Juggling parenting and being their own boss, meet Sam from CeCe & Me
My name is Sam and I live in Southfields, a lovely family-friendly spot in SW London, with my husband and two girls Cecily (age 9) and Meredith (age 7). My business name is based on the nicknames they had a toddlers, purely because they were the catalyst to make it happen … more on this later!
I don’t get a lot of time to myself but I do love a good book, a walk in the countryside, an evening with friends, a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc (always a bottle in the fridge) and dark chocolate, my perfect weekend would involve them all!
Tell us about your business baby
I knew I wanted to work for myself and to work flexibly around my children’s hectic schedules and the demands of family life. One of the parental responsibilities I found utterly frustrating was taking my toddlers to buy new shoes, and this provided the inspiration to achieve my goal.
I set about developing an idea to make children’s shoe fitting a more relaxed and enjoyable experience for all involved, alongside training as a shoe fitter. My solution is firstly about convenience, bringing my expertise to the places families hang out, such as playgroups and cafes, or at home. Secondly it’s about confidence, providing trusted advice and guidance, with a carefully selected range of quality shoes to ensure everyone walks away happy.
What’s your why?
My mantra is relaxed parents and happy little feet. Ill-fitting shoes in childhood can lead to a lifetime of problems, not only with our feet but with our body’s alignment and posture. Educating parents and helping them make confident decisions about their children’s footwear lies at the heart of the business.
CeCe & Me has provided me with the flexibility I was seeking and so much more. I love my delightful little customers (and the big ones too!), the sense of community, learning new skills, the challenges and the inspiring business owners I have met. Running your own business can be hard, unrelenting and sometimes lonely but for me the highs definitely outweigh the lows.
I am convinced there are other areas where a mobile children’s shoe fitting service would be a welcome addition to the community and my new mission is to build a network of CeCe & Me children’s shoe fitters. If the idea of joining this crew appeals to you, I would love to have a chat.
What do you find the hardest bit about doing the juggle?
That feeling of never being on top of everything! I don’t think it’s at all unique to running your own business, it’s just a fact of family life! There is always a niggle at the back of my mind about something I haven’t done, a ball that’s about to drop, whether it be family or business related. So I guess, for me, the hardest bit is never being able to completely switch off.
Who’s in your support network?
My Dad has been my greatest supporter and cheerleader from the start of this journey. He’s the wisest person I know and helps me see things more clearly.
I also have the most amazing network of local business buddies, some I have known for years and some I have met recently. Just seeing the effort everyone puts into turning their dream into a reality is an inspiration. I am a firm believer in collaboration and the fantastic results that can be achieved with mutual support.
If only you knew then what you know now…
I can do it… we all have the potential to turn our dreams into reality, don’t let self-doubt get in the way, don’t worry about what other people are doing or what they think, just be true to yourself.