowls for each meal and returning them to the sink or dishwasher afterwards. In my house, cereals, fruit and healthy snacks are also accessible, so our Reception-aged son can prepare his own breakfast and the toddler can
pull out whichever cereal she chooses each day. It may take a little time and repetition to get children to return items to the same place, but it’s worth it to see the self-esteem it builds when they are encouraged to do these things for themselves.
Our consumerist culture would have us believe that the arrival of a child in our homes is synonymous with the sudden necessity for a multitude of items we never before considered we would need (clue: we don’t). And the bombardment of daily marketing plying parents and children with messaging that they “need” this-that-and-the-other just carries on from there.
Whether you store and rotate toys, or simply make a commitment to have fewer to play with, the benefits are numerous: it’s quicker and easier to tidy up; it fosters far more creativity; children play better and for longer with what they do have.
Simple toy storage makes tidying up a game
Store toys which are most loved and played with daily in open baskets. If baskets aren’t your thing, use other easy-to-access open containers which you like the look of, like a shelving unit, canvas bags on hooks or felt boxes – especially if this is in your living space. That way, you can feel satisfied each evening that all toys are tidied away without having the eyesore of plastic boxes encroaching on your limited child-free time.
Store toys by type (cars, soft toys, dolls, building blocks, dressing up clothes), by colour or a different way each time – whatever works because any method of distinguishing toys means it’s simple to make tidying up a game and get even the very youngest of children involved.
Keep toys and books visible
Another Montessori-lesson is to store toys and books in bedrooms on easy-to-reach shelving, with as few items in each space as possible, and then to encourage your children to return an item before another is selected. This allows easy child-led tidying and also leads to more focused play rather than the over-stimulation that can come from having access to too many toys at once. When everything is visible, it becomes very easy to assess which toys are getting regular use and which have been outgrown, at which point you can decide with your children whether it’s time to rotate, or to pass some things on to someone else who might like to play with them. When this is part of family conversation and encouraged from a young age, children become less attached to a multitude of items and
really value the chance to be able to share toys that have been outgrown with someone else who will get use out of them.
These small and simple changes can really make a difference to a household. You will gain all the benefits of having a tidier and more ordered home: more time, less stress, clearer focus. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll notice the pride it gives children to have a little bit of independence; to take responsibility for their own possessions and daily chores; to focus and play when they have fewer toys to choose from; to value those they do have; as well as gaining an understanding of the value of being able to share their good fortune with others. What could be a better pay off than that?
Rebecca Caution is an organisation expert and coach who helps women to create space, simplicity and calm in the home. Books are her clutter weakness, she’s a Transcendental Meditation addict and a mum to 2 of her own obstacles to order: an almost-2 year old girl and almost-5 year old boy. Find her on Instagram www.instagram.com/consciousspace_rebecca
Town Hall, Bethnal Green
We have a lot of fab new Editors writing for us!!! Which we will be introducing you all to very shortly!!! Super exciting!!!