Today I opened the doors to my online store and invited the world in. 2kool4skool is open for business. 10 months of production, 10 years of preparation.
There isn't one Mum (Or Dad as the case may be Damien) out there who hasn't held their head in their hands, sitting at the kitchen table surrounding by wrapping paper, contact, clear covers, sticky tape, labels, glittery stickers, and who knows what else in the mid January heat cursing the fact that "there has got to be an easier way to do this!". For 10 years (my eldest now in year 10) this was me. Then with 3 at school the task became mammoth and I was forced to take drastic measures and call on the help of well meaning neighbours and a bottle or 2 of wine. Each year I would scan the Internet praying someone had found a solution in the preceding 12 months that would save me from this hell. It wasn't just the cost of having "the coolest books" it was the hours and hours it took when the pool was calling my name.
So in February 2012 I hopped onto the 2Kool4Skool roller coaster and it surely has been one hell of a ride. It is not by chance that I find myself at age 43, a single Mum of 3 teenage and tweenage children about to embark on the next chapter of my working life. I have always been the creative one of the bunch, the "arty" one, the one called on to write the cards, shop and wrap the presents and I've owned and run a successful gift and homewares company. Team the artistic flair with a legal, property and finance background and you get a businesswoman who creates really cool stuff!
So as I look back over the last 10 months, at all the planning, preparing, designing, budgeting, borrowing, importing, negotiating, translating, photographing, crying, laughing, more crying, pleading, praying and travelling we are finally there! As I look back further through all my working life, each job, business and experience has led me here, sitting in the roller coaster at the top of the climb ready to take off towards the loop the loop!
Getting to this point hasn't been easy and there are some huge thank you's to be said. To Jack and Co. in China, to Damien, Selina, Bruce, Aaron, Michael, Willy, Vera and Paul. To my amazing friends who have supported every step of the way. To my family who's love and support for me is endless. To my Nepali Brother Pema who has enough love in his heart for every needy child in Nepal and reminds me just how lucky I am. And the biggest thank you of all goes to Jesse, Brianna and Clancey, the 3 magnificent beings who chose to take this journey with me as their Mother. You are my inspiration and my motivation. You have put up with me when I have at times been downright manic and you know a hug (and unstacking the dishwasher) makes all the pain go away. Together we will do great things and change many lives through our commitment to children's education in places where going to school is the exception not the rule and I promise you - you will always have a pencil case that "rocks"!
Kathy (Chief of Kool)