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Selling Reusable Eco Products with A Fine Choice Ltd

What’s your business called?

A fine choice ltd and a fine choice photography

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I started off with setting up an online shop for reusable eco products,
needed product images and became a photographer 4 years after setting up my
initial business.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

2010, when my youngest was a year I started watching out for ideas. I wanted
to do something that worked around my three young kids (they were 1, 3, 4
when I started) and also something I am passionate about. I always liked
toxin free products but couldn’t always find them in the UK which got me
thinking I should import products which I can’t get here.

How did you find your start up?

Well, I had to buy 5500 stainless steel bottles upfront. It was a huge
investment and took a lot of consideration and research. I did lots of
project management before I had kids so writing a business plan was straight
forward. I am also a positive person. At no point I had any doubts once the
calculation and research bit was done.

How do you manage working around your children?

I love it! I love working when they are in school and I love not working
when they are at home or on holidays. The only thing they used to complain
about was going to the post office when they were on holidays. I had to drop
off my orders. I said to them: would you prefer me having a full time job
and you going to a holiday camp? So spending 10 mins at the post office
before doing a day out was their accepted choice.

Can you describe a typical day?

I never call my work “work” as I am passionate about both business. I do
what I feel is right in that particular moment. I love editing images after
I had a photo shooting. It’s great to give people some memories and get some
lovely feedback on the images they like most. I also love doing some SEO and
realising (after a while) it has helped with my ranking for my eco products.
On a typical day I do a bit of everything, I love variety and could never do
a job where I had to do the same stuff all day long.

What have you found hardest?

Over the last 5 years I found out that direct selling is really not in my
nature. I love having an online shop where people can have a browse and
order if they are interested. It means I don’t have to call them and
convince them of the benefit of BPA free products and the benefit for the
environment. Initially I did a lot of b2b and called up companies to see if
they wanted to stock my products. I hated it and still hate it. I got an
agent to do my job and switched my business to mainly retail instead of
wholesale so now I don’t need to do any cold calling anymore.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Flexibility, happy people, doing something for the environment, your own
income, working around kids and showing them by doing so that you can do a
lot if you really want to.

What are your plans for the future?

I think everything falls in place by itself. Not sure what the future brings
but I would probably try to add more products to my current product range
and for my other business extend the portfolio into wedding photography
What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Trust yourself. You can do it but only do things you really like. Don’t
spend too much money on advertising. And yes, it will take a while to set
up a business properly so hold on and don’t give up easily.
Maybe find a nice networking group (there are free ones out there) do bounce
off ideas.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I absolutely love being self-employed. I can’t even imagine going back to a
9-2-5 job in an office. Working together with people I choose has many
positive benefits. That’s it for now

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Surprise Box Club – Running a Subscription Box Business

What’s your business called?

Surprise Box Club

Can you describe it in one sentence

Surprise Box Club is an exciting crafty subscription box company whereby club members receive monthly vintage craft kits and exclusive jewellery kits.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

I plan to launch in time for Mother’s Day 2016 (6th March). I am a silversmith and already run my own jewellery business (www.triinu.co.uk). Making and selling small numbers of high end pieces of jewellery suited me while the children were very young and when my work times were dictated by very short nursery and playgroup hours, however now that they are 12, 10 & 7 I can commit and want to commit more time to my own business and I felt it was time to start something new. As part of my jewellery business I have also been teaching wirework classes to beginners and have absolutely loved this side of my business. I love the satisfaction of being able to share my crafting skills with others and this is what really inspired me to start Surprise Box Club. I am having a lot of fun creating all my craft and jewellery kits and filming the instructions. Crafts are having a real come back and it is a great way to switch off from a stressful day and can also be a lovely way to spend time with your tween/teen.

How did you fund your start up?

I don’t like borrowing money so I saved money from my jewellery business to put into Surprise Box Club. However, my budget is still quite tight! You need to prioritise. I decide that having a strong social media following should be my priority so this is something I am working on and I therefore chose to pay for one to one social media coaching. Apart from the coaching though, being active on social media is free!

How do you manage working around your children?

I always say that I am a full-time business owner and a full-time mum but I guess the maths for that doesn’t really add up! I work while they are at school and sometimes later in the evening. I also throw something to work on into my handbag and will do this while waiting for school to finish or at the leisure centre during a swimming lesson etc. It’s amazing how much you can get done! I also like to involve my children in my business. My son is a keen photographer so he helps me with my product photography. My middle daughter is outgoing so she helps me sell at fairs. And my youngest daughter created the most amazing stand out of Lego for me to prop my phone on at different angles when filming tutorials. Although my business is aimed at adults and/or older children they love trying out my craft kits.

