You may have noticed a little green coffee cup has appeared on each page of my website. What is that all about?
Well, as you may or may not realise running a Sling Library is not the most well paid profession. I have been running the library for eight years and in that time I have grown the library from around 25 slings and carriers to nearly 200, I have started to sell some new carriers and accessories, and ultimately left my other job to work at The Baby Room and run Exeter Sling Library as my main employment. I attended Slingababy Consultancy training in 2015 and continue my personal development with additional training and updates every year. All this is self funded. Every sling you hire (or buy) is used either to pay for another, or for training, or insurance, or some other business related cost OR it pays me – so I can feed my family, pay my bills and maybe even treat them once in a while.
What I don’t get is outside funding. People sometimes imagine that sling libraries get council or NHS funding – we don’t! No one pays me except my customers.
The last 18 months have been really tough. I have worked harder for less money with a new baby. My hires and sales are way down. I have always been happy to offer people fitting advice with their own slings and carriers, and its not at all unusual for people to come along to Nappuccino with a bagful of slings that their brother/sister/cousin/friend/neighbour has given/lent them for me to help them fit. Since the pandemic I’ve seen even more people who bought something new without trying it out and now need help to fit or make it work for them. Sometimes these are two minute tweaks – sometimes they are more like free consultations (I normally charge £35 for a 1 hour consultation!)
I don’t want to start charging people for fittings. But times are hard. So I have added a “buy me a coffee” button. Please, if you have had good service or help from me – especially if you haven’t gone on to hire or buy from me – please consider “buying me a coffee”. If it’s not something you can afford this week, but you feel it’s deserved, bookmark it and buy one another day or week. The money might buy a new sling for the library. It might pay for my kids’ music lessons. It might just buy my family bread and milk and loo roll in a tight week. But I can promise it will be appreciated – probably more than you can imagine!