Your Name and Age: Carrie Safford 35 years
Tell us about your family Getting married in June 2011 to Shane Webster and have two boys – Liam 14 years and Cory 16 months
When did you launch? Website went live November 2010
We are an online platform for parents to buy, swap and sell new and used maternity, baby and toddler items (0-4 years) FREE of charge throughout the UK. Parents can add an unlimited amount of items and upload photos, perform local area and category searches and more. We have our marketplace area for businesses and work at home parents to advertise their products and services plus BSOS Life; our community area with a Coffee Break forum, Carrie’s blog and a Competitions page.
We are continually developing the website with a lot more exciting features to come!
How did you get started? I was on maternity leave from working at a Housing Association and came up with the idea and tested the water on Facebook. Our page grew significantly and we realized this could be a business. My partner is a partner in a design/media company and so I had the means to set up a professional website. We spent months gaining feedback from our Facebook fans and developing ideas for the site with busy parents in mind.
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business – the satisfaction that we are helping many parents and the flexibility of working for myself and being able to spend time with my little one at home
What’s the thing you least enjoy about running your own business – the sleepless nights and not being able to switch off, I am very passionate about Baby Swap or Shop and find it hard to concentrate on anything else!
What has worked well about your business? Using social media to create awareness and gain feedback from real parents and what they want. We currently have well over 100,000 fans including our local area pages who are managed by fans themselves who kindly volunteered.
How do you fit in work with the family?I Your partner supportive of your business? Luckily my partner is also my business partner so there is no issue with me working too hard; he cracks the whip ha ha. It is important to maintain some quality family time even if it isn’t very frequent. The bank holidays gave us opportunity to have days away with the children but from a business point of view the extra days got in the way!
Are you working towards a financial goal for your business? I want to be able to provide a very comfortable lifestyle for me and my family.
Would you ever give up your business to do something else? No, this is my ‘baby’, it would have to be a very attractive offer, I’ve put my heart and soul into it.
Do you have an exit strategy? No, definitely not short-term anyway
Where do you hope to be in five years time? I hope that Baby Swap or Shop becomes a household name in the ‘baby world’
We also have a justgiving page for our chosen charity Great Ormond Street Hospital; chosen because our leading website designer at Seventy9 spent time there as a poorly child.
Your website link. http://www.babyswaporshop.co.uk/
If you can offer a discount or special promotion for Family Friendly Working readers, please write it here:
Our website is always FREE for parents to use and we offer competitive rates for businesses to advertise their products and services; anything related that would be of use to our parents. We can offer deals for readers if they get in touch on 01536 215330 for an informal chat.