What a positive start to the month it has been!!! This month of July I share with you my story!! I’m usually more happy to remain in the background but I understand that as an independent business owner it’s important for you, the customer, to see a face behind the business, so that you can understand me and what my business stands for.
So where did it all begin? Well, before I delve into why I started my own business, let me tell you a bit about myself in this post I did on my Facebook page this week….
I have a creative background, studying A-Level Art and Design before completing a Fashion Degree. At that time my ambition was to become a designer but by the end of my second year, I decided I wanted to work in Public Relations. I loved learning the psychology behind buying and how to best market a product. I worked for a Beauty PR company upon graduating then moved onto working for one of the largest Fashion PR companies in the West End of London. Initially I loved the life-style, it was fast-paced, everyday was different, you had to think on your toes, have a hard outer shell and be open to opportunities whether it be to help out at a Catwalk show or help with merchandising at the weekend to prepare for a busy week ahead. The team was filled with young hopefuls all hell-bent on pursuing their dreams in fashion. This is where I realised the industry was not in tune with my personality and my soul desires. I learnt that I didn’t care so much for the latest fashion (some of the designs I found absurd and the prices so out of this world!), I found it hard to treat the celebrities and fashion designers I met with the high regard they came to expect, they were just people like everyone else at the end of the day and many got to where they were by having a mixture of talent, contacts and being at the right place and the right time. The industry was very cut-throat and I didn’t like the back-stabbing and competition between me and my colleagues, everyone was so desperate to get to the next level, many would not think twice about stepping on your toes! The last straw for me was when a colleague, not much older than me came at me swearing in front of the entire team because I had made a mistake and sent an item of clothing to the wrong photographer (tut-tut!!)
I went home feeling deflated but believing there was more to life than this, could I face meeting more people like that as I tried to climb up the ladder? I came to the conclusion that if I was going to spend the best part of my days working, it had better be something I enjoyed doing. I thought long and hard about my options and realised that I adore children and thought it would be such a rewarding job to teach these little people.
After doing a two week work experience placement at a local school (and leaving the PR world behind much to my colleagues shock!) I went back to study a Post Graduate in Primary Education Specialising in Early Years. Fast forward 14 years later, I’m still teaching and love it even more than when I first started out!
I love this quote, it really reflects my outlook on life. As long as you are here on this earth, you need to search and continue to strive for what makes you happy and to be the very best version of yourself whatever that may entail.
So although I love teaching, I’ve always had this burning desire to go back to what made me feel alive when I was younger. I used to spend hours, days, drawing, painting exploring different art mediums. I wanted something that would allow me to release the creativity inside of me. That need stayed with me for many years and it wasn’t until I had my son in 2011 that my whole perspective on life changed completely.
Being authentic to myself became so important. Why was I returning to a job that no longer filled me with joy? Why was I spending my weekends doing paperwork instead of spending it with this little life I had created? Why was I close to tears everyday and would be short with my nearest and dearest for no valid reason? Why was I screaming inside but trying to hold it all in and smiling on the outside? This wasn’t me and this wasn’t the life I envisioned for myself when I was a student and full of optimism.
I knew I needed to make a shift and create a happier life for myself and my family. I had the support of my partner which I will forever be grateful for so to begin with I looked into different franchise opportunities but I soon realised that the initial financial commitment meant that this option was not doable for me and my family. Luckily I came across an amazing lady, Victoria Casebourne, owner and founder of The Keepsake Association. I was blown away at the fact that she provided an opportunity for Mums and women alike to create there own business through training and ongoing support and that your business was yours! There was no franchise, no hidden agenda, just a fantastic opportunity to be creative, build a business around your life and family commitments and provide a service and products that other parents would love and cherish for years to come.
So True Love Keepsakes was born out of my True Love for my son and the need to be a shining example to him and show him that anything is possible and to not settle for a life that does not reflect your true desires.
Whilst continuing to grow my business I am continuing to learn; learning things about myself, other people, how to run a business and how to create amazing products and an outstanding service to other parents who also realise ultimately there is nothing more important than raising a family in a happy home x