Can you describe a typical day?

I start the day with my mummy hat on and am lucky that my husband is very hands on too. Mornings are chaotic and involve breakfasts, packed lunches, snacks, chucking ingredients into the slow cooker for our evening meal..…I’ve even been known to use the hairdryer to dry my son’s school jumper! I try my best but some things slip through the net! My working day fits around school so I start at 9:15 and finish around 3pm. I squeeze in an exercise class 2 to 3 times a week as I find this keeps me alert and focused. I start every day by checking and responding to emails. Then I work through my to do list. On Mondays I schedule all my social media posts for the week. I try to be disciplined and have a clear list of objectives for the day and the week ahead, but things crop up or children get ill so I need to be flexible. I try and take Fridays off to do some housework or meet a friend for coffee. I may sometimes do a little work in the evening but I’ll make sure that this is a bit of crafting while watching TV and enjoying a cuppa or a glass of wine!

What have you found hardest?

The fact that my To Do list keeps growing so I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed.
Finding it difficult to switch off. My business is all around me so sometimes I find it hard to stop.
I work from home so sometimes I get distracted. If I find I’m not feeling particularly focused and feel distracted by the pile of ironing then I will grab my paperwork and go to a café for a change of scene.
Not earning any money…yet! As I am in the pre-launch stage of my business I’m not yet earning any money but I’m very passionate about my business idea, and am feeling positive, focused and determined to make this work! It helps that I’ve been through this with my jewellery business so it’s a case of being patient.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Where do I start?! No commute; flexibility; I love spending time with my children whilst being able to focus on something for me; I am my own boss; I am passionate about my work; there are no office politics; when things are going right I feel a great sense of achievement; and the example that I am setting my children.

What are your plans for the future?

To launch for Mother’s Day and steadily grow the business. I am excited to see the direction my business takes me.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Make sure you have a great brand and logo. Try and keep everything consistent by using a particular font/s and stick to a particular colour palette.
List your strengths and weaknesses. Then either book on to a course to improve your weak areas or get someone else to do that job (my husband does my finances).
Persevere, follow your dreams, seek opinions & feedback on your idea, don’t be afraid to make changes to your business model and direction, and make sure you find time to switch off from it all.

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craft based mumpreneur business

Offering a Personalised Embroidery Service – Sewthing Personal

What’s your business called?

Sewthing Personal

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Bespoke personalised embroidered items from baby gifts to work and sport wear.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

I started in November 2013 as I wanted some crafty hobby and people then began to ask me if I could make things for them so I decided to start up.

How did you fund your start up?

It was started with some savings I had to purchase a more industrial machine and equipment.

How do you manage working around your children?

It’s not easy. My eldest has begun primary school but my little one is at preschool so I try to get it done while they are both out. But they are also really good as they are used to the machine and like to try and help.

Can you describe a typical day?

8.40 Take my eldest to school and my little one to preschool.
9.30 home from school run set up design to stitch and then set up the next items to stitch

11.30 pick son up for lunch and give him back to preschool

12.45 back to it for the afternoon

2.50 pick up the boys

3.30 finish of bits

7.00 design for the next day/ reply to emails/ update social media

What have you found hardest?

Trying to fit as much as I can into one day. One thing with what I do is there are bound to be mistakes and machine error which can be costly time wise. Also that it takes over the house with equipment and stock.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Being able to be there for my children when I need to be

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to expand into other areas of personalisation and possibly look into getting a premises to work from in the future.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Expect mistakes. That sometimes people don’t like your work and It’s not personal. It does take a lot of time being self employed as you have to find everything out for yourself.

 

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Sophie Oldhamstead Photography – Running a Photography Business

What’s your business called?

Sophie Oldhamstead Photography

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Natural relaxed family & wedding photography

When did you start it and what inspired you?

I’ve always loved photography but was inspired by my daughter who was born in April 2014. I was working a job before maternity leave that I really disliked and their refusal to support me in any way as a working mum gave me the push I needed to give this a real go

How did you find your start up?

I was very nervous, we made sure we had enough savings for 6 months to cover us but after that there was no back up plan. I found it quite lonely initially and felt very anxious about how it would work but by networking and the help of friends to spread the word and meet mums in similar situations I started to gain confidence gradually. The work picked up with it.

