This weekend my youngest grand daughter and I accomplished a new goal for our e-commerce store that involves a new learning experience. Sophie-Do-It models for our HeartFeltPlayStore.com all the time. But, today, the 6 year old got more involved in processing a customer’s order.
Heart Felt Play Store, the on-line shop is approaching it’s
2nd 3rd year in business.
I’ve always involved my kids and grand children in what I have done for a living. Now, I’m pretty excited about the new learning experience for the first grader in our family today.
In 2011, when Sophie-Do-It was a newborn I was taking pictures of her and her sisters for images in my first No-Non-cents Nanna blogs.
In 2015 when I decided to change careers or go back to physically doing what I love to do my granddaughter inspired the vision for what would become an e-commerce store. My new little home-based business started out with craft items for children. Who better to be a product consultant,but a child?
The store, with this little girl’s input has grown and changed, just like an infant grows into toddler, a pre-schooler, a kindergartener…
Sophie-Do-It demonstrates counting and sorting with small motor manipulative toys.
Why the Sophie-Do-It Doll Came to Life
My inspiration and model was named Sophie-Do-It.
- The little girl who had been growing up in photos on my blog pages has been my inspiration and model for my e-commerce store, now known as simply Heart Felt Play Store.
- My grand daughter was so suborn, like her nanna, about doing a few things she really needed to accomplish. Our personalities dictates that we won’t do-it until we have studied the process a while.
- I had used a doll to help potty train dozens upon dozens of children who were my clients. I adapted that idea use using a doll for the little girl to teach the tasks to. She knew how to do things: she had watched and analyzed everything she saw the family do. She just took her time -thinking about the new skill.
- One day I traced her body shape on a big piece of card board. Her shape became the pattern for a 40″ stuffed felt doll name Sophie-Do-It Doll. The real Sophie was charged with teaching the doll how to do many new developmentally appropriate tasks.
- When the 2 of us make an un-rehearsed video I call her Sophie-Do-It. when I write about her, she is Sophie-Do-It.
- The Sophie-Do-it Doll just sits, but serves the purpose as a role model. (pun intened.)
- When Sophie-do-It checks out the new inventory, I learned that I had to grab her initial honest reaction without delay of i wanted to take a picture or make a video. Often she has been playing all day and her is not combed when I grab a non-posed photo.
One take or not at all. I don-t take time to fix her hair or have her wash her face. My videos feature a real-live-girl.
- Not an actress.
- No script.
- I want to share an honest child’s reaction. You never know what a young child will say or do….
- No budget videos save us all money.
- A few months after No Non-cents Nanna opened on Shopify store was up and running,
- Sophi-Do-It inspired a name change to No Non-cents Nanna’s Play Store to “Heart Felt Play Store”.
She was merrily drawing hearts on everything she could including little pieces of felt. ( Hearts…Felt..get it? heart -felt)
I have always told Sophie that she is my business partner. To her, that means we are RICH! And we are “rich” in love.
No Non-cents Nanna’s Heart Felt Play Store began with crafted items for very reasonable prices.
Sophie-Do-It had always inspired my craft-making.
I had to stop crafting due to loss of function in my right hand.
But, I did not want to end my e-commerce business.
Thus, I decided to go back to a wholesale supplier I had used 35 years ago when I owned a brick and mortar shop.
I encouraged Sophie to help me pick out the most child appealing product theme.
I watched over the educational value, safety and cost effectiveness.
I involved Sophie-Do-It in giving her child-like opinion on matters such as is this item going to be something fun for other children . She has been my product tester of all crafted and manufactured goods “we” now sell on-line at Heart Felt Play Store.
Doing Business may Take us Out of our Comfort-Zone
Last Friday night after I had settled in for the night, a new order came in.
(Heart Felt Play Store is still a tiny in home, low volume, small inventory, one-grandma operated shop. Not a factory warehouse with operators standing by.)
The timing of of orders had never been so good as this order from Jen in MI.
Now was the time to get Sophie involved in the entire order fulfillment process. The post office did not open until 9 AM anyway.
Our Saturday morning routine is for my daughter to come in to help me take care of her older brother who is disabled from MS.
While my daughter does the care-giving I get to go to skating lessons with Sophie. We had just enough time before skate lessons to pack the order.
Sophie-Do-It DID IT ALL,
…sort of..with lot of my supervision.
Fulfilling Orders from our Heart Felt Play Store Home is a Learning Experience.
- Reviewed the order. Sophie looked at the image while I read it.
- Printed the order: Sophie pressed the black button, then watched the printing spit out the paper
- Sophie counted out a dozen dinosaur masks. 2 piles of 6 each.
- Sophie-Do-it wrapped colorful tissue paper around each of the 2 sets of masks. She selected the color of paper.
- This order qualified for a mystery gift. I let Sophie-Do-It, pick the gift. This customer made out real good as Sophie picked a dozen dinosaur note pads and a Shine and Reveal Book
Sophie wanted to know, “I hope the kids like the gift I picked out. Will they tell me if they like it?”
- Sophie-Do-It picked out the stickers to adhere to the tissue, the invoice and the envelope. She watched me take a photo of the merchandise that I send to my customers when it is mailed.
- I always sign the invoice or reciept. Today…I’m tearing up…I asked Sophie to sign her name as well. I wish I could have captured the look her face when I said that her name belongs on the note to our customer. My grand child is learning early about the little extras in our customer service.
- I usually hand address the envelopes. Heart Felt Play Store is only a small shop, so I want give the personal touch and save every one pennies by not using printed labels. ( Those pennies add up.)
- About 5 minutes to 9, Sophie-Do-it and I walked to the post office. It is only a block or 2 away.
- We stood in line waiting for the package to be weighed.
We had practiced what do to when we mailed a package. Sophie-Do-It practiced saying, ” I want to mail this first class.” and “”There are no hazardous materials inside. Only dinosaurs.”
I thought she was ready to talk to my favorite postal clerk. But while we waiting for our turn at the post office counter Sophie-Do-It started to balk at the idea of talking to the clerk. “I’M SHY!”
- That’s OK. children need time to learn new social tasks. it just takes practice.
But while in line at the post office doing our business, I kindly but firmly told her that as business partner she would have to tell the postal clerk that we wanted to mail this package. I wanted her to step out of her comfort-zone.
When it was our turn at the counter…guess what happened….
She stepped right up to that counter and said, “I want to mail this, please.”
I was so proud of her.
Learning the business from the ground up…
I’m not sure who was most proud of accomplishing this new milestone.
- Sophie-Do-It was so proud of being a store owenr. (She doesn’t know the word entrpeneur,yet, )
- My daugter was so pleased with her daughter’s willingness to do something new.
- My buttons were bursting and eyes were blurred with tears knowing that my grand child has learned so many new skills today
My daughter picked us up from the Post Office to drive us to the skate rink as we do on Saturdays.
After we buckled up I turned to Sophie-Do-It to say, “Oops! I almost forgot your pay check.”
Sophie knows her older sister , a high school senior, has a part time job and gets a pay check.
I figured I had better give Sophie something for working, too.
I fished around for change in the bottom of my bag. I came up with 2 cents.
Putting those 2 pennies in that little girls hand was like handing over a million bucks in that child’s mind.
Sophie-Do-it had her own money to put in Penny the Pony when we went grocery shopping later.
What do you think, parent and grand parents about natural learning experiences with the kids?
Sophie the baby help demonstrate high chair safety
…way back when she was a baby.