A Flight Of Fancy

by BizzyBee

The story of how our family lost everything and managed to bounce back.

Back To Square One

The BizzyBees Find Themselves In Dire Straights

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, the BizzyBee family lost everything in a nightmare business financial disaster and became homeless.


They were placed in a hostel for homeless families.


It was a very dark period in the lives of Mr. BizzyBee, Mrs BizzyBee and Junior BizzyBee, a time they don't like to think about very much.

So let's fast forward to about 6 months later when they eventually were allocated housing.


Mr and Mrs BizzyBee had been trying to find employment, but with no luck.


Both the BizzyBees were of a 'certain age' and found that getting jobs was proving to be a monumental task.


Mr BizzyBee often lamented “If only we could find a way to make some money online, that's the way to go”. Mrs BizzyBee agreed, but deep down, there was no way that she could see that happening. After all, two key ingredients were necessary in order accomplish this, namely a computer and internet connection, neither of which they had.

Where The Art Is

Mr BizzyBee Has An Idea

However, something needed to change. The job front was bleak and Mr and Mrs BizzyBee were feeling lower than a snakes belly.


“We should try to do something in art” said Mr BizzyBee, “Yes, we should try and do some art work and see if we can sell it.”

Mrs BizzyBee agreed that it was a good idea and at least worth a go.


The fact that they had no artistic training oddly did not put the BizzyBees off pursuing this crazy plan.


So the BizzyBees went into the Job Center Plus and told an adviser their idea. From there they were put on a programme for self employment.

This involved going to an office once every two weeks to listen to someone waffle on about their lives.


The BizzyBees did not find this particularly helpful, but at least all the right boxes were ticked so certain administrative departments were happy. The BizzyBees were then delighted to discover that they qualified for a grant of £100. They had no hesitation in purchasing a refurbished computer and reorganizing their meager income to get an internet connection.


(Please note that the BizzyBees do not take credit for painting this picture. It was the work Leonardo da Vinci. He was pretty good wasn't he?)

We Are Artists Now!

Mr and Mrs BizzyBee Start Painting

Mr and Mrs BizzyBee set about to reinventing themselves as artists. They researched all the art galleries and artists they could find online and said to themselves, “Pretty sure we could do something like that”, and went off merrily to get some cheap canvases and tubes of acrylic paint at 'Home Bargains'. Cheeky or what?


The BizzyBees created some paintings and sent jpegs of them via email to various galleries. Several weeks went by with nothing but rejections, so the BizzyBees changed tack, did some more paintings and sent those off too. Several weeks went by with nothing but rejections, so the BizzyBees changed tack, did some more paintings and...O.K you get the picture.

Show Me The Money!

The BizzyBees Get Some Work Accepted But Are Still Starving Artists...

Eventually, Mr BizzyBee got some interest from an art gallery and off they set across the land to take these works of art for the gallery owner to see. The BizzyBees were both very nervous.


Could they actually pull this off?

They must have arrived at just the wrong time, as the gallery owner was most busy with a high flying artist and looked at the BizzyBees as a bit of a nuisance. She did take some of the paintings though, so Mr and Mrs BizzyBee were quite happy.


Soon afterwards a gallery contacted Mrs BizzyBee.


Yes, they were interested in her work and would like to see her C.V. And details of her exhibitions. C.V? Exhibitions? Oh Dear.

Mrs BizzyBee explained that alas, she had neither.

The gallery were no longer interested in her work.


Over the coming months however, both BizzyBees managed to get their work into some art galleries, and at last Mr Bizzy Bee sold a painting!

Hooray! What Joy! What they didn't realise was just how long it would take to get their eager hands on the money. Let's just say that blood has been extracted more easily and less painlessly from a stone and leave it at that.


During this fraught time, the BizzyBees must have read every self help book on the planet. They could have been contestants on 'Mastermind' with the specialized subject of 'Self Help Practices and The Art Of Postive Thinking'.


If someone would have suggested to them that dancing around an oak tree at midnight shaking chicken bones would bring them success, they would most likely have tried it.


What was going to push them forward?

What was going to happen next?

Would they ever make a meaningful breakthrough?

It Broke The Back Of A Camel

The BizzyBees Have Had Enough

The last straw came for Mrs BizzyBee, when they had traveled a good long way to take some of her work to an art gallery, struggling to pay for the fuel to manage this epic journey.


The owner brusquely didn't remember that they had agreed for Mrs BizzyBee to come to the gallery that day and looked at the BizzyBees as if they were bits of trash that had just blown in through the door.


Granted, Mrs BizzyBee was dressed from head to toe in Charity Shop clothes, but she had assured Mr BizzyBee that as an 'artist' she could get away with looking a bit eccentric. Mr BizzyBee was far too kind to point out that she looked like a bag lady. The bright pink crocs were not doing her any favours.


The gallery owner looked disdainfully at Mrs BizzyBees work. “It isn't framed” he sniffed. “No, it isn't” agreed Mrs BizzyBee, for indeed it was not. The BizzyBees could not have afforded to get their work framed. It was out of the question. After some time, the owner agreed to take three pictures, but made it clear that he didn't hold out much hope for them.


On the way home Mrs BizzyBee got madder and madder. “That's it!” she declared. “I'm not doing this any more! Bowing and scraping to these gallery owners, letting them talk to us like we're a bit of muck! And for what?” It was the end.


But it was also the beginning...


A Ray Of Hope

Mr BizzyBee Finds Something Interesting

It was Mr BizzyBee that discovered it. “You should have a look at this place sometime, Mrs BizzyBee” he said one evening, “You can sell art on here. Perhaps we should give it a try.”


Mrs BizzyBee tossed her head and said she would take a look, but she was somewhat skeptical, bitter and twisted and didn't really think anything was going to work at this point.