How do you manage working around your children?

I manage by working whenever I can, I take advantage of weekends as my parents and her daddy are around to have her while I work. If I work during the week I have her with me on shoots and I do all my editing & admin in the evenings once shes gone to bed. Its not easy but we make it work.

Can you describe a typical day?

I tend to answer any urgent emails or messages in the morning while my little one has breakfast. We spend the morning together up to after lunch which is when she naps so as soon as shes down I crack on. I use this time mostly to edit any shoots that are in the editing pile or on the rare occasion that I’m up to date I spend the time doing admin tasks, accounting or marketing. Once shes up I spend the evening with my family before carrying on again once she goes to bed.

What have you found hardest?

I think its the constant nature of it, even when I’m looking after my daughter I’m constantly answering client enquiries and sorting things for clients via my phone or planning what I need to do. Its hard to switch off completely and I think I lose out on time with my husband as I need to work in the evenings but its a sacrifice we’ve made to suit our family.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Being able to work around my daughter, I’m there to take her to classes and I don’t miss anything with her and I know I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do that right now. While I don’t want to work weekends and late nights forever, for right now its a sacrifice I’m happy to make to be there when she needs me. I love feeling in control of my own future too, I feel like I can make things happen in my own life and its down to me which is a sometimes scary but empowering feeling to have.

What are your plans for the future?

For the next year its to focus on wedding bookings and building my portrait business. I have a 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plan for the business to keep me on track.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Just to go for it, I was prepared for the business not to be as successul as it has been as you need to be realistic as well as hopeful but working hard and giving it your all does really pay off. You need to be prepared to put in what it takes though, if I have to stay up until 4am to finish and edit then thats what you have to do and still get up for the day at 7am for mummy duties but the rewards really do outweigh the sacrifices.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

My home studio is located in Rush Green, RM7 and am now taking bookings for portraits, cake smashes and weddings through 2016/2017 🙂

www.sophieoldhamsteadphotography.co.uk
www.facebook.com/sophieoldhamsteadphotography

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Running a shop

Running a Shop – Stamford Kidz Stuff

Tell us a bit about your family

My family consists of me, 3 children and a chihuahua. This was a late decision for me… nearly 60, children all grown up at 33, 30 & 27. So didn’t have to juggle school, sitters etc… They are behind me 100%, give me lots of encouragement and support, and advice on all things technical.. also helped that most of their friends had children, so in turn were able to give constructive opinions on my clothing choices. (I think I did not bad on my own, for a first time retailer hehe)

What’s your business called?

Stamford Kidz Stuff

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Affordable childrens clothing and toys with a smile and always time for a chat.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

Started in April 2015. Being made redundant after many years put me in panic mode… then a few days of going thru every emotion know to man or woman…few weeks of meetings, emails and negotiations I finally came to the conclusion that, actually, I didn’t want to work like that anymore. So, then a few weeks of applying for jobs before realisation dawned, why not work for yourself. But what to do. Pure chance brought me to this centre, to discover that the existing childrens clothing outlet was closing end of march… lots more leg work and research around stamford convinced me that this was a niche market. Only other source of children’s clothing in the town was supermarket stock or boutique expensive garments. Previous tenants were absolutely brilliant, very generous in sharing their knowledge,experiences, pitfalls etc.

How did you fund your start up?

Funded by redundancy pay and savings

Can you describe a typical day?

A typical day starts with a visual assessment of the shop, bit of a tidy, mop floor, replace any stock,key in till, check float, cup of tea, then i’ m ready to receive visitors. This centre is not overly busy, so I have ,lots of free time, changing manequin outfits, rearranging rails, relocating toys, continually assessing stock.reordering…this time of year is my first festive challenge, organising, school fares etc.posting latest pictures on Facebook & twitter. Continually reminding my customers of deals etc. Like to keep everybody informed.

What have you found hardest?

