How my life changed in lockdown: I started a business

Audra Bardsley used the lockdown boredom to her advantage. Image: Caitlin Bardsley

How my life changed during lockdown: I created a business.

Just like most people in lockdown, boredom took over. Deciding she had enough, 50 year old, then 49 year old Audra Bardsley created Sweets n Treats MCR, formally known as USA.

“The USA at first came from the fact that I was also selling American sweets along side UK ones. I realised there wasn’t much of a profit to be made selling the American sweets due to import tax. In the end I decided it would be best to change it to UK based, hence MCR (Manchester) where I’m from.”

First selling on Facebook in April 2020, things were looking slow. People were placing orders but it was looking uncertain. In the beginning months, there were thoughts on giving up, she felt deflated, but in the end, word of mouth won, which caused Audra to set up an Etsy to manage her orders properly and professionally. 

Before she knew it orders were coming in thick and fast with her phone pinging a couple times a day. Running a new business out of her sons bedroom, she now has 366 and counting Etsy orders, plus Facebook orders, under her belt.

An idea she had in lockdown to cure her boredom quickly became a full time job, with people ordering for occasions months before. 

As the Christmas season approached, she set up her own Christmas market with her partner and son as helping hands. She didn’t anticipate how in demand what she was selling was. Not knowing how the season was going to go, she didn’t prepare enough, but she said  this was a ‘learning curve’ and that she will ‘start prepping in September’. She then went on to say ‘this is the best thing she could’ve done.’