Wow, what a busy month it has been!
A month filled with To-Do lists that seem to have new items added to the bottom long before those at the top have a chance to be ticked off. A month of self-inflicted deadlines and very little downtime.
The primary reason for all of this busy business has been our decision to "migrate" over to our new e-commerce host. Andrew and I both felt that our previous storefront - though functional and friendly - had some room for improvement in terms of both aesthetic presentation and additional features. So we started researching some alternatives, signed up for some trials with other hosts and eventually narrowed down our choices to a winner - Shopify! Once we had our new host picked out it was just a matter of designing our new look, importing our products and setting up some special features for our customers.
It has been an interesting process. I have a friendly relationship with technology, but we are hardly soulmates, so this transition has been a steep learning curve for me. Until a few weeks ago I couldn't have guessed at the meaning of "DNS", or a "CSV" file or "API" credentials...yet these acronyms have now become a fundamental part of a second language that I'm slowly learning. I've even tinkered with HTML! It seems that the most important acronym for me and Andrew is "DIY" - we are doing as much as we can by ourselves, even though this sometimes means stressful moments of uncertainty, lots of research to move towards understanding, and the occasional holding of breath as we press a button and hope for the best! We take our responsibility to our customers very seriously, so during this migration period we kept both e-commerce hosts operating so that we could ensure that we had finished all of our "learning" with our new storefront before we actually opened it up to visitors! I am now proud to say it is up and running (as you can see!) with all our new special features working smoothly!
We have introduced lots of new products to go along with our new look...and I'm even learning how to add YouTube clips to those resources which need to be seen "in action" to truly communicate their value. I'm particularly excited by our new Hydraulic Machinery range (which I'm introducing to my classroom this week too!) as well as our Portable Building Sets. Choosing new items is such a treat for me - I love the process of searching through catalogues or websites, finding those few hidden gems that just stand out as irresistible treasures. It does take a lot of time but it is a very enjoyable hobby - and one which I used to do just for myself and my Pre-school anyway but which I can now gladly share with our Montessori Child community!
Out of all the exciting, busy, inspiring days that I've had this month the best was Wednesday the 22nd. The 22nd of May is always a good day for me (as it's my birthday!) but this year it was extra special as I came home to 3 huge boxes of stock sitting just inside my front door. Andrew is "stock manager", so he's officially in charge of unpacking and storing, but he keeps the boxes sealed until I'm home too because he knows how much I enjoy uncovering all the delights inside!
So as I conclude this recap of a month of "May-hem" (yes, I love a good pun!) it is time for me to end with a few words of thanks. Despite our primarily "DIY" approach we do not do it all ourselves, we do get help along the way. We need to take a moment to officially thank Cath White and Amy Johnson - the two prior caretakers of Montessori Child - for their recent assistance. Cath and Amy were both involved in helping us to sort out some final details regarding the domain name this month. Without their support and involvement we would not have been able to make the switch to our new storefront. Both Amy and Cath are busy with important adventures in their own lives, so we appreciate them taking the time and energy to revisiting Montessori Child.
Oh, and I couldn't possibly finish a blog about the month of May without taking the chance to publicly send my love to two very special people - my mum, Barbara, and my nanna, Dorothy. Mother's Day fell earlier this month - as did mum's birthday (which is today!) - so what better time for me to say that I owe so much of who I am to these two wonderful women. My month of extra-hard-work has felt comfortable and invigorating, rather than overwhelming or stressful, because I am fortunate enough to come from a family that values passion and commitment. So my thanks, and my love, to my mum and my nanna.
My family are truly my inspiration and I am so grateful that my work with Montessori Child now allows me a new platform to connect with, and contribute to, other wonderful families around the country!