Debbie and family . Photo : Frankie at Salt Shaker . by Lorna Gordon
I met Debbie through another person I interviewed for Hills Finest , Mercedes Durante , and we immediately hit it off , which really sums up the kind of person Debbie is . She is open , kind and willing to help you out and is kicking it out of the park with her business , Only the Sweet Stuff .
Debbie has a background in marketing , specifically social media . While she was pregnant with her last child she suffered debilitating morning sickness , and to keep her occupied while she was so sick her husband , Mervin , went out and bought her a Cricut machine . This amazing piece of kit is used in crafting to cut vinyl , paper and card , and can even engrave on acrylic , making it a very versatile piece of equipment . Debbie laughed when she told me about the machine .
“ Merv brought it home for me and it stayed in the box for about three weeks . In the end he opened it and put it on the table to encourage me to use it !”
She got stuck into small projects for her and her family , keeping her mind off how terrible she was feeling with the pregnancy . She enjoyed the process and was posting what she had made to her social media , sharing it with friends and family . Pretty soon a friend reached out and asked her to make an item for her , which then turned into an order for thirty of them and some other extra items .
From this humble beginning an idea for a business began to grow .
Debbie continued to share her own makes and some ‘ How To ’ videos with her followers on social media and the orders started to flow in . She got so busy that she bought a smaller version of her Cricut and took it to work with her so she could work on orders in her lunch break !
After a while , even though she was enjoying the making part of what she was doing she began to research ‘ blanks ’, the products that people buy to decorate and either use themselves or sell in their own business . This led to her selling the extra she didn ’ t need and developing a new community on social media which was separate from her personal one .
“ I realised that fulfilling orders was becoming too stressful with a tiny baby , and decided I didn ’ t want to push the making part of it anymore . I could see the merit in retailing , got to know suppliers and thought about what kind of business I wanted to be , based on the hurdles I had come across with other suppliers ,” Debbie said .
“ I wanted to set myself apart from the usual sellers , firstly by being service based for my clients and doing everything I could to supply the items they are looking for , and secondly , ensure my delivery is prompt and on time . I like to be transparent with my clients about delivery times and issues with orders coming to me , which is unusual , and I think this has helped to build up the trust in my community .”
Her clients have good reason to trust her , she doesn ’ t see them simply as clients , she really does view them as her
6 ISSUE 94 // APRIL 2023 theindependentmagazine . com . au THE HILLS INDEPENDENT