How my Christmas present from last year helped pay for Christmas this year

She thought it would be a fun hobby, it actually ended up making thousands!

Coming up to Christmas last year, my husband and I started the inevitable “so... what do you want for Christmas this year?” questions.

We’d had our second baby seven months earlier and he did. not. sleep. Which was a shock to the system after our first couldn’t get enough sleep. I’d barely left the house and hadn’t done anything for myself since he was born.

So I thought a Christmas present that could also be a new hobby would be perfect.

I asked my husband to get me a Silhouette Cameo machine - the ultimate DIY and craft machine.

I’d seen posts all over Facebook groups like Kmart Hacks and Mums who Organise of people who had decluttered and organised their homes and labelled everything and it all looked so beautiful.

Our pantry desperately needed an overhaul and the Cameo would also come in handy for arts and crafts activities that I did with my three-year-old.


Who doesn't need cute labels? Picture: supplied.

Remember that discipline is not punishment. Enforcing limits is really about teaching kids how to behave in the world and helping them to become competent, caring, and in control.

It started as a little hobby

I started making labels for our house and then friends and family. Then I started a Facebook page and started taking orders from people from our local buy swap and sell sites and Facebook Marketplace.

I was making personalised cups, drink bottles and icy pole holders. By Easter, I had sold enough that my machine and materials were paid for.

Not long after Easter, I opened my online store - Cariad Creations - mainly to keep track of orders in a more efficient way.

Soon I was getting orders from all around Australia and once I added AfterPay as a payment option, it all boomed. I was working every spare minute I had when the kids were asleep.


Some of Ellen's cute creations. Picture: supplied.

I was adding more items to the shop nearly every day - money boxes, car decals, adult humour cups, Santa Sacks, baubles and more; all personalised and handmade.

The most popular range in my shop is my personalised doormats. I have funny ones, cheeky one, geeky ones and fully customised ones. They’ve been a huge hit for Christmas and given so many people a laugh when photos of them have gone viral on Facebook.

Trust your mommy gut. No one knows your child better than you. Follow your instincts when it comes to his health and well-being. If you think something's wrong, chances are you're right.


A handy reminder. Picture: supplied.

The lead up to Christmas has been incredible - I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined how far my little machine would take me. I had to close Christmas orders in early November to make sure everything was made and sent out in time.

I’m about to take my 400th order any day and my shop has taken nearly $16,000 in sales since opening.


Christmas has been busy! Picture: supplied.

I would never have imagined that my Christmas present from last year would’ve been the starting point for starting a small business that has helped us prepare for Christmas this year.

My pantry is still in need an overhaul though, but I’ll get to that... after Christmas.