Not faced too many challenges so far… initially my constant dread was ‘have I bought the right stuff’, will people like them, have I got the right price point, have I advertised enough.’.. do you know what, I did everything I could possibly think of, my landlord advertised in local mags… With the help of my children, we launched on Fb & twitter, and all the business pages. I pounded the streets and did a leaflet drop, whilst my daughter approached lots of shops, coffee bars, leisure centre, tourist information and anywhere else we could think of… produced a cystomer questionaire.. looking for opinion and suggestions…loyalty cards offering a half price item on 6th visit, seems to a good incentive…
1 challenge recently lady buys 2 jackets for twin boys, returned 1 after a month with broken zip. To cut a long story short, following frequent calls & emails & trawling thru websites to find the identical jacket… to no avail.. I suddenly thought, what if I replaced the zip.. customer was delighted with the idea… keep twins the same… got a professional to carry out the task, keeping the customer informed all the time. I even delivered it in person… nhappy customer yippee…gratifying. But hopefully this doesn’t happen too often.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Best about being self employed, its all down to me, no dellusions, very realistic,and very objective,and very optimistic..no more having to answer to crazy reports deadlines and demands… this is it, I will do everything in my power to succeed and grow my wee business. Although I am not expecting miracles, as long as I am fulfilling a need. At the end of the day I cannot please everybody. It’s great fun and so rewarding, love chatting to all the wee ones who come through my door.

What are your plans for the future?

Plans for future I would love to rent an independent shop, as my current unit within a centre is rather restrictive time constraints, limited for space, certain rules and regulations.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

I have not been in business long enough to give advice,, but a couple of things I have learned is have a budget and stick to it, and I said from the start, that I would wait until more than 4 customers asked for the same item, then I would attempt to source and stock it.

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Running baby and toddler classes

Running Children’s Communication classes with Talking Tots

What’s your business called?

Talking Tots – I own the franchises for Southend & surrounding areas and Chelmsford & Maldon

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Providing classes to pre-schoolers and
early years settings to help develop good communication, language, listening & attention, social and pre-literacy skills in preparation for pre-school and ultimately school.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

I started in September 2013 – I
was looking for a job that related to child development and that fitted around school hours and holidays. I was also particularly attracted to the opportunity to run my own business and being part of a franchise made sense as the business model was already established.

How did you fund your start up?

Through personal savings.

How do you manage working around your children?

Because it’s my own business I can choose the hours that I run classes and I have also taken on class leaders to help me meet demand. I generally do the admin and marketing in
the evening once my two children are in bed.

Can you describe a typical day?

No day is ever the same really – obviously I have my timetable of classes on some days but the nature of enquiries, head
office / other marketing initiatives requiring attention and whether or not I have plans with my family dictate the structure of my day.

What have you found hardest?

The admin and marketing is very time consuming.
Running classes is the easy part – it’s fun, I meet lots of lovely children and their families and knowing I am helping their development is fantastic – it’s just that at times it can be difficult to switch off from the ongoing tasks that need to be done to support and promote the business. I’m sure I put more hours in than when I worked in London!

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Having the flexibility to allow for a good work / family life balance and also the personal challenge of building a business.

What are your plans for the future?

To grow the business to meet the demands
for our sessions in nurseries, pre-schools and schools (reception) – the impact we are having in these areas is significant and leading to lots of interest through word of mouth alone.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Do not underestimate how much time and effort it takes to get your name out there! If people don’t know about you then they obviously won’t use your business so ongoing marketing is essential. Explore the free / low cost options first, particularly through social media – you may even find that these are more effective than more expensive options.

www.talkingtots.info
https://www.facebook.com/TalkingTotsSouthend/
https://www.facebook.com/TalkingTotsChelmsfordandMaldon/

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The Bra Consultancy – Helping Women Fund the Right Bra

What’s your business called?

The Bra Consultancy

Can you describe it in one sentence?

A bespoke bra fitting service for ladies from teen to mature ladies, specialising in maternity and mastectomy bras offering the lady a personal one to one service.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

On a personal note I always had a problem finding the correct size bra and felt there was a lack of good lingerie shops which offered a personal service, especially catering for ladies who are nursing and ladies who have had breast cancer treatment and would like to get back into beautiful pretty lingerie following treatment.

How did you fund your start up?

I got a loan from a family member, no start up loans were available, but I am that passionate about the brand and service I provide and know I could make a difference to ladies.

How do you manage working around your children?

I already have a full time job, 2 horses and two children, My husband is great and is fully supported and the children do help but know why I am doing this to benefit the family as whole.

Can you describe a typical day?

I work full time at my day job (I am a Patient Liaison Manager in a private hospital). I offer consultations after work and weekend, and if I have not consultations in the evening, I feed the horses on the way home, cook tea for the family, then sit on the computer catching up with paperwork, and adding to social media this weeks photos, replying to emails ect.