Reluctantly Mrs BizzyBee sat at the computer and took a look at this place called Zazzle. It sounded alright. She took a look at their Zazzle University and thought it looked easy enough. “Oh O.K”, she thought “I'll have a go. It probably won't work, but what the heck, it's free”.


Mrs BizzyBee signed up and had a look through some image files on the computer. She decided to upload some doodles she had done and had tried to hawk to various card companies with no success. After all, she was only trying it out anyway.


Mrs BizzyBee was tickled pink when she found was able to put these little drawings on all sorts of products and spent the rest of the night admiring her new products and giggling to herself.

Of course, no one would buy them.

It's A Sale!

The BizzyBees Finally Make Some Money

Two weeks later, the BizzyBees made their first sale on Zazzle. The BizzyBees were ecstatic and actually jumped up and down! What was this fantastic sale?


It was a postcard. They had made the princely sum of 12p.

Yes, it was small, but to the BizzyBees, this was a huge leap forward. Why? Simple. If Mr and Mrs BizzyBee could sell one product when they only had a handful of products for sale and were mere beginners at this, what could they do if they really worked at it and got better? A few days later came their next sale, then another, then another. Now failure was not an option. This was the Last Stand. This had to work!


The BizzyBees threw themselves into Zazzle and made enough money to buy another computer and a hard drive. Then they worked even harder! Junior BizzyBee was recruited to help and went on to open up his own store.


Now the BizzyBees aren't Zazzle millionaires by a long shot, but they can usually earn enough money to give them a little smile come pay day.

Zazzle changed their lives for the better and made them far happier BizzyBees!

Thanks Zazzle!

What Did They Learn?

The BizzyBees Learn Some Lessons From Their Experience

The BizzyBees learned some things from this experience, some good, some not so good, but here is a summary:


  • To appreciate more things in life, like a sunny day or a pretty flower
  • To live more simply with less
  • To be truly happy to able to have a small luxury like a bar of chocolate, yum!
  • To not worry about what other people may think about you
  • That if you feel in a state of desperation, people can somehow detect it
  • That some people will revel in anothers misfortune
  • That when the chips are down you will certainly find out who your real friends are
  • That a relative in need is pain in the backside! (Blood is not always thicker water)
  • That positive thinking is all well and good but without positive action it is useless
  • That if you lose your sense of humour, you are surely lost
  • That if you want something badly enough, like really badly and are willing to put the work in, you can get it. If you stick with it.






Thanks For Stopping By

The BizzyBees Wish You Well!

The BizzyBees hope you enjoyed this little story, all of which is true.

They sincerely hope anyone out there who may be finding themselves facing homelessness or unemployment finds some comfort in their tale. When things look bleak and frightening, it can be almost impossible to keep going.

If the BizzyBees managed to bounce back, they are sure that you can do it too, for there were many times when they thought that nothing was ever going to go their way again.

Thanks for reading and 'Keep On Keeping On!'



The BizzyBees are absolutely certain that a great number of gallery owners are extremely nice and polite.

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Updated: 06/07/2011, BizzyBee
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Quidama on 04/18/2012

Hi BizzyBee Family,
I found your story via the Zazzle forums, where I've been hanging out looking for inspiration and advice for newbies. Your story is such an inspiration! Huge congrats on your successes so far, and wishing continued success for you! Thanks so much for sharing!

Digby_Adams on 06/24/2011

Oh and I should say, I hope Wizzley pays off for you as well!

Digby_Adams on 06/24/2011

Bizzy Bee and Family I'm so glad that Zazzle is paying dividends and putting a smile on your face at payday. Thank you for sharing your style so honestly and in such an entertaining way. I love the way you decided to become artists - and succeeded. We should never forget also that just the small amount of 100 pounds was what you truly need to be a able to dig in your feet and gain traction. I'm glad in someway it was there for you to get it. Your story has inspired me, more than you think. I will read it often. Thank yo again.

WebWriter on 06/09/2011

Congratulations on the success of your Zazzle store. I like the style in which you told you story. When one door closes, another one opens. Zazzle's door opened for you and you walk through it. Congratulations!

BizzyBee on 06/05/2011

Thanks to everyone who has posted a comment here!
AJ...We are somewhat red-faced about the start up for the self employment part, you never know who you are going to meet on here do you? =)

BizzyBee on 06/05/2011

Kathy, we really feel for you & hope that you can get a home very soon. You have some beautiful photographs and we are sure that you could do well on Zazzle. It would certainly be worthwhile to spend some more time over there on your store. We wish you all the very best =) Good luck Kathy, you can do it!

KathyMcGraw on 06/05/2011

Clever...and like others I can identify as I am currently in one of those homeless places but not eligible yet for a housing voucher. My online income is the only thing putting gas in the car and a few dollars left over to pay a couple bills. I am glad your Zazzle store worked out...I haven't devoted any time to mine, but just might now ;) Continued success to all the BusyBees :)

AJ on 06/02/2011

Oh gosh, we have some things in common. One of them will make you laugh - I know all about going to an office so some admins can fill in forms and tick boxes - I used to be a trainer for a Company that trained the unemployed in business startup...

But I also know what it is like to lose a business and that is no joke. We did not lose our home but almost did, it was a very black time.

So pleased that things seem to be going better for you now.

AJ on 06/02/2011

Oh gosh, we have some things in common. One of them will make you laugh - I know all about going to an office so some admins can fill in forms and tock boxes - I used to be a trainer for a Company that trained the unemployed in business startup...

But I also know what it is like to lose a business and that is no joke. We did not lose our home but almost did, it was a very black time.

So pleased that things seem to be going better for you now.

JoyfulPamela on 05/29/2011

What an interesting and cleverly put story! Thanks for sharing it. : )

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