I've been waiting weeks to write this post! I'm beyond excited to share my business journeys with you and in an upcoming post, those of some women who've inspired me along the way too!
I'm talking momma merch, girl gangs and sisterhoods!
I'm the owner of Creme De La Creme Cornwall, SurfGypsy Magazine & Palm Bay. Along the way I've also created and passed on Waterhouse Events Company & dissolved KernowKoncrete.. So I've had my fair share of start up trials and tribulations. I've spoken about each business in depth across my other blog posts, so I want to talk about how and why I got started in the world of Business and some stumbling blocks I've learnt from along with way.
As a kid I was always creating, making and selling, I wrote books.. not just pages of writing, Illustrations and homemade hardback covers too.. I knew I was a creator from a very early age. I struggled through school because I was a socialite and didn't engage in theoretical work. I only really enjoyed performing arts, dance, textiles and business studies so with all of my focus going on creative arts and business, my path throughout my education was pretty clear, I only attended around 20% of my Textiles lessons and to my teacher's 'surprise' (she despised me) came off with an A* in GCSE.
Growing up in Leicester is worlds apart from the life I've chosen here in Cornwall, I wanted to ensure my children didn't get swallowed up in 9-5 routine and grew up in more earthy surroundings, the concrete city was not for us. So with just £1k in my bank, I decided to move here and make a living my way. It took around 12 weeks for me to establish myself and set up my Company SurfGypsy Mag but before I started earning from it, I had to address some major anxiety issues. - see 'imposter syndrome' post in my post library.
Anxiety has swallowed the majority of my adolescence and early adulthood. Beginning around the time I fell pregnant with my eldest and it still haunts me occasionally now.
Which is partly the reason I began writing/blogging all those years ago, I'd read a couple of blogs from other women experiencing similar things and was completely inspired to start my own as a way of letting my friends and family know my inner thoughts and to inspire my friends struggling with the same issues but weren't talking about them and it grew from there.
There was a huge stigma around the time I had my eldest about young mums, and there still is. Which drove me even more when it came to ensuring I was wanted to help rid us of the stigma. I campaigned for 2 years with a charity called 'connexions', speaking in young families hostels and women's refuges to inspire others.
I wanted to create, work and make a living my way.
Success drives me, my idea of success isn't to become majorly wealthy, drive the best car, own a holiday home and take vaycays every other week. My Idea of success is to be able to soley support my children, enjoy them, make life long memories with them and be comfortable. Forfilled by being able to enjoy quality time with my boys at my own leisure by choosing when and where I work, thats luxury for me. I've never been materialistic or modest so I'm happy with my vintage range with battered boards strapped to it, happy to have recently downsized and simplified our life to save for our future, happy thrifting for my vintage designer handbags instead of wasting thousands...
I'm so thankful for social media in this sense, because it's helped me launch my Brands without wasting marketing money.
Before personal imagery branding with apps like Instagram it was quite hard for emerging brands to establish themselves especially without endless marketing funds, and getting invites to press and media events was tough in the early stages when the only validation you could really provide was blogger/website stats before twitter and Facebook public figure type pages, now we're validated using our social handles' following too, as well as apps like IG being like a public portfolio of our brands, which is helpful in most senses;
I remember waiting for the "how i did it" pages with Company Magazine before I could discover a new entrepreneur or inspiration without endless google searches!
Although, It's not all rosey... I've debated for months about further sharing this period of my life, but I'm proud to stand for the real life side to business, blogging and motherhood.. causing conversation or controversy isn't something that I shy away from.
For personal reasons I'd stepped away from my Business commitments early this year to check into 'Self Care Rehab', where I physically removed myself from my everyday business world and certain aspects of my personal life, following a stressful period of time and some serious health complications.
My children had a couple of extra sleepovers at their dad's house and I spent all the time i'd usually put into my business ventures jumping in the car and escaping working/everyday life in search of myself and some serenity.
I'd come to realise that I needed to take care of me too, I couldn't be happy and healthy for my children with the amount of stress that came with my life at that moment in time.
I set myself a budget, with some goals and left life at every opportunity i got.
I left my relationship temporarily whilst I went off, prioritised and did me for a while, I checked into health spas, surfed morning and night, went camping, checked into a hotel vegged out with ice-cream, watched girly films with pizza (hey cliche) and didn't set an alarm for once; I even drove for 2 hours to get out of Cornwall go to the cinema and take myself for a meal.
Theres something therapeutic about learning to be comfortable in your own company again, being a mom it's hard to find time for 'you', your not the number 1 priority anymore, and when you have two under 10's.. well.
Running companies has a similar effect, it takes priority sometimes. Learning to be comfortable with your own company again and taking the time to actually fully unwind and relax, re-align your priorities, your wants and most importantly your needs.
Reset goals, rest and do nothing for once.
I spent an entire day doing absolutely nothing swanning around a hotel on dartmoor, walking endlessly for miles.
I shared a lot on my social media at the time in the hope that anyone feeling even a tiny bit swamped with any aspect of their lives could find inspiration in something that I was doing that week and try it for themselves, everyone needs to make time for themselves to stay sane, happy and healthy.
My shares are posted just above and below, my most memorable message response is also posted, just a little note from someone that was a big part of my adolescent make-up, a nice reminder that no matter how much time has passed, when you are in need, in crisis or like I was in a desperate place of immediate selfishness, people will come through for you :)
If there's any lesson I've taken from entrepreneurship with regards to balancing your personal life, it was from this experience.
My Self Care journey:
Even if its a coffee date with yourself, make time. I'm hoping i'll never hit that low point again now, having learnt how to manage it.
Self care absolutely must come first at every opportunity and if your feeling swamped by anything, time is the greatest of all healers, so make it and take it.
I want to share my constant inspirations with you in my upcoming posts, girlies that are paving the way for female empowerment, the girls supporting girls movement and absolute pioneers for Women in Business, I'm sure we've all experienced difficulty along the way, but i want to share their success stories, how to's and plans for their future with you all so stay tuned!