Bring Birth Home – Hobby or Business?

4 Comments 15 July 2010

I’ve finally discovered the answer to this question.

In the beginning, it was simple. I was passionate about home birth.

Having had a beautiful home birth myself, I wanted to share my story and the story of others to women who were interested in reading them. Naturally, creating a site to host those stories sounded like a great hobby.

To tell you how I came to the conclusion about just what Bring birth Home means to me, and what it means for my family, I’d like to take you on a journey.

This post will cover three distinct periods of the life of BBH so far.

Part one is Preparation and Work to create the site. Part two will feature Product Creation, Business Partnerships and the Opening of the BBH Store and finally, Part three will include the Future Vision of Bring Birth Home.

Part One – Blood, Sweat & Tears

Before I could create the site, I had to create (write) content for it.

The first collection I wrote was a series of ten articles about Why Birth Experience Matters. We were living in Portland at the time, and with no family living near by, I saved the assignment for nap times and after putting Ella down to bed for the night.

Then I wrote the 9 Steps to Home Birth Preparation newsletter. It’s nature is far more relaxed so it took less time. However still a large endeavor.

I then wrote the text for each page in the navigation bar – the Home page, About Me page, Birth Stories page, etc.

And finally, last but certainly not least important, I drew out how I wanted the site to look and drew the logo. This was revised several times.

But when it came down to giving the green light to make Bring Birth Home a reality, my fiance and I had a serious discussion.

What the future of Bring Birth Home look like? Would BBH be my hobby? Or should I write a business plan?

We asked this question because building the site had already taken lot of my time and would take more. But more importantly, it would take a bit of money to pay a designer. Would the investment yield a return? We didn’t know.

So I began brainstorming ways that I could turn BBH into a business, rather than an expensive hobby (because we really didn’t have the extra funds lying around to toss at luxuries).

Part Two – Who Wants to Pay Me?

My first thought was hosting webinar events.

Each month I would interview a special guest, and charge a $3 ticket price to attend live. April marked the starting month, and a friend, Danielle McMahon agreed to join me to market her eBook, The Home Birth Tool Kit.

We were so excited. I worked for a week and a half preparing Powerpoint slides for the event. She critiqued them and added gems of information.

Then, to my (quiet) dismay, no one attended.

Not a single person purchased a $3 ticket.

The next month, I did not charge to attend, but to access the recording. We had 10 people listen in live. But no one purchased the recording.

Naturally, I said “f this” and gave away the farm, announcing “Free Webinars for Birth Junkies.” My audience appreciated that and I was glad to give it to them.

If BBH could make any money, it would need to be through products that people needed (or wanted really,really bad).

In a partnership with Mama Goddess Birth Shop, I created Bring Birth Home custom home birth baskets, hand selecting each item they contain. For each product that sells, I earn a small percentage.

It’s been a joy working with Maria and her sister Mayu, owners of Mama Goddess. Our relationship has been fun and light, and I could not be happier with the quality of their wares.

My most recent endeavor has been opening the BBH Store and creating Bring Birth Home logo merchandise.

Each month, I will donate 10% of the proceeds from the Bring Birth Home Store to an organization that helps home birth. This first month, I’ve chosen send those proceeds to The Big Push for Midwives.

So far…not so good. It’s been rather disappointing actually, selling far less than anticipated.

I do look forward to adding more products to the store, featuring other people’s creations and merchandise.

Part Three – The Future of BBH

Everything I just told you combines with a very powerful ingredient to get the result I mentioned at the beginning of this post – the answer to the looming question in the Walker household.

I’ve swamped myself in work for the past 7 months. First it was the content, then it was the keeping up. Facebook became the heart of the BBH community, where I participate daily.

But on the 4th of July, I took a mini-vacation to my mother’s house on a lake.

For four days, I took off work. I checked the computer a handful of times during my entire stay, rather than a handful of times per hour. I know, I was bad.

It was a huge wake up call!

I had to get off of the computer and get back to my family.

So Bring Birth Home is a hobby. I’m not really upset. In fact, I’m relieved. No more pressing. No more pressure. I feel like I’ve been freed from trying to be so professional. I feel like I can be more me.

The end of the story is this: BBH isn’t going anywhere, but I am.

It’s about easing back in intensity.

Expect just the amount of information, birth stories and special announcements and less Facebook and Twitter.

Your Comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Luschka says:

    Good for you! I’ve realised the same thing and as my nine month old (home waterbirth – and I’m an advocate too!) gets bigger and bigger, I’m spending less and less time online. There’s more to life than working a full time job (the blog/website) for no financial returns – if it’s a hobby, you’ll keep finding pleasure in it!

  2. Rachel says:

    You’ve done amazing work creating a great resource. Sounds like a wonderful idea to keep it a hobby, enjoy more time with your family and for yourself, and not to feel bummed out when people don’t respond in the way a business would demand. Good luck!

  3. Pat Campbell says:

    Kaitlin Rose you have been on a remarkable journey.

    I hear you. What you have brought to the discussion of HomeBirth and continue to do so is invaluable.

    However, your time is priceless and as you choose to continue to give here as a gift of your heart, something else will unfold to supply your income needs.

    I am learning with you and others that disappointment is a segway to finding new opportunities. Your community is always there for you.

    Best of everything to you, Eric and Ella Rose.

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