Fabulous Gifts For Nanas

Belinda Bull runs Net2Nana.com from her "hive of industry" home in Worcester, UK.

Net2Nana is an online emporium offering fabulous gifts especially chosen for mums, grandmas, godmothers, aunts and all "golden girls".

Their aim is to make this as easy as possible for you so they gorgeously gift wrap for free, will handwrite a gift tag with your personal message and send your gift out the same working day.

Net2Nana would love you to visit them for Mother's Day gifts, birthday and Christmas presents or whenever you want to send a treat or a "Thank You" gift to a fabulous woman you love to spoil.

They hope to inspire you with their lovely range and reassure you that every gift has been tested and approved by that most discerning of panels – their mums, grandmas, aunts and all their friends!

Their mission is to make it a complete joy to receive a gift sent through Net2Nana.com!

Belinda from Net2Nana wrapping gifts for Nana from her online gift shopping site

The Beginnings

We asked Belinda how long she had been running Net2Nana, and how she got started.

‘I started Net2Nana towards the end of 2010 but as I am still learning so much I still feel like a very new company!

I decided to start Net2Nana just after my Mum's 80th birthday. I'd been listening to the dilemmas my grown up nieces and nephews were facing whilst trying to decide what to buy for their Nana, a vibrant, glamorous but older lady.

They had been bemoaning the fact that there was plenty of choice out there when buying for their wives, friends and girlfriends but they became lost when choosing gifts for grandmas.'

Focusing On The Right Products

Belinda says, 'I had great fun starting to put together some gorgeous gifts for my website but I decided to hold focus groups to make sure that these were the kinds of gifts that would be delightfully received by older ladies. So, I made some visits to retirement complexes and showcased my ideas; when the ladies were very keen to buy the things there and then I knew I was on the right track! 

I also assembled a discerning group of my Mum's vibrant octogenarian friends who cast a critical but approving eye over my choices. This has been such fun and such a success that it is now an integral part of the Net2Nana long term business plan
 
I have met some fab, fun ladies, with wonderful stories to tell, who totally dispel the myth that older people like drab, beige boring things.

They have great taste and naturally want good quality and great design; they just need things that are adapted to their needs. For instance, necklaces that either fasten magnetically or go straight over their heads, as they all seem to struggle with fiddly clasps.'

A Full House

We asked Belinda to tell us about her home office.

‘My office is in my house; my husband David also runs his architecture practice from here and we have 2 children, 4 rescue rabbits and 2 rescue guinea pigs so it is my perfect working environment! I involved my children in my business from the outset and it's paying dividends because they are both showing a strong entrepreneurial streak and my 14 year old daughter already has a successful small business.  

I love working for myself and working from home but as anyone in this position will know it can be very difficult to switch off. As I type this I'm laughing to myself because I'd really got stuck into it and completely forgotten that the children's supper was burning away in the oven, oops!

However, my two are old enough now to shout when they are hungry, I would never let my animals suffer due to me being a workaholic and my husband runs his own business so is totally empathic. I think we'll all survive!’

Support

Your business is still pretty new Belinda, have you got a support network in place to help you through the early years?

‘I've had great help and support from friends who run their own small businesses, although someone told me at the beginning a real home truth...She said "Don’t expect everyone else to be as passionate about your "baby" as you are"! This has resonated with me and I try very hard to make sure I'm meeting up with friends for coffee and their company, not just so that I can access their skills and grill them for advice.

Because my husband runs his own business it's tempting to constantly turn to him with questions but he is busy enough already so I'm trying to stand on my own 2 feet. I research things online and often turn to the great support offered by sites such as iHubbub for advice and networking.’ 

Your Biggest Challenge

‘I left school before the days of computers and have never worked in an office environment. I was long haul Cabin Crew before and then became a mum, so anything technical has been a huge challenge.’

What Makes Your Job Worthwhile? 

Belinda lights up when we ask her this question. 

‘I still get really thrilled when an order pings in and I try to treat each one individually - gift wrapping with care and hand writing each gift tag with the buyer's message.

The older ladies I meet are still full of fun and sparkle, and I love finding gifts that I know they would adore!’  

What's Next?

In the short time that Net2Nana has been running Belinda has already pulled in some worthy accolades, including Best New Website (WebProNews), Theo Paphitis’ #SBS and Jaqueline Gold’s #WOW on Twitter, and the Mumpreneur Gold Website Award.

So what are you focusing on now Belinda?

‘Keep pushing onwards and upwards!’

We all know that feeling! 

Advice For Others

Belinda says ‘I'm still at the stage where I'm taking advice from others!’ – but iHubbub thinks that the effort and attention to detail that Belinda puts into Net2Nana means that new business start-ups could definitely learn a lot from her!

Read about more fab-u-liss start up business ventures in our Showcase or browse through our Members Business Products.

 

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