Introducing Sam from CeCe and Me

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.

 

What’s your favourite inspiration quote?

Find out more about CeCe & Me here:

 

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Introducing Ruth from Kandu Marketing

Juggling parenting and being their own boss, meet Ruth from Kandu Marketing

 

My name is Ruth, I am a Freelance Marketing Consultant operating as Kandu Marketing. I work part-time around my children who are aged 4 & 10 and are both at school and am lucky enough to live in Buckinghamshire at the edge of the Chilterns.

Tell us about your business baby

I started Kandu Marketing in 2016 to offer jargon free support for small business owners. I have an established career in marketing backed up with professional qualifications and I wanted to use these skills to support my clients to achieve their goals.

What’s your why?

I love talking to different clients and learning about their products or services and why they are of value to their customers. I am an avid reader and have found this helpful in developing my skills in content marketing as the research part is one of my favourite elements.

 

What do you find the hardest bit about doing the juggle?

I find the school holidays the hardest part of doing the juggle – not only the practicalities and childcare but also philosophically. One of the reasons I chose to freelance was to be flexible around the kids but this is not a practical approach to running a business. I also find it mentally challenging that its a constant 7 week processs so sometimes it takes a while to get back into the right mindset or book clients in when you know that you will soon need to be away from the business again.

 

Who’s in your support network?

My husband is always supportive, even if he teases me for my “online” friends or if I share some mindset things I have learnt. I have also been fortunate to join the Girl Tribe Gang and found some lovely local business-women who cheer each other on. My friend Emma is always a brilliant sounding board when I wonder if I’m doing the right thing and keeps me sane, she is such a good cheerleader and mentor.

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

I recently wrote advice I would give my teenage self and I think the main thing was to travel in your own lane and not try to fit in with what is the norm – its easy to fall into comparisonitis but to really thrive you need to do the things that light you up mentally and spiritually.

 

What’s your favourite inspiration quote?

Find out more about Kandu Marketing here:

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Introducing Bridget from Parents in Biz

Juggling parenting and being their own boss, meet Bridget from Parents in Biz

 

I’m Bridget Daley, I’m a mother of 5 children aged 26, 23, 21, 15 and 8 years old. I live in London with my partner and children. I’m the founder of Parents in Biz and the editor of the Parents in Business Magazine. I’m passionate about supporting parents in managing the business family tightrope. I enjoy spending quality time with my family, reading and binge-watching Netflix.

 

Tell us about your business baby

I created the Parents in Biz platform to support and equip parents with everything they need to manage the family and business tightrope. The type of parents we serve are parents who are running a business, self-employed and freelancing.

 

What’s your why?

My why are my family and my innate ability to use my skills and experience to support and help parents who are running a business. When I started to study and train to become a qualified counsellor, it opened my eyes to a whole new world and a new way of thinking and looking at life. When I set up my first business over 10 years ago, I was faced with challenges I had never encountered before, and there was not the support out there for parent business owners like there is now. This fuelled my desire to set up something to support parents; this was in 2015 and Parents in Biz went live in 2017. I love what I do and that it’s helping others.

 

What do you find the hardest bit about doing the juggle?

Throughout my business journey, my children have gone through all the stages of child development baby, toddler, pre-schooler, school age, teenagers, and young adulthood. And I can honestly say that each age stage has been hard and a juggle. My current juggle with my older children is supporting them through the journey of young adulthood, so it’s supporting them with career choices, relationships etc. These are a big issue for them so being a sounding being a reliable sounding board for them is important to me. My 15 year old is in year 10 so he is doing his GCSEs so it’s making sure I am available to support him he is a gamer so there are many battles about time management. My 8 year needs her parents and recently went through the experience of being bullied. So as you can see my juggle is a wide variety so allocate time for my self-care is vital as well as time with my partner.

 

Who’s in your support network?

My friends and family are great. My partner Anthony went self-employed 7 months ago it’s great because we work together and bounce ideas off each other, it’s really nice that we can both do the school run together.

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

Carrying out due diligence on any person and company that you plan to work with failing to do this can be costly, and I’m speaking from experience.

 

What’s your favourite inspiration quote?

Find out more about Parents in Biz here:

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Introducing Becky from The Art of Healthy Living

Juggling parenting and being their own boss. Meet Becky from The Art of Health Living

 

Hi, I’m Becky. I’m a full time blogger and copywriter as well as being a mum of two. Life is hectic but I feel so lucky to be doing work I love as well as having the flexibility to fit it around my family. I love running, baking, moaning, drinking prosecco and eating – ALWAYS eating!

