Anyone who follows small business champion Holly Tucker will know this is her mantra, and as far as I am concerned it’s spot on! We spend a significant amount of our time working, so if this can be spent doing something we enjoy, so much the better. It can take a leap of faith to achieve and this is the story of how I did just that!
Becoming a mum changed my life is so many, many ways…mostly positive! One of the most dramatic impacts was on my career. I returned to work nine months after having Cecily (CeCe) and while there was much I still enjoyed about my job, my priorities and the structure of my life had changed, so it no longer felt like the right fit.
While it was not an easy decision to hand in my notice after having Meredith (Me), on balance it was the right decision for us as a family…and for my sanity.
However, I still wanted to work, on my own terms and in a way that I could combine being around for the children, have a focus for my energy and generate an income. It took a while for inspiration to strike but it came in the form of a frustration – one I realised was shared by many parents – and for which I wanted to create a solution!
I have spent five years, developing the idea of a mobile kid’s shoe shop, building the business, learning loads and adapting the service to ensure it addresses the frustrations I experienced. My mission is to make shoe shopping with young children more convenient, more relaxed and more enjoyable, while helping parents feel confident about what their children wear on their feet. It is something I am absolutely passionate about and this feeling just continues to grow.
My children are the centre of my world and I have always liked other children, but I had never imagined I would work with them…you know the saying! However, in many ways, this is the reason I love doing what I do so much. These little people are hilarious, honest and so inquisitive. As my children get older, maintaining a relationship with the pre-schoolers in our community is a joy and it is a privilege to get to know them and see them grow.
The grown-ups aren’t bad either! I have the pleasure of meeting lots of parents from our local community and becoming The Shoe Lady has really made me feel a part of it. Reading great reviews, hearing that people are recommending me to their friends and seeing customers come back again and again, is all the confirmation I need that my business idea was a good one!
The best part is I am able to achieve all this around my busy family life. I do the school run, attend school events and ferry the children to their various after school activities. I also manage to have a bit of a social life myself!
I am not saying I have achieved the ideal work/life balance, running your own business does encroach on all areas of your life, you have to work hard and some days feel like a slog, but I love what I do, I get immense job satisfaction and I believe if you are doing something you enjoy and feel passionate about, that passion will always pull you through.
I am convinced there are other areas in which a mobile kid’s shoe shop would be a welcome and valued addition to the community. I want to be able to share the experience I have gained over the last five years to help others to build a business that works for them and develop a network of CeCe & Me children’s shoe fitters, ensuring lots of happy, healthy little feet.
If this strikes a chord with you, it would be great to hear more about you and have a chat about the details. Just drop me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and take the next step towards becoming the next #theshoelady or #theshoeman