What have you found hardest?

The hardest thing has been no down time in the evenings, but I know there is an end goal, and once I am working on my business time flies I love it.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Freedom I can arrange my appointments to suit my family life, I get to see the boys more, and my travel will be cut down once I leave the full time role. work life balance

What are your plans for the future?

I want to franchise The Bra Consultancy, so I can offer this as an option for other mums looking for a business from home.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Do lots of research, look who else is doing the service or product, see if you would make a living from your ideal, take all the advice on board, learn from others already making a living.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I am so glad I started this business, life is full of What if’s but if you don’t try you never know if you can or could do it. (Listen to your little voice)If you are prepared to work hard, doors will open.

Phone: 07790 270503

Email: TheBraConsultancy@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/thebraconsultancy

 

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Becky Strafford – A Client Attraction Coach

Tell us your name and a bit about your family

I’m Becky, lover of books, cake, coffee and wine (not necessarily in that order!). I’m married and live in the Suffolk countryside where we are renovating a 16th century old school house.

When did you become a Mum and to whom?

At 4.45am on Tuesday 11th August 2009, I went from being me, to Mummy, as our daughter, Millie, joined the World. It was a moment I had been preparing myself for since I was a girl playing with my Tiny Tears doll. It was one of two best days of my life, the second being Saturday 1st June 2013, when our second daughter, Beth, arrived to compete our family.

What’s your Business called?

My business is named after myself. Not because I am egotistical, but because I am my business. I am the product, the service and everything in between. What better name to call my business than my own? Becky Strafford, Client Attraction Coach.

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I help female service-based entrepreneurs find their authentic voice, their compelling story and then communicate it confidently and powerfully to grow a following who easily convert into paying clients.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

Back in 2011 I set up an event management business. I was fed up of working for other people and seeing them drive around in fancy cars and going on lavish holidays whilst I took home a measly salary. But I did it very wrong and after 9 months, and a lot of expense, my husband and I closed the business. However, 4 years later, the passion of working for myself hadn’t dwindled. And with our youngest teetering on the edge of starting pre-school I knew that it was now or never and I took the plunge, using very different strategies and tactics that are paying off in a big way.

How did you fund your start up?

I continued to work as a contractor whilst I set my business up. In fact I still work part-time as I am not ready to step fully into my business. However, I have a date set where I will retire from the corporate world. This has provided me with the funds needed for my own coaching, mentoring, personal development, marketing and so on.

How did you manage to work around your children?

During the day, my girls are at school or pre-school, so I have time to spend on my business or in my corporate job. After school we have family time until they go to bed. Evenings are then for me to choose what I want to do whether that’s nothing or working. Weekends are 95% of the time a no-work zone. It is really important for us to have plentiful family time as well as giving me the opportunity to have time away from work, so that when I need to be, I am fresh and focused on my business.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks you have to get done, how you manage your time?

I wouldn’t achieve much without a daily schedule. I’m not strict but I do like routine. And so do my girls. We all know where we are and what to expect, especially given all the extras such as swimming, dancing, Brownies etc. I typically wake around 6-7 and will have 10-15 minutes of quiet time on my own meditating and visualising, however this isn’t always the case if one of the girls has woken early. Then it’s a quick social media check in and update before coffee, breakfast and getting the girls ready and out to school.

My mornings are spent completing tasks I have set out for the day, whether that’s with clients, networking or marketing. Perhaps creating new and free content to give to my loyal followers before a walk with Bo, our dog, and then lunch. I always take time away from my desk for lunch as it means I come back to work feeling much fresher and motivated. My afternoon is spent completing more tasks. On occasion, I will arrange a date with friends for coffee or lunch but these tend to be reserved for special occasions or as a reward for celebrating successes.

After the girls come home from school, it’s all about them. We read, play games and make dinner then baths, stories and bed. We all love reading, so stories and books play a big part in our lives.

My evenings vary depending on work commitments, if I have been working in my corporate job my evenings are spent doing business tasks, but I do make sure that my husband and I have time together, even if it’s just cooking and eating a meal. It’s really important for me to balance everything and everyone I have committed myself too.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I faced was when I had to walk away from my failed business in 2012. It took a lot of courage to admit that it wasn’t working, but at the same time I had never felt more of a failure, more unworthy of success and attention than I did at that time. But I realised very quickly that I could either let those feelings control me, or I could take control of those feelings. And I chose the latter. That is how I found the courage to do it all over again and it forms a massive part of what I help other women with now.

What’s the best thing about being a Mumpreneur

That I get to do what I love. I love being a Mum – it really is the best job in the World and I feel very blessed that I am fortunate to be one. But I also love my business. How lucky are Mumpreneurs!!

What are your plans for the future?

A lot more of the same. I am on a mission to light a bomb under any lady who is afraid of speaking out about their passion for fear of being judged and criticised. Who sits in the shadows comparing themselves to others and who questions that their message isn’t worthy of being told. And I help them turn it around. I want to do this on a massive scale, which includes speaking. One of my goals this year is to talk at a TEDx event. Plus my husband and I have a dream of creating a glamping site within the grounds of our house. So another business is on the cards!

What advice would you give someone just starting out in business?

Firstly, don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. I have, and continue to, invest in coaching and mentoring to help me with an array of things, from mindset to sales. Secondly, make sure your business is your passion, it has to set your soul on fire for you to always be 150% committed to succeeding. And thirdly, know your customer inside out. It will make marketing your products and services a million times easier.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

My story has helped me create amazing relationships and build a wonderful, loyal following and a successful business. Knowing your own story and being able to communicate it authentically is critical in having a business that succeeds. If you’re unsure about how to find your own story, I have a free guide that sets it out in 5 easy steps.

Website: www.beckystrafford.com

The Food Nutritionist – A Food Coaching Business

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

Jeraldine Curran, married mother of three boys. I became a mum for the first time on 7th September 1995, when my beautiful 1st son Shaun was born, after a 3 hour labour.

What’s your business called?

The Food Nutritionist

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Improving health and wellbeing through food and lifestyle choices

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I first became a mumpreneur in 2003 when I became a fitness instructor and ran a company called crèche and burn. Everything changed in 2005 when my youngest son Michael went into anaphylactic shock at four years old. Read my story here: https://thefoodnutritionist.co.uk/my-story/

How did you fund your start up?

My husband has supported me in everything that I’ve done. Including financially

How do you manage working around your children?

I have always worked around my children and along with being a fitness instructor I also worked for a company called Press Index, again working around my children so I could be at home with them.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

A typical day is getting my children breakfast before school and making lunches, then off to the clinic to see clients, or running cookery demonstrations, talks on nutrition or filming – no day is the same.
Even at the weekends I can sometimes be working, but I always find the time to feed my family well

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The main challenges are to help my children with their homework, while studying for my own my MSc qualification at the same time as building my business. I’m often up at 5am to get ahead with my workload before I get my boys up for school. I’m currently learning how to update my website.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

The best thing about being a mumpreneur is that I was able to stay at home and bring my children up while still having an income.

What are your plans for the future?

I have big plans for the future. I’m keen to do more filming, run retreats, see clients – I’m really excited about the future. This is my latest retreat: https://thefoodnutritionist.co.uk/retreat-local-luxury/

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

My advice would be to do what you love, when you wake up first thing in the morning you should leap out of bed and look forward to the day. If you don’t feel this way, then make plans to change – you’ve got to do what you love.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

When you find something that you love doing don’t give up, keep going, you will get there in the end. Have a goal and a plan then focus until you achieve it.

https://thefoodnutritionist.co.uk

Twitter @foodnutritionis

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/foodnutritionis/

Fiercemums – Coaching for Ambitious Mums

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I am Gemma Stow I am married to Mark, and we have two gorgeous children Matilda (8) and Grayson (4). They rock my world.

What’s your business called?

Gemma Stow and I am the founder of Fiercemums.

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I empower ambitious mums who are unfulfilled and ready to be more than just a mum, to be more confident and clear on what they really want, by helping them to get to the bottom of what is holding them back.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I actually started my first business when my daughter was born back in 2008. I wanted something different and wanted to work for myself to give me more flexibility, so I took voluntary redundancy whilst on maternity leave from the National Probation Service where I had been a Probation Officer for 8 years. Starting a family made me realise my ambitions and how much I love to do work I love – it is a part of who I am.

My first business was working with disadvantaged young people mainly with challenging behaviour that stopped them reaching their full potential in mainstream school. I had an amazing team of staff and the business built up a great reputation and I won a Network She award for our achievements.

However, after working with a business mentor (that was originally to help me up level and grow the business) I realised that after 7 years I wanted something different and my passions had changed.

