This month I’m on a bit of a mission, to get in the habit of posting more regularly and sharing more about myself and how I came to be where I am today with my business. I’d love for you to join me on this journey (and keep me accountable!).
Where it all began
I’ve always loved art and design, right from a very early age. I would ask Santa for art and craft supplies every year, and there would be nothing more exciting than getting one of those wooden boxes with all the different materials to use – paintbrushes galore, endless tubes of acrylic paints, a rainbow of oil pastels – you name it, it would be in there, waiting to be used and turned into my next creation. I loved spending ages in art shops, getting all excited about the different types of paintbrushes I could use in my art. Tony Hart was a bit of a legend in my world, back in the day. I vividly remember getting this book when I was 4 or 5 and loving it!
Finding my Direction
When it came to my teenage years and I had to make my subject choices in year 9 ready for my GCSEs, it was obvious to me which path I would go down. The only problem was not being able to do ALL of the art subjects! I would have loved to have done photography as a qualification, and even now I love to learn new skills – maybe that’s still something I’ll add to my toolkit, one day. I decided to take the route of art and graphic design – something about the more technical side of graphics caught my imagination and I knew it had to be explored.
I got my first design job off the back of my work experience, continuing through college and university, and didn’t end up leaving until 11 years later when I knew I needed a new challenge – this time digital web design was calling me.
I joined the team at hitched.co.uk where my life was suddenly all about weddings! I mean, what’s not to love about that!? I immediately felt like part of the family and learnt so much over my 8 years there, about branding, understanding the user experience of a product and making sure it’s fit for purpose for your users, not just you as a business.
What Happened Next?
I’d never planned to go freelance. The idea of not being employed terrified me if I’m honest – the worry of where the money would come from each month, not having the security of holiday or sick pay, should I need to take time off, was a big worry.
But a chain of events occurred starting back in 2017, including falling pregnant with my twins and my job moving from an hour’s commute away (which although was long, didn’t phase me at all, it gave me the chance to catch up with podcasts on my drive in!), moving up to the big smoke in London – not so easy to get to from where live. The thought of getting up at the crack of down to get a 3 hour train journey in to work, and get home after the kids had already gone to bed, made me feel really sad. That wasn’t a life I wanted for myself or my children. I wanted to be present for them at all the important milestones and easily available if they were to get sick – not have to wait 3 hours for Mummy to come pick them up when they’d had an accident or got poorly!
So the choice was obvious, it was now or never – something had to change in order to make sure I had the flexibility to be around for my boys if they needed me (and juggle the astronomical childcare fees they came with in order to allow me to work!). That’s when I took the leap – now was my time to try something new.
2020 – the year of hindsight!
Now, what no-one could’ve forseen was the year that was 2020. Starting out in the world of freelancing and then being hit with a pandemic isn’t ideal. Especially with two toddlers in tow not allowed to go to nursery. So work kind of went on the back burner until the summer. I knew I wanted more than just a freelance lifestyle, I wanted to really make a difference and help other women like myself, struggling to run their own business and juggle all the tech and admin side of things, without any of the knowhow. That’s when I knew I had to start a proper business – to put myself out there and find clients who needed me as much as I needed them.
Networking with local businesses has, for me, been the single best decision to helping me grow my business. I’m not talking the stuffy breakfast meets at 6am with all corporate men in suits congratulating themselves on a job well done. I mean the type of networking where you actually get to know people, you understand what they do, they become friends you want to hang out with, and if you’re lucky, you find ways in which you can both help each other out in business.
Now, in 2022, my business truly is thriving. I’ve worked with some AMAZING women (and men too!), to help them realise their dreams of running the business their heart truly desires, creating branding that resonates with them on a deeper level than just creating a pretty logo – we go deep into their values, their mission, their vision for the future, and I build them a custom WordPress website to showcase all of their talents and draw in their own dream clients, just as they are mine!
What could be better than that? I know that I could call any of my clients up and ask if they want to meet up for a drink and a catch-up and there wouldn’t be a hesitation in sight. Who wouldn’t want to work with people you are actually friends with, and where it feels like you’ve known them for years, not months?
I love my job and where it’s taking me. I’m so excited for the future and the new ideas I’ve got rattling around me brain, to further help these women make their lives easier. I’ve even been shortlisted as Freelancer of the Year in the Digital Womens’ Awards 2022 last week!
At the beginning of the year, I had a vision. I knew 2022 was going to be my year, full of opportunities and collaborations, and 5 months in, 2022 certainly hasn’t disappointed! I’ve even started exploring my more spiritual side and completed an 8 week reiki attunement and energy healing course. Ask me if that was on the cards 12 months ago and I would’ve laughed in your face! Now, I’m just excited for what the rest of the year and the universe has in store for me now.
Does your website need some love?
Have you fallen out of love with your website? Is it looking a bit tired and dated, in need of a good spring clean? I can help put the sparkle back into your website and branding! Get in touch today and book a free discovery call.
I love meeting new people and finding out all about their business dreams, let’s make your dream a reality today!