This is the story of how Molly's Cottage began, want to hear how it is going now? Read 'One Year On'.
Imagine a small miner's cottage that has had someone's heart and soul put into repainting, renovating and decorating it.
There's native flowers lining the front yard and out the back there are rows upon rows of handmade garden planters filled with seasonal herbs and vegetables.
Inside there are products scattered throughout, being tried and tested over and over, waiting until they are perfect.
The shed out the back is lined with storage and benches, where all the ideas come to life. There are products on shelves, ready to be packaged and sent to their new homes.
That's not Molly's Cottage right now, but it is everything I dream it will one day be.
A little over twelve months ago I was working casually. The thought of creating something like Molly's Cottage was always in the back of my mind. Yet at the time, I had no time to pursue it.
June 2019 came and went and I put aside some money from my tax return. Hoping one day, I'd spend it on that one great idea that I knew would come.
December 2019 came along and I was offered my first full time job, the perfect job. Teaching students in the outdoors. The thought of that one great idea was pushed to the back of my mind.
This brings us to March 2020. I'd just started my job, the year was looking to be my best one yet. Then, COVID-19 started to shut down Australia. The school had to close, camps were cancelled and online learning was becoming an increasing reality. Then, after having worked 19 days in the perfect job, I got a call to say my contract had been terminated.
I spent two weeks devastated. I had no idea how I was going to turn things around and still have my best year yet.
My partner and I sat down one night in April. The borders to Australia had been closed for some time. The lockdown in Melbourne was beginning to ease and at the time, all we could think about was how lucky we were to spend three months travelling Europe during 2018. Spending our time rock-climbing in Spain, sightseeing in Italy, Skiing in Finland and Bulgaria and drinking hot Glühwein (mulled wine) at every Christmas Market we went to.
We decided to make mulled wine that night. We ended up having to buy enough spices for a dozen bottles of wine rather than just one. So we thought, why not create a kit that had exactly what you would need to mull a bottle of wine? So we did.
On May 3rd I brainstormed every homemade product I could. To see how many things I could make from within our 50 square metre apartment. I wrote down the number of what I had put aside back in June 2019 and I budgeted every dollar.
I went from having nothing to do, to thinking about this idea 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
By May 19th I bought the business name and domain, Molly's Cottage. We launched on June 11th, only using the money I had put aside for that one great idea.
Since then, our 50 square metre apartment has held the hundreds of items needed to create every Molly's Cottage product currently available and those still in the testing phase. We have to reorganise our entire home with every new delivery because we are growing quicker than we had ever imagined.
Molly's Cottage started as something to do, to keep my mind off the fact that my year had gone from my best year yet to my worst in one phone call.
Now, Molly's Cottage is a dream. Where one day I will be able to share a photo of the real Molly's Cottage, not just the one I imagine.
That year may not have gone the way I had planned, the work I did in 2020 was completely different to what I'd been doing in 2019, but without everything that has happened, there would be no Molly's Cottage.