I made the heartbreaking decision to close the centre in December 2015 and was left wondering what I really wanted.

After a great deal of soul searching and figuring out my own strengths, I decided to make steps into the coaching world and haven’t looked back. I am, and always have been, all about unlocking the potential in others.

How did you fund your start up?

My coaching business is all based online, and having debts from the closure of my previous business I needed to do something that would be easy to start and would only cost me my time.

I started my coaching business whilst working full time hours that I squashed into four days so it left me one day to work on the business plus the weekends and evening I put into it. The thing is – because I love what I do it doesn’t feel like work to me I enjoy it that much.

It was hard returning back to working for someone else at that time, but I knew it wasn’t forever and they also supported me regarding my new business venture.

My first biggest outlay was hiring my own coach. I didn’t have the funds so I used my credit card and knew deep down that I would make that investment back. I did within 6 months.

I knew that this was what I needed to really do to build my own confidence and make this business take off. It was the best investment I could have made. In myself.

How do you manage working around your children?

I have found what works for me and my family. I also love helping ambitious fiercemums with managing this juggle.

It is not easy and was one of the reasons I wanted to work for myself in the first place. I have set times when I work and have set times for fun. I changed my lifestyle so I get up super early and have time for me and my work. I can say that there are days when I would rather carry on working, but the school bell is looming and I find that hard sometimes to switch off.

Being present with whatever you are doing is the best advice I can give. Multi tasking just frustrates everyone – you and your children.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I get up at 515am – exercise and meditate or journal (sometimes that can mean having a cuppa and five minutes to myself before the rest of the house stirs) and then revisit my goals and I set myself three main things to get done that day – the rest is a bonus. Making time for you is crucial to getting the right mindset for success. I didn’t realise this at first but have learnt that this is a vital part of the journey.

Most busy mums, including myself, use the lack of time as an excuse, it doesn’t have to be that way and there will be a way of managing your time that suits you and your family but it will take dedication.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is doing it all myself and wearing all the different hats which also includes being a mum. I am not sure there is a perfect balance to this and it is more about doing your best with what you’ve got.

Even though I have years of experience playing different roles in my previous business, our growth meant we could eventually have specialists who would take on these roles for me such as accountants, PR, team managers, admin etc – however now there is just me again and I am back doing it all.

Juggling all the many areas of business is not easy and we all have strengths in different ones. I know that as soon as I can, I will be outsourcing the bits I am not that fussed about and giving them to someone who loves it, so I can concentrate and focus on the bits I love to do which is coaching my clients for transformational change.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Being my own boss! Making decisions about my work and when, where, how and who I want to work with and what I want to do.

I love it and am grateful for social media for letting me build an amazing community and making incredible connections with other women and ambitious mums who are on the same path as I am. Their support is invaluable to me.

What are your plans for the future?

To grow. Both myself and the business and help my clients do the same.

Reach even more ambitious mums and keep on inspiring them everyday to be the best version of themselves.

I will have different ways women can work with me so I can be more accessible. From online courses, to retreats, to more group programmes and 1-1 private coaching with me.

The fiercemums private group will keep growing and we are already at 1000 members.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

1. Keep going – Self belief is everything. Self doubt kills more dreams than failure ever could. And don’t be afraid of failure or getting things wrong. I really don’t believe you can ever fail at anything: You win or you learn. It is that simple.

2. Find external support – Don’t solely rely on those closest to you for support: hire a coach, join supportive communities and go out and make connections – they are what keep you going when times get hard.

3. Ditch the mummy guilt – I see this holding women back everyday. Tell your children about your business, explain it to them (when they can understand) get them onboard and share with them your vision of why building a successful business, more income and flexibility of working for yourself will only make your family have more of you. I am the best mum I can be when I am doing work I love.

4. Don’t be scared of success – If we get honest with ourselves this is usually a reason that holds us back fro going for it. We worry that we will have to spend more time away from our families or that we will have to step even further out of comfort zone that we shy away. Be bold. Be fierce.

5. Say Yes – Saying yes to opportunities that come your way and then figuring it out later. Don’t overthink and talk yourself out of it or letting others influence you. As soon as I started saying yes more, everything changed for me. You’ve got this!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

It is so important to be passionate about what you are doing. It makes running your business so much easier and doesn’t feel like work.

Business is tough and can be sometimes be a lonely place, so make sure you love what you do and get the support you need to get you focused and clear on where you are going next.

www.gemmastow.com