My experience of business from early days
From a young age I watched my Dad run his businesses, he was an upholsterer, then a decorator and now runs his own music venue. Some have failed but now he has really made it and has created a small but successful business. I have always had dreams of starting my own. When I graduated in Fashion Design I thought that road would lead to a fruitful career but it bombed before it really got going. I wasn’t cut out for the ‘cut-throat’ world of fashion, to be honest, in the end I realised I didn’t care that great a deal about pleasing designers and working 5, sometimes 6 days a week for a really poor wage which meant I had not choice but than to stay at home. I always had that gut feeling that building my own business was something that I needed to experience in my lifetime.
Going back to school, business dreams lost but not forgotten
After leaving the fashion industry, I soon realised I needed to get my career back on track but take it in a different direction, one that would make me truly happy. I decided to do a two week work placement in a school and absolutely loved it! This is what I wanted to do, I wanted to teach Primary aged children, I wanted a career where I could really make a difference to the lives of others. So I completed my PGCE in 2003 and went into teaching and never looked back. Teaching and being dedicated to your profession means there’s not much room for anything else especially if you have a spouse (and family, but more of that later!) so I put my dreams of having my own business to the back of my mind and only occasionally did it rear it’s unrealistic head!
Having a child and reigniting that business dream
After having my boy in 2011, I was lucky enough to have almost 12 months off with him, returning to work was good at first and I felt the usual pangs of worry but he was only ever a short distance away as my school had a children’s center attached to it. The second year after returning to work was when it really started to hit me, he was getting older and I knew I was missing out on so much, I was working longer hours, the job had become very stressful and even during the holidays I would spend a lot of my time prepping for the new term, I was trying to keep myself from sinking in all aspects of my life and I was failing miserably. I knew something had to change and it was me and what I chose to prioritize. I knew I had the capabilities to be a happier person and thus a happier partner, mother and step-mother. Making the decision to leave full time teaching was easy as I knew I would be gaining so much more in terms of time and happiness, two things you cannot put a price on. Having my son gave me the determination to change my life for the better and so my business dream became a reality.
A change for the better
I decided to take control of my own destiny by stopping full time employment and instead took up supply teaching, it meant a big pay cut and I have had to learn to be more careful and clever with the money I have, doing supply teaching has given me the most valuable asset a person can have and that is time; I have time for my son, I have time for my partner, my step-son and wider family and I have time to do something that makes me happy and that is to pursue my dream to start my own business. Creating Keepsakes means I can channel my creativity to produce precious keepsakes for people to cherish. Do what makes you happy, don’t be afraid to re-evaluate the importance you place on certain things in your life, what change would gain you the biggest amount of time for you to do what is truly in your heart? Don’t fear change, change is good, it can bring about a better life, one that you have only dreamed of and never imagined could come true x