Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dilemnas, dilemmas!

For crying in the sink!  Before I even began this post, I had a sudden fear that I was mis-spelling 'dilemna' - was it really meant to be 'dilemma'?  So I looked it up, and half an hour later was more confused than ever - and here is the reason: Spelling Dilemna .  While we all know there are multiple accepted spellings for some words, this must be one of the only cases where there is a fairly common spelling of a word that seems to have absolutely no basis in etymology, or any recorded history at all...and yet so many people seem to have learnt the apparently incorrect 'dilemna' with an 'n'.  I'd like to blame my junior-alma-mater Grange Primary School but I'm just not sure that would be kind.  Or accurate - apparently this enigma has been alive and well for over 200 hundred years, long before Grange Primary was I'd better conform for the sake of tradition, and start writing about my dilemmas from now on (or should that be dilemmata?)

After that minor digression, here's our real quandary (and it's one we're very lucky to have): our wonderful and beautiful Ginger Pye reusable sandwich wraps are selling so well at the moment that we are having to spend almost every minute of each day making them up and posting them out to our extremely discerning customers.

Our first school fundraising order, for Anderson's Bay School.

Wraps ready to be posted to Objx on Dalton, in Napier.

While this is unbelievably fantastic and makes us feel like this:

...and even this: makes our children feel like this:

...and as all you parents out there will know, if we ignore them for much longer, soon that will lead to this:

...which, if we don't attend to it, will end up as this:

...and we'll officially be Bad Parents with Neglected Kids - which doesn't tie in with our whole child-friendly, family-oriented, clean, green, soft and cosy, healthy-lunch-eating image at all!  So we've decided we need help, at least with the actual sewing part of the business, and we've begun to look outside of our own living rooms. 

This week we had a meeting with David Quinn from the local council's very helpful Economic Development Unit.  David was really positive about our products and our little business.  We'd already identified that we definitely don't want to be having our wraps made overseas - made in New Zealand is really important to us (and we even have a bit of a soft spot for the idea of keeping our products made in Dunedin).  We would hate the Ginger Pye name to be attached to the sweat-shop, child-labour concept (although my own children are so desperate for pocket money that lately they've been begging me to let them make wraps too - last night they were fighting over who was allowed to cut the metres and metres of Velcro up for me.  I don't think they quite understand the evils of work yet). 

We'd also decided that we'd really like to support the cottage industry labour.  Rather than sending our wraps off to be made by the hundred in some impersonal factory, we'd love to be able to supply work to people who only want or need a few hours a week: single parents with their new work requirements, retired folk who have a bit of spare time, new immigrants who might not have found their feet in a new city, but still need to earn some money.  Luckily, our brand spanking new advisor, David, saw the beauty in our plan, and is now trying to connect us to some interested folk.  Sadly, he straight-out admitted that we were probably not going to become millionaires this way (which was a bit devastating - my plans for world domination are not coming along very quickly), but we will have the warm glow of feeling ethically/politically/morally correct, and hopefully a bit more time to spend with our kids, before they all grow up and leave home.  And if that warm glow cools off, we'll be able to snuggle up to all the many, many sandwich wraps that our lovely new bundle of sitting-room-sewers and sewing-room-stitchers will be churning out.  Any minute now. 


  1. You ladies are so inspiring! You really walk the talk and should be very proud of yourselves! What wonderful role models you are for your children. Your plans for world quote another famous won't happen overnight but it will happen.....sandwich wrap by sandwich'll get there!! ;)

  2. Thanks very much for your kind words, Mrs Laing :-) It's always nice to know I'm not just talking/blogging to myself! We'll remember your lovely encouragement when we reach the summit of global success!!

  3. I completely understand the dilemma you're in (re: the kids, although Miss 2's brand of 'helping' doesn't progress my business so much as entertain her) and I wish you luck with sourcing outworkers.

    Thanks for your kind comment on my blog post - I wanted you to know that we have not been devoured by the sinkhole yet, but gee-willikers last night's rumble was a doozie. Ah well "Keep calm and carry on".

  4. Glad you're OK, Notchka - the fortitude of our Cantabrian neighbours has been totally amazing these last few months! I really hope the earth gives you all some peace and quiet now and for a very, very long time :-)