If you’re like me, you’ll look on mums with school age kids with just a bit of envy. Now I know that working around school hours has its own problems. But at least by that stage I’ll have from 9.30 to 3pm free every day and I won’t be squeezing my work into nap times. Sounds wonderful!
But life doesn’t always go so smoothly, as Jen Sargeant of Jen’s Nappy Cakes has found.
“I started this business as my son Jimmy has autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and many conditions within that spectrum. He also has terminal Crohn’s disease and colitus. He goes to a special needs school and because of his conditions we are at the hospital regularly for check-ups. I just found it completely impossible to get a job to work around my family and because my son wouldn’t go to a carer.
He was diagnosed with ASD at 7 years and terminal Crohn’s disease and colitus at the age of 9 years, so we have had a lot of time in hospital and I have had to concentrate on him keeping well. I fit the business in around my family when my son is at his special needs school.”
Jimmy is now eleven (that’s Jimmy in the picture) and Jen also has a daughter, Cheree, who is fourteen. Jen has always been creative but stumbled across nappy and towel cakes on American websites when she was looking for a business idea.
“I decided to do the nappy cakes and occasion cakes as they are not very well known in this country as yet and I want to change that.”
If you haven’t come across nappy cakes before, they look like celebration cakes, but are made up of the bits and pieces you might give as a gift to a new or expectant mum. Jen doesn’t stop with cakes though, here’s her sock bouquet.
Jen also makes arrangements for charity auctions and raffles as she believes it’s good for businesses to support others. And she sent Danni Minogue a nappy cake when her son was born last week.
“My tips for other mums are to work at it every day, put the word out about what you do to as many places as possible, network like crazy, swap links with as many companies as possible. BE PATIENT!”
And her plans for the future?
“I want to eventually open a shop, as at present I work from home and my creations are everywhere! I would love to achieve is to have the nappy cakes and any occasion cakes in the large retail shops, which is something I’m working on at present.”
Jen, we wish you every success!