Well, we've made it!
We've incorporated our company and secured registration as a charity, we've paid a painful sum for Public and Products Liability Insurance, and we have a Board comprising four fabulous women with a passion for waste reduction.
We've leased premises and glamorously furnished them with finds from council cleanup piles. We even found a faux leather gaslift bar stool! Fancy!
Just before Christmas we rented our first truck to pick up paint from trade. We dealt with our first paint spill that very same day (note to self - always always check that lids of tubs are on firmly), but without any paint ending up in stormwater, and with only the tiniest bit going down the sewer pipe (lots of stained children's clothing was sacrificed to achieve this result).
We've created a half-decent website and dipped a toe into social media, gaining 53 followers on Instagram so far, with a new follower or two most days... You've got to start somewhere, right?
And we've catalogued quite a lot of paint. But there's so much more still to go.
What didn't we...well especially me...think about enough up front? Firstly, hauling around 20kg tubs of paint is physically taxing. At the end of a day of lifting paint in and out of a truck, or on and off shelves, we're knackered! But it's not unpleasant listening to music while puzzling over which of the 2100 colours in the Dulux Fandeck this particular tin of paint might be.
Secondly, we didn't anticipate just how much money would need to be spent to get up and running, even with all the free stuff off hard rubbish piles.
Like any new business, it's really quite expensive to get a social enterprise off the ground in the absence of a grant. We thought that we'd find a Council willing to lease some concessional space to us for our first few months of operation, but nothing suitable was available. So we've clocked up over $14K in expenses without a dollar yet through the door.
Now we get to find out if our concept works! Will people actually buy our paint? We're holding our breath....