 

Tell us about your business baby

The Art of Healthy Living is a healthy lifestyle website that started off as a bit of a hobby and has grown into something much, much more. It takes on the format of a magazine style site with articles posted both from myself and contributors covering all things fitness, health, food and wellness. I like to approach health and fitness from a balanced and realistic viewpoint – it’s all about everything in moderation.

 

What’s your why?

I love writing and wanted to get my voice out there. The response I’ve had from people has been amazing and knowing that I have helped someone feel better about themselves and made them feel as though they are not alone is amazing.

 

What do you find the hardest bit about doing the juggle?

Switching off at the end of the day. I’m currently living in a rental house as we’re doing a big house renovation and I don’t have a separate office. It means I have to be quite strict with myself when it’s time to down tools. However it only takes a child being off ill and it throws my work schedule completely off.

 

Who’s in your support network?

I have built up a fab network of local and not so local female business owners who inspire and support me every step of the way. We work alongside each other, refer each other and I know that if I ever need them they’ll be there.

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

It is OK to say no!

 

What’s your favourite inspirational quote?

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Introducing Rachel from Brownlow Brown Designs

Juggling parenting and being their own boss. Meet Rachel from Brownlow Brown Designs

Hi! I’m Rachel. I live in Bruton, Somerset, with my husband and two boys (Toby, age 4 and Rex, age 1). I grew up here, but spent my university years in Southampton and Winchester studying Fine Art and my twenties working in London. After falling pregnant with Toby (and unsuccessfully trying to navigate the London property market) we decided to move back out to the countryside. I worked in the charity sector for over a decade, but in between having my children I got the creative itch and started up my business as a side-hustle in 2017. After being made redundant at the end of 2018 I have spent the last three months full-time on Brownlow Brown Designs.

Photo by Danni Reeder – https://daniellereederphotography.com/

 

Tell us about your business baby

I originally started my business after I learned about the problem of plastic pollution, a little while before Blue Planet came along and everyone else realised it too. I wanted to do something to highlight the problem, so I created a tote bag emblazoned with the slogan Use Me Instead, to encourage people to use re-usable bags instead of plastic ones. However, momentum on building the business quickly slowed once I found out I was having Rex, and by the time I picked it up again I realised I wanted to expand and incorporate more products into what I was doing. After experimenting with brush lettering and painting, I eventually found my signature digital style of typography that I now use on prints and greetings cards. I want my bold and colourful designs to bring people positive vibes and brighten up their lives.

 

What’s your why?

I spent the last few years in employment working flexibly from home, travelling in to the office every couple of weeks. This really empowered me to manage my own time and workload, and it is something that’s massively important to me with my own business. Now that my eldest is in school, I find it really hard to fathom how I could get another role that gives me as much flexibility around family life as working for myself does. Being my own boss and managing my own time is probably my biggest driver. I’m also gaining a lot of confidence from having to make myself do everything – when you’re a one-person organisation there is no one to pass the scary jobs on to! It also means I get to learn lots of new skills, which also massively motivates me to carry on.

 

What do you find the hardest bit about doing the juggle

Despite the empowering feeling of being able to manage my own time, I’d also love to have more time to work! I’m quite strict about my working hours and I’m not really willing to give up evenings (neither do I have the time or energy to work in the evenings after putting the kids to bed/tidying/cooking/re-settling the baby) so I have to get my work done during the times my kids are in school/childcare. I have a constant internal battle about wanting to be there for the school run vs. wanting to do a couple more hours at my desk!

 

Who’s your support network?

I am extremely lucky to have my parents down the road, and they are a fantastic support. I’ve also benefited from The FMLY Store being in Bruton as I was able to keep the business side of my brain ticking over during maternity leave by attending their business workshops. Through these events, and Instagram and Facebook, I’m slowly growing my online support network. I’ve realised recently that, while it’s great to have more established businesses to follow and aspire to online, it’s just as (if not more) important to create connections with business owners who are at a similar point in their journey to you. Those are the connections I’ve been trying to nurture more recently and its made me feel much more connected to other self-employed people out there.

Photo by Danni Reeder – https://daniellereederphotography.com/

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

It’s taken me a while to realise that the people who have big launches and lots of overnight sales are in a minority – most people take years to build up their businesses enough to make a decent profit. It would have saved me a lot of self-doubt to have known this sooner! That’s why I’ve spent the first few months of full-time self-employment trying to properly set up the foundations of my business so that I can grow it in a sustainable way.

 

What’s your favourite inspirational quote?

I wrote this down when doing the Game Changers course by Guilty Mother’s Club before I set up my business at the beginning of 2017. I’ve had on a post-it note stuck up on my desk ever since and it is something I try and remind myself during difficult times.

Find out more about Brownlow Brown Designs here:

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