What’s your business called?
Cherry Pick Design
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Cherry Pick Design offers graphic design services for both business and personal use, from logo’s, branding, flyers, brochures and small business websites to wedding invitations and bespoke design items.
When did you start it and what inspired you?
I started about a year and a half ago. I left my job in London to look after my children but didn’t want to loose my passion for design. I had a few friends ask me to design a logo for their new business ventures and word started to spread, it was as if an opportunity for me to run my own design business was staring me in the face. I always planned to start off on my own when my children were a bit older but it seemed silly not to grasp the opportunity while it was there, so Cherry Pick Design was born.
How do you manage working around your children?
To begin with it was hard, I had a 4 and an 18 month year old, the only time I got to work was in the evenings, but I made sure I didn’t take too much on. My older one then started school and my younger one started pre-school which then gave me some hours in the day to work. My youngest has now extended her hours at preschool and it’s now a lot easier to juggle. My business has grown everytime I get more hours in the day to work, I’ve always got business by word of mouth so while this continues to spread, the hours I get to work seem to increase so the balance has worked out just right. I’m very lucky.
Can you describe a typical day?
On a working day i’m up at 7 getting the kids ready for school and pre-school. I drop my son at school at 8.45 and my daughter at pre-school at 9. I’m then straight back home on my laptop checking emails, updating social media and designing, then back to do the school run at 3 and the rest of the afternoon spent with the kids. The days my daughter is at home I do quotations and answer emails on my phone while i’m out and about. My phone is a tool I couldn’t do without when running my business, I’m then always connected to my clients.
What have you found hardest?
The school holidays is when it becomes hard. I’m then working most evenings, but the grandparents do lend a hand if I’m snowed under and will have them for the day. I have to remind myself its only for a few weeks, and I do try not to take so much on, I do ask my clients if they know they have something coming up in the holidays if they can give me advance warning.
What’s the best thing about being self employed?
The best thing is being able to work around your children. You can mostly pick and choose when to work which is great. I always wanted to be around with my children when they were growing up like my mum was for me and being self employed has enabled me to do this.
What are your plans for the future?
When both my children are at school I would like to build my business up further, advertise and take on more clients. Who knows what the future holds but i’d like to think that one day Cherry Pick Design will have a team of designers helping each other out.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out?
Don’t be scared, give it a go and see what happens. I was worried about the whole self-assessment thing at first but once I did it the first time I need not of worried as it was easy. There’s loads of mums out there doing the same thing, link up to social media sites as theres always advice out there if you need it. Also joining local network groups helps you to meet new people and potential clients, its a great portal